Thursday, March 01, 2007

What's in a Name?

I must confess that I am title challenged. I can write the 400 pages of a manuscript easier than I can come up with a reasonable title. I am more than happy to listen to my editor and agent bounce ideas around to come up with a title for my book. Just so they know that I really do care, everyone once in a while I'll offer a suggestion. Usually the sound of crickets follow or else a very polite, let's just keep trying, email. I'm fine with that. At least they don't agree with my awful titles and allow me to go ahead and make a fool of myself.

I recently read an article called Stranger than Fiction: Books whose titles range from weird to hilarious. Here are just a few of the titles:

What's Wrong With My Snake?
Movie Stars in Bathtubs
Walled Up Nuns
Scouts in Bondage

My editor gave me my new title yesterday and it's a relief to no longer call it "that book". From now on it will be called THE REMAINS OF THE DEAD. Much, much better than Walled Up Nuns.

My favorite title of all time is Pride and Prejudice. I wonder if Jane Austen got to choose her title or if it was handed to her.

So share, what's your favorite title?


Ann Christopher said...

Hey, Wendy--

I love titles that make you stop in your tracks and snort with a suppressed laugh--like THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA.

Also titles that are heavy with significance, like REBECCA--where a woman is the center of the book and everyone's lives even though she's DEAD!


Wendy Roberts said...

Ann, The Devil Wears Prada is a great example of a title. I haven't read Rebecca but I'll definitely be looking for it now :)

Sally MacKenzie said...

Wendy, I think my most creative moment was when I came up with the title of my first book--The Naked Duke. Of course, now I'm stuck with naked guys--The Naked Marquis, The Naked Earl (coming April 3), The Naked Gentleman (May 2008). Most people seem to like the titles, though I did get skewered by an online review site--and NOT the one you are probably thinking of--when the Duke came out.

And I think The Remains of the Dead is great! Very creepy.

Kristina Cook said...

Oh, Wendy, you MUST read Rebecca!!! One of all my all-time favorite books, and you're SO right, Ann, that the title is very meaningful. The movie version with Laurence Olivier is great, too!

I can't even think of any titles that I really love, other than some of the ones already named!

Lois said...

Well, even if someone told JA to use Pride and Prejudice, I definitely think it's better than First Impressions. My first impression of First Impressions is that it gives too much away or something. (yeah, I know, that makes no sense, but I don't usually. LOL)

My favorite title. . . hmm. I don't think I really have one. . . or at least it changes frequently. LOL But out of the books I got today, I rather like Bonnie Vanak's The Sword and the Sheath. That is soooo going someplace else in my head it isn't funny. LOL :)


Wendy Roberts said...

Sally, it's great you have a recognizable theme for your books. Even if it makes everyone call you Naked Sally ;-)

Lois, now you've got Sword and Sheath going places in MY head LOL!