What’s In A Name?

October 6, 2010 by in category Blogs with 4 and 0
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I’m always fascinated by the process of coming up with a title for my books.

I always suggest something, of course, and I like some of my ideas better than others. Sometimes they stick, and sometimes they don’t.

Like my Harlequin Nocturnes. I’m writing a miniseries about Alpha Force, a covert military force of shapeshifters. The first in the series was ALPHA WOLF, which was published in January 2009. The second will be published in December of this year: ALASKAN WOLF. When I originally submitted my manuscript for ALPHA WOLF, the title was different–and so was the name of Alpha Force. I’d considered calling it Omega Force, as the last and ultimate group to be called in when nothing else works, but the editorial staff at Harlequin suggested that it be called Alpha Force–which made sense for a group composed largely of people who shift into canines. Now, many titles contain “Wolf”. I had a different title idea for ALASKAN WOLF, but another Nocturne was published with the name I’d proposed. The title ALASKAN WOLF, suggested again by the wonderful folks at Harlequin, works well, since the story takes place in–you guessed it!–Alaska! I’m currently working on the third book in the series, which I’ve called GUARDIAN WOLF, and that may remain its title.

I’ve had great fun coming up with, and sometimes brainstorming, titles for my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The tone is light, and the titles are fun: SIT, STAY, SLAY; NOTHING TO FEAR BUT FERRETS; THE FRIGHT OF THE IGUANA; FELINE FATALE; and the rest.

I’m now working on a spinoff series from the Kendra mysteries, the Pet Rescue mysteries. The tone is a little darker, but they’re still cozy mysteries. I’ve struggled a little more with the titles, but the excellent Berkley folks have come through by suggesting great ones! The first, BEAGLEMANIA, about a puppy mill rescue, will be published in March 2011. As you can guess, some of the rescued puppies are baby beagles. And the second? We just agreed on it last week: THE MORE THE TERRIER. It’s a wonderful title for a story about animal hoarding!

How do you come up with titles for your books?


  • Anonymous
    on October 6, 2010

    Thanks, Tanya. I'm kinda fond of them…

  • Anonymous
    on October 6, 2010

    Linda, your titles totally rock! I love anything withWolf in it, and the Petsitters are purely adorable. Beaglemania, I love it! oxoxo

  • Anonymous
    on October 6, 2010

    Thanks, Kathy. I really like all your titles, too. Can't wait to see the books when they're published!

  • Anonymous
    on October 6, 2010

    For my first manuscript, Guilty by Suspicion I thought about the plot, then went through a movie guide to find a title that fit.

    My second manuscript title came from my friend, Carol Ahren at a plotting session. A Dozen Deadly Roses is my best title and ties in with the plot.

    My third manuscript is Deadly Blessing. Again, a tie in with the plot.

    Linda, I love the titles for your cozies!

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