When I sold my book, I had no idea one of the toughest - and more important - elements would be the title.
We had gone through over 200 ideas - some OK, some pretty terrible. I had an original title, BRIMSTONE SOUP, which made it sound paranormal. We had a temporary title, A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT, which made it sound ethereal (though at least there would be good Smiths music in that nebulous, wordy place). We talked about a few more - THE DARKEST LIGHT, FLY ME AWAY, SECRETS OF MY IMMACULATE LIFE, WHAT WOULD XANDA DO - that just weren't striking the right note.
The 11th hour was fast approaching - 3 days before it had to go in the catalogue!
So I called my friend Jet Harrington, who hadn't read the book, but I know she's an out-of-the-box thinker. She had some great suggestions, which broke me out of the spiral of previous ideas. (She even thought of the title of a not-then-released Carolyn Mackler novel - Go, Jet!)
That night, as I was falling asleep, I remembered a conversation between two sisters in the very first chapter. "Tell me a secret," says the older sister, "and I'll tell you one."
I sat up. Grabbed sleeping husband. Said, "Honey! Tell me a secret! TELL ME A SECRET!" My editor loved it, too, and the rest is history. (Thank you, subconscious!)
In the process of looking for the perfect title, I learned a little about what makes a good one:
1. Rolls off the tongue.
2. Gets to the the heart of the book.
3. Has the indescribable factor that makes you go, "Ooooh."
What about you? What titles make you go, "Ooooh?"
Today I'm very excited to be visiting Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf, where we're talking about the villains of TMAS, theme songs, and favorite words. Lauren said about TMAS, "I LOVED it!" Hooray!
Don't forget to comment here and at Lauren's post for a chance to win a signed copy + other swag!