. . .Or can you???
Today, I've held in my hand copies of our FIRST (ever) cycle of Heartsong Presents--MYSTERIES! Be still my heart! I know my joy can't compare to that of the authors'/creators', but seeing hardcopy proof of our labors leaves me with a mighty good feeling.
There's no mistaking these books for pure romances, that's for sure. (Even though each one has its share of love brewing.) One glance at these covers and titles and the prospective reader can pretty well peg the genre--Recipe for Murder, Mysterious Incidents at Lone Rock, Homicide at Blue Heron Lake, and then there is the quirkier Trouble Up Finny's Nose, with its cover art depicting the boots of the story's poor victim poking up from the Finny town square fountain. In future cycles, we'll see titles such as, Murder on the Ol' Bunions, Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket a Casket, and Pride and Pestilence, to name just a few.
Some authors start a writing project with their title already written at the top of page one. Others wait until the very end to give their manuscript a name. . . Okay, this reminds me of the day I was scheduled to be released from the hospital after giving birth to our third son. They wouldn't let me go home until I gave that poor baby a name. Having been confident I was going to finally give birth to a girl, I refused to even consider boy names. The joke was on me. Here's a dark family secret: we named our youngest son by reading through credits of a Tuesday afternoon rerun of Emergency until we came across a name my husband and I both liked.
As an author, you may have sweat great drops of blood to come up with just the right title to your book. . .only to have your editor change it. Before you go throwing darts at your editor's picture or jabbing pins into a doll made into her image, try to understand the dilemma in which your editor may find herself. If your book is one of four book club selections, the editor needs to make sure there is a good variety of titles releasing together. Perhaps the cover art will influence the title direction for your book. As hard as it may sometimes be, trust your editor to assign your baby the perfect name.