Patti's Porch

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
1/6/2018 1:35:00 AM by: Patti Shene

FEATURED BOOK:  The Labor Day Challenge

AUTHOR:  Susan Page Davis

PUBLISHER:  Tea Tin Press

GENRE:  mystery-romance

SERIES OR STAND ALONE: Maine Justice Series book 6

TARGET AGE:  general

 

IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN PAGE DAVIS TO PATTI’S PORCH. SUSAN TALKS ABOUT THE PROCESS INVOLVED IN A WRITER’S CHOOSING OF A TITLE.

 

SUSAN IS OFFERING A GIVEAWAY! SIMPLY LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO ENTER THE DRAWING FOR A KINDLE OR PAPERBACK COPY (WINNER’S CHOICE) OF THE LABOR DAYCHALLENGE.

 

WHAT’S IN A TITLE?

 

by

 

Susan Page Davis

 

Every time I write a book, I have to come up with a title for it. Sometimes that’s easy, but other times it’s a grueling process.

 

The best titles give the reader an idea of what the book is about and the tone of the story, without giving away too much about the plot. They should capture the reader’s interest and be easy to understand.

 

On a good day, a title will jump out at me as I’m writing. If I find a phrase, an idea, or even a single word that expresses the essence of the story, I run with it. That doesn’t happen very often.

 

Sometimes my editor will name the book. In a few publishing houses that’s the norm. Others let the author name it, but sometimes they might want to change it. Maybe it’s too similar to the title of another book, so that readers looking for your book might be confused. For instance, just before my book Witness released (Christian romantic suspense), Dee Henderson came out with her book, The Witness (also Christian romantic suspense). I wanted a different title, but the publisher said no, so it remained Witness.

 

Authors use various methods of creating titles. As I look over the more than eighty titles my books have been given, I don’t see a clear pattern. I used a lot of different methods.

 

One of the best ways to find a good title is brainstorming with several other people. I give them the gist of my story and tell them some key words and phrases. For my featured book, The Labor Day Challenge, that might include murder of a police officer, mock crime scene, and workplace harassment. I chose The Labor Day Challenge because it is a major event in the book, at which the murder takes place.

 

One-Word titles can be tricky if an author is not the first to use it. Also, that one word must epitomize the book. It worked for Alex Haley with Roots, for James Michener with Hawaii, and for Leon Uris with Exodus.

 

Among my dozens of books, I have only two one-word titles, a romantic suspense novel I mentioned earleir called Witness and a children’s fantasy called Feather.

 

Originally, I wanted to call Witness by a different name: You Shouldn’t Have. I chose that because in the story three sisters owned a gift shop with that name. One of them witnessed a murder, and I thought it was appropriate to the story. The editor disagreed. She thought it sounded more like a cozy mystery or women’s fiction than romantic suspense and changed the title to Witness.

 

In the children’s book, Feather is the name of the main character. She is a young girl living in post-apocalyptic America, and she fletches arrows for her tribe. Since her arrow-making is important to the story, Feather seemed to me like a good title.

 

Sometimes an author will use the main character’s name as his or her title.This method is not usually memorable to the reader—unless the book is a big hit. Examples of past books where it worked: Anna Karenina, David Copperfield, Christy.

 

Sometimes the heroine’s or the hero’s name is used in a title in the possessive form or with a participle phrase. Ten or fifteen years ago, a lot of books, especially romances, seemed to have “ing” titles. Some examples: my very first published book (vintage 2004) was called Protecting Amy. A couple of years later, I had a romantic suspense called Finding Marie. I also used possessive names on a historical novel, Lady Anne’s Quest, and a young adult story, Sarah’s Long Ride. Lady Anne’s Quest clues you as the reader in to the fact that the main character in this prairie romance is an aristocrat. 

 

Allusion is another way to create a title. It’s a brief, usually indirect, reference to a person, place or event. Classical allusions, taking titles from the Bible or other literary works, might look like this: Vanity Fair (references Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress); Inherit the Wind (Bible); The Dogs of War (Shakespeare); For Whom the Bell Tolls (John Dunne).

 

Song titles as book titles are quite popular now, and this is perfectly legal. Titles cannot be copyrighted, and you’ll often find several books with the same title.

 

Alliteration can work sometimes. Think of The Wind in the Willows, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Mouse and the Motorcycle. I have a western series to which my editor assigned the names The Sheriff’s Surrender (the e-book is free Jan. 8. See below!), The Gunsmith’s Gallantry, and The Blacksmith’s Bravery.

 

Shock, juxtaposition and non sequiturs fall into one of my favorite categories. They can work well if the contrast is great enough. Here are a few I’ve seen: Anita and the Hit Man, The Reluctant Dragon, The Skunk Ladder.

 

A well-known phrase can work well if it brings the right image or mood to the reader’s mind. Here are a few that have been used as titles: Nothing to Declare, To the Hilt, Repent at Leisure, Rue the Day, Loaded for Bear. I used Found Art for one of my Maine Justice books that focuses on a ring of art thieves, and I’ve used All That Glitters, Nothing to Hide, Just Cause, and others. Editors from two different publishing houses named two of my books What a Picture’s Worth and A Thousand Words. That still cracks me up.

 

Sometimes a variation on a well-known phrase works even better: Nothing’s Sure But Death and Texas, Random Acts of Malice, Live and Let Die. For one of my romantic suspense books, I suggested In the Crosshairs. A genius editor changed it to Hearts in the Crosshairs.

 

What part does the title play in your decision when you choose a new book to read?

 

Blurb for The Labor Day Challenge:

What begins as a friendly city rivalry with Bangor turns into a baffling case for the Priority Unit. One of their colleagues turns up dead in what should have been a mock crime scene. Eddie is in charge of the investigation, but he’s more than a little distracted by Leeanne’s erratic behavior. Is the wedding on or off? Jennifer’s younger brother Travis shows up in Portland unexpectedly with some disturbing news, and Chief Browning is out of town every weekend, pursuing his dream of living in the north woods. Captain Harvey Larson holds everything together for the family and the Priority Unit, but the convoluted path to solving Detective Joey Bolduc’s murder turns up evidence of other crimes.

 

Amazon buy link

 

DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE PLACED IN THE DRAWING TO WIN A COPY OF THE LABOR DAY CHALLENGE. BETWEEN NOW AND TUESDAY, JANUARY 16TH AT MIDNIGHT MST. (PAPERBACK COPY OFFERED TO U.S. ENTRANTS ONLY).

 

Susan Page Davis is the author of more than eighty novels and novellas. Her Christian fiction includes romance, mystery, historicals, and romantic suspense. Her books have won the Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award, and the Will Rogers Medallion. A native of Maine, she now lives in western Kentucky.

Find Susan at:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Sign up for Susan’s occasional newsletter

The Sheriff’s Surrender by Susan Page Davis will be offered free as an e-book 

on Monday, January. 8th!

Click here!

 

SUBSCRIBE TO PATTI’S BLOGS HERE


Comments

Raeanay From jacksonville fl At 1/14/2018 9:16:57 PM

im reading In the superstition mountains now and im very intrested in your other titles.

Reply by: Patti Shene

HI Raeanay. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. You are in the drawing for this book.

Rhonda From Florida At 1/14/2018 7:15:39 PM

Can't wait to read it!

Reply by: Patti Shene

HI Rhonda. I made an error and reported this drawing as coming to a close today. It is actually open through Tuesday, January 16th! Glad you stopped by.

Linda Magurite From At 1/14/2018 5:11:20 PM

Sounds good ! Would love to read it ??

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Linda. You are in the drawing to possibly win a copy of The Labor Day Challenge. Thank you for dropping

Linda Orr From SC At 1/9/2018 2:27:31 AM

Titles are kinda like bonus material. Not only are you anxiously reading to see how the story ends, but you're also looking for where that title came from in the story.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Linda. Good point! We often discuss where the title came from in our book club. Thank you for stopping by.

Joan Arning From MO At 1/8/2018 8:17:48 PM

I don't think the title plays a very large part for me unless it's too "cutesy".

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Joan. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us.

Deanna Stevens From Nebraska At 1/8/2018 5:57:14 PM

would love to read this one!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Deanna. Wishing you the best in the drawing! Thank you for stopping by.

Emily Akin From TN At 1/8/2018 5:11:15 PM

Love the Maine Justice series. Susan, I think your titles are usually spot-on.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Emily. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment for Susan.

Susan Page Davis From Kentucky At 1/8/2018 9:51:49 AM

Thank you all for your comments! I think titles are very important and should give us a feel for the story. When I get an email advertising discounted or new books, I do skim through the titles and see if one pops for me.

Vivian Furbay From Colorado Springs, CO At 1/7/2018 11:34:32 PM

Would enjoy winning a print copy of this mystery

Reply by: Patti Shene

HI Vivian. I wish you the best in the drawing! Thank you for stopping by.

Sonnetta Jones From New Brunswick NJ At 1/7/2018 3:02:33 PM

Titles sometimes makes me take a second look at a book. It is great to read about how much goes into getting a title.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Sonnetta. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I love catchy titles that make me curious about what's inside.

Becky Smith From Missouri At 1/6/2018 3:24:15 PM

I enjoyed this post so much with all the talk about Titles!! So interesting! Susan's book sounds really good! Have a good weekend!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Becky. I thought Susan explored the topic well and made it interesting for readers and writers. Thank you for stopping by.

Susan Page Davis From Kentucky At 1/6/2018 12:29:04 PM

Patti, thanks for having me over for a visit! Always great to connect with you and your readers.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Thank you for spending time with us, Susan! I always enjoy having you stop by for a chat.

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8/23/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR REBECCA DeMARINO
8/16/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

SITTING IDLE
8/10/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

It's Hot Out Here! by CHERI SWALWELL
8/3/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART TWO
7/26/2014 11:01:15 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR CAROLE BROWN
7/20/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?
7/14/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

AUTHOR H. L. WEGLEY RETURNS
7/5/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART ONE
6/27/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR AVA PENNINGTON
6/20/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

UNEXPECTED ACTS OF KINDNESS
6/16/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

REVIEW OF THREE NON-FICTION BOOKS
6/7/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR RENEE BLARE
5/30/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

SEVEN WAYS TO STRETCH SPIRITUALLY BY ADA BROWNELL
5/17/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WHEN FINE IS NOT REALLY FINE
4/23/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

MOMMY MEMOIRS BY ANN VAN DE WATER
4/19/2014 5:33:04 PM  by: Patti Shene

PLAY BALL!
4/17/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

JOE THE DREAMER BY AUTHOR A. B. BROWNELL
4/12/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

ON THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS BY H. L. WEGLEY
4/4/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

THE THIEF BY STEPHANIE LANDSEM
3/29/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

HUMOR AT THE HOSPITAL
3/26/2014 9:45:22 PM  by: Patti Shene

HEAR NO EVIL BY MARY HAMILTON
3/22/2014 2:39:47 PM  by: Patti Shene

WHEN THE ROAD GETS LONG AND LONELY
3/19/2014 12:56:57 PM  by: Patti Shene

INTRODUCING RYAN'S FATHER BY JUNE FOSTER
3/15/2014 4:19:04 PM  by: Patti Shene

WHERE ARE YOU THE MOST VULNERABLE?
3/13/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

INTERVIEW WITH WRITER BROOKE COX
3/8/2014 11:44:40 AM  by: Patti Shene

Patti's Porch Welcomes Author Rebecca Carey Lyles
3/1/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Flying for Jesus by Lee Carver
2/22/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Putting Out the Fleece by Paula Mowery
2/15/2014 1:02:11 PM  by: Patti Shene

What We Can Learn From the Olympics
2/12/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Hush, Little Baby by Deborah M. Piccurelli
2/8/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Baby, It's Cold Outside!
2/5/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

A Matter of Perspective
2/1/2014 12:52:05 AM  by: Patti Shene

Introducing The Pure Genius Series by H. L. Wegley
1/25/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Monopoly!
1/21/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

welcome author Cheri Swalwell
1/17/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

What Did You Mean By That?
1/14/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Wildlife Video
1/10/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

My Best Reads of 2013
1/8/2014 1:28:40 AM  by: Patti Shene

The Dumbest Kid in School
1/3/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Good-bye to 2013
1/1/2014 1:35:09 AM  by: Patti Shene

Focusing on What Christmas Really Means
12/22/2013 7:00:40 PM  by: Patti Shene

One Spectacular Christmas Display
12/19/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Where are You Going This Advent Season?
11/29/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Shared Experience
11/24/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Facing the Monster
10/25/2013 12:46:47 AM  by: Patti Shene

Review of Reign by Ginger Garrett
9/27/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

I'll Be Happy When...
5/14/2013 11:49:55 PM  by: Patti Shene

Sing Praises - Whether You Can Sing or Not
5/5/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

I Can't Do This!
5/2/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

BREAKING THE RULES
4/28/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR TINA PINSON
4/21/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Vulnerability to Fear
4/17/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Faith and Fear
4/15/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Those Temporary Interruptions
2/21/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Grand Prize Winner at Int'l Wildlife Film Festival
2/7/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Starsongs Giveaway Contest
2/3/2013 2:04:28 AM  by: Patti Shene

Taking Stock
1/30/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Janet K Brown
1/26/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Winter - Bah Humbug!
1/22/2013 10:18:37 PM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Tanya Eavenson
1/19/2013 10:35:41 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Margaret Brownley
1/16/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Travel Writing = Nearly Shooting Peacocks
1/12/2013 4:00:39 PM  by: Patti Shene

Water, Water Everywhere - or Maybe Not
1/9/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

The last Day of the Christmas Season
1/5/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Accountability in the Extreme
1/2/2013 12:38:47 AM  by: Patti Shene

The day after Christmas
12/26/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

It's Dec 22nd - And We're Still Here!
12/22/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

The Next Big Thing - Blog Hopping
12/19/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Vanquishing the Christmas Blues by Linda Rondeau
12/15/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Christmas Rayne by Joi Copeland
12/12/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

The Christmas Stalking by Lillian Duncan
12/8/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

News From Nashville & Beyond
12/4/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Author Susan Sleeman offers great advice about wor
11/13/2012 2:10:37 PM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Home!
11/13/2012 2:00:24 PM  by: Patti Shene

Confessions of a first book editor
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Going Home
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

GPCWC in Restospect
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Vacation in the Adirondacks of New York
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Nano Day 11 - um - day 1?
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

I am pleased to welcome author Staci Stallings
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Meet Award-Winning Journalist And Author Ada Brownell
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

An Interview with Author Eddie Jones
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene