I finally came up with a title for my first novel! Hip, hip hooray!
I’m pretty excited because it has taken me the better part of my adult life to write this first book. Finishing the first one really is the hardest. Then I came up with a whole lot of titles that I wrote about in Ah, my old archenemy… Titles. But even the one that I finally settled on, didn’t feel perfect.
You know what I mean, right? It’s like when you write a character doing something that doesn’t fit in with their personality, it feels wrong. That’s how I felt with the title Stand By You or it’s earlier incarnation Catch Me.
Yes, I know.
Much of the feedback I received was that it was a horrible title, and it was. The proof is that if I had really loved it, then I would have fought for it, would have convinced my readers that this book was meant to be called Stand By You. But I didn’t fight at all. I would nod and forlornly say, “Yes, I know.”
Who was I kidding? It sounded like a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie. Don’t get me wrong, Sleepless in Seattle, is one of my all-time favourite movies, but it wasn’t right for my book.
The title I decided on is In the Between. I wanted something that focussed in Layla, the main character. Throughout the book it’s like she’s waiting for her life to start, she can’t plan ahead because of the events happening to her. Despite everything else that goes on in this book, it’s really about Layla feeling trapped, even though her friends try and help her through it, this is something only she can do. So she’s – in the between. Also this is a trilogy, so I have two other books based on different characters from Layla’s book and they can all slot in nicely with this theme.
How did I come up with this title? Was I riding a unicorn over a rainbow? No, alas I was in the Qantas Club lounge, my husband Mr. E. We were waiting on a flight to Melbourne for the weekend. A couple of Merlots later, and a whole lot of blue cheese and crackers, we started throwing around ideas. Mr. E has read the book about as many times as I have. We went through some bad titles, like Catching Shadows, Dark Light and my personal favourite, Exhale. I suppose this is what happens when you’re brainstorming. There are no bad ideas, just shocking ones and the right one and all of those were worse then shocking.
Titles are a fickle thing in the publishing industry (or so I’ve heard). If this novel ever gets to traditional publication, then they might hate it and change it. Eek! To be honest I’d probably buckle and tell them they can call it ‘Blue Lagoon’ if it will get published and into reader’s hands. Yes, I’m that desperate.
What’s the strangest way you’ve come up with something? It could be a title? Or did a poem or a lyric jump out at you at the most inappropriate time?