Tuesday Tip – Titles and Suffering

books hit the deckI’m suffering this morning as I try to find a new title for my November release from Grand Central Publishing. The working title was TAINTED BLOOD (and the music for TAINTED LOVE keeps playing in my brain as I see that title).

I have to confess that I suck at titles. I would say I’m 0 for 21 on book titles, except that I did manage to work up some of THE CALLING titles on my lonesome. The original concept for THE CALLING titles, however, came from my great Harlequin editors at the time (and I am so sure my great new editor at GCP will also have wonderful ideas to help in this title selection process!)

Now I’m working on this title, trying to find inspiration based on the elements of the story which is one way that many authors find their titles.

TAINTED BLOOD (soon to be re-titled) is about a world-famous cellist who is dying from a brain tumor and opts to undergo a radical gene therapy in order to stop the progression of the tumor and possibly regain her eyesight. The cellist – Caterina Shaw – hadn’t planned on being turned into a human guinea pig and soon finds herself not only losing her humanity, but also accused of murder. Enter the hero, an ex-Army Ranger sent to either solve the problem she’s created or eliminate it (or should we say her?).

Hmmm. . . My friend Irene Peterson suggested GENESTORM and I kind of like that one. But I really do need to have more than one option.

I’ve been tossing around connected titles since there are at least two books in the series. Maybe SEE NO EVIL for the first one and TOUCH NO EVIL for the second, which revolves around an athlete with a bone disease. I’ll definitely put those on the list since that might lend itself to further expansion for future books in the series, such as HEAR NO EVIL, etc.

Some authors rely on literary inspirations for their book titles. You can click here for a cool list of those, which include titles such as TENDER IS THE NIGHT, THE SUN ALSO RISES and other noteworthy works.

Of course, there’s the I NEED HELP route!

My friend Lois Winston ran a contest to help rename her first book. The great title that was chosen in the contest — TALK GERTIE TO ME.

Maybe that’s something to consider?

So, for a spontaneous contest to help me find a new title, why don’t you leave some suggestions in the comments. If I pick one of your titles or feel that it inspires me, not only will you get an autographed copy of my latest release, SOLDIER’S SECRET CHILD, and a CALLING T-shirt, I’ll also dedicate the book to you!! How’s that for a prize to show your friends and family!