One of the most challenging things to do as a writer is to come up with the name of your book. I’m in the process right now of brainstorming ideas for a title for my current work in progress. No one in my family seems to like the current working title: Life with Nan.
I think I’ve nailed the titles of my books three out of four times, with a swing and a miss when it comes to my book that is based around characters who work in professional baseball.
Let me explain:
My first novel, Beneath the Mimosa Tree, is about two young kids who grow up next door to one another. Their love story begins “beneath the mimosa tree,” hence the title. It was originally titled Contelli’s Mimosa, but I changed the name when my MFA advisor suggested it sounded too much like the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Hence, the title switch. It was also suggested to change the original title Under the Mimosa Tree to Beneath the Mimosa Tree because that sounded too much like Under the Tuscan Sun.
My second book was always in my head as Baseball Girl. The swing and a miss here is that I think too many people think this novel is about a girl who PLAYS baseball. It’s not. It’s about a girl who WORKS IN PROFESSIONAL baseball. This book is based upon my real-life experiences working in baseball, and we lovingly referred to women this way as baseball girls.
I had the title of my third novel before I even began writing it. I always knew I would write a story set on the grounds of an inn. Inn Significant is the the novel that resulted, and I’m still madly in love with the title.
The fourth collection I wrote and titled, The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry, was an ensemble of short stories and poems I’d written over the years. The Postcard is one of my favorite stories in the collection, though not my absolute favorite, but it suited the collection perfectly, so I was fine with the title.
As for this one I’m working on now, it centers on a woman who leaves New York City after several years and goes to live with her grandmother after a nasty divorce. She’s an event planner who ends up working in a bookstore. It really is about life with Nan, but Life with Nan is not the best title for a book, and so I’m brainstorming now. If you have any thoughts, let me know! 🙂
This part is hard. It’s hard enough to sell books, but if you don’t have a title that’s even remotely interesting, you will swing and miss.
And I don’t want to do that with this one.
For those of you who have just popped by this blog for the first time, Happy New Year! I’m so glad you’ve dropped in. Here’s a little bit about me that I put together for a recent post on Instagram, where I share a lot of writing experiences and teaching experiences at stephanie.verni. Hope to connect with you there, as well!