It’s All In The Title!

I write a lot of books and normally I don’t have a problem coming up with titles. Instinctively a title comes to me either before or during the writing of the first chapter. But then I started to write more, series, and more series!

And I don’t always know when a book is going to develop into a series. I wrote Touched by TBD-Rev-161-200x300Death as a standalone. Boy was I wrong. I woke up a couple of weeks ago with the most horrible nightmare and realized it was Meg’s story – a character from that first book. So now I have two books in that series and I can easily see a third character getting their own book as well. But I titled the first book Touched by Death. It fit. It rang true to me as the writer. It’s actually a line in the story. Hopefully it rang to readers as well. But what do I do with a second book? I need to avoid J.D Robb’s ‘Death’ series and hadn’t even considered that when I wrote the first book.


Then there is my design series – I thought 3 books in totalgirl holding book but didn’t have all the titles worked out. I currently have Dangerous Designs, Deadly Designs and now I’m not sure. Book 3 is in progress and I’m struggling to find a title. And how about my Vampire series. I have Vampire in Denial, Vampire in Distress and Vampire in Design. Each one fits the book but the series is nowhere near done. Sigh. Yet I’m outdone on titles. Lol.

I’m currently working on 3 books, and for the first time, I don’t have a title for any of them!

I tend to like short and clear titles. A single drama

tic word can make a great title – Abandoned, Unspoken, Ageless, Forever, Damned. If the book is part of a series, I love knowing that by the title. I mentioned JD Robb’s ‘Death’ series as a perfect example.

Funny titles are also great – Kieran Kramer’s–Cloudy With A Chance of Marriage comes to mind. There are so many out there! One I read recently on another blog made me laugh – Catherynne Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

Our own blog authors have a wonderful selection of titles – consider for example – You’ve Got Murder (Karin Tabke, Edie Ramer), Dangerous Sanctuary (Michelle Diener), Chosen by Fate (Virna DePaul) and Ghost Hunter (Lori Brighton) – and that’s only a tiny sampling!

Do you like your titles to tease? Rhyme? To be indicative of the genre? Or to be specific so you know what you are getting into? And if you have any ideas for my Design, Vampire or ‘Death’ series, let me know!

About Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer writes romantic suspense, with or without paranormal elements like TUESDAY'S CHILD (2011) and now young adult books in various genres like DANGEROUS DESIGNS (2011). Writing stabilizes her in a life gone wild! The other stabilizers? Cheesecake and her four cats! Of course, she's dreaming to think she'll get a piece cheesecake once her four kids find out she's been baking!
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8 Responses to It’s All In The Title!

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Devilish Designs or Dark Designs – though the first might imply humor. You could change it around, so Designs is the first word. Or add a word, such as Deathwatch for Designs (not a good choice; just an example), etc.

    I really like the titles for Misty’s Kalie Sweet urban fantasies, using the heroine’s last name in the title, like Sweet Chaos. The same with Jennifer Estep’s Mythos Academy YA paranormals. Her heroine’s name is Gwen Frost, and all the titles include “Frost,” like Crimson Frost. It’s very smart of both authors.

    • Dale Mayer says:

      Hi Edie,

      Now Dark Designs is possible. I also hadn’t considered changing it around. Thanks I’ll think on that one. And Misty and Jennifer’s use of the character’s name for a title is also good. More to think about!

  2. Lori says:

    The worse is def. when you have a series and you try to connect them all in some way!

  3. Amy R says:

    I am always fascinated how authors and musicians title their books and songs. That seems like it would be the hardest thing. Do most authors wait until the book is done and come up with it or do they name it first and write from there? I do think it is fun when a series has the same word in them somehow or is a play off the name of the character. Lori Foster has a series are like that with When you Dare, Trace of Fever, Savor the Danger, etc. They all use the first or last name of hte character. Good luck with your title desicions!

  4. Liz Kreger says:

    Tying a series together by the title is always a good idea. I think in a way it makes the reader more comfortable. At least it does me.

    Titles seem to come to me as I’m writing the book. That’s when I get the rhythme of the story and know where I’m going with it. My current WIP is called “With Arms Wide Open”. Ultimately, its an acceptance of what my heroine has become and how she has to welcome it. Fits the story beautifully.

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