Titles (in which Anne is a Diva). Discuss.
I love Suzanne Brockmann’s books, but the titles for the first six books in her Troubleshooters series all run together for me. I can’t remember which one is the defiant hero, or the unsung hero, and all I can remember about the other four is that I think Sam and Alyssa’s book is GOING TOO FAR, which is also the title of my favorite Jennifer Echols book. Everyone remembers Sam and Alyssa’s book as “Sam and Alyssa’s book” anyway. So…titles.
The original working title I had for BREATH ON EMBERS was ALIGHT. I loved it. I was completely fangirl, boy-band-obsessed with that title, because I frankly felt it was the best title I’d ever come up with. It worked so beautifully with thematic elements in the story, described the heroine’s emotional journey, hinted at heat, and resonated with the darkness of Christmas broken only but twinkle lights and candles. I sent the manuscript off to Angie James, the editor, fairly confident that ALIGHT would be carried through to the final product.
Then Angie sent me a title worksheet, which I filled out in a totally half-assed fashion and sent back, because this story was called ALIGHT. Period. Full stop. Then I got an email from Angie saying they were retitling it to something I loathed, not to put too fine a point on it.
What’s the matter with ALIGHT, I thought? This is the most perfect title ever. Ever. Themes! Characters arcs! It’s even hot! So I sent Angie a righteously indignant email explaining that I didn’t care for the title the team came up with, I had no idea where they got it, and I could only see ALIGHT as the title for this story.
Yeesh, Anne. Diva much?
Angie’s response came minutes later, gently explaining that no one on the Harlequin team liked ALIGHT or thought it was hot, and furthermore, the one they chose was one I suggested in that title worksheet I submitted.
Oh. This is the tweet I sent Angie, when I stopped laughing at myself.
Hey, @angelajames * redfaced * and also * facepalm *.
She took it in good spirits (thank God…nothing like totally diva-ing up to end a working editorial relationship) and together we came up with BREATH ON EMBERS.
Which I like. Not as much as I like ALIGHT, but compromise is the soul of survival in the publishing industry.
Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend. He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex, Ronan sets out to change her mind.
Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can’t move past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are the only things she’s got that her feel alive, so she takes as much of both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest time of the year finding her way won’t be easy.
Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn’t just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last forever?
What are your favorite titles? Do you remember stories by titles, by author name, or by characters? Comment for a chance to win BREATH ON EMBERS!
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