I am in such trouble.

February 26, 2007

I still haven’t come up with a title for my book. For me, this is either completely simple–it pops into my head right away and it’s perfect for the book and everyone loves it. Examples: Passing Through Paradise. The Charm School. Other times, I go for months without knowing what the book will ultimately be called. The whole time I was writing The You I Never Knew, it was known as Daddy Take My Kidney, Lover Take My Heart.

Every once in awhile, we think we’re all agreed and I go public with a title and at the last minute, it gets shot down–either by someone at my publisher or by a buyer for a big chain of bookstores. There’s usually a good reason–maybe there’s already a book with this title, or it rubs the buyer the wrong way….This was a problem back when Talking to the Moon became Significant Others and ultimately, Table for Five. The decision was made after there was a “Dear Reader” letter published in the back of one of my books, saying “Please watch for Significant Others next year. I still get letters asking me whatever happened to Significant Others.

Back to the present troubles. It’s a February book. The Catskills, a frozen lake, a lake-effect blizzard. Oh! I’ve got it! Lake Effect. Too perfect. But I’m told this is too cold and clinical for my warm and fuzzy books. We move on to Heart of Winter which I quite like, except it’s already been taken.

Then I thought about the word Midwinter. Wrote it down. Circled around it. Imagined it on the one of my covers. It’s a good word for a February 2008 book, eh? So I went to Google and typed in “midwinter” to see if it would trigger any riffs or phrases beyond “In the bleak midwinter” which is a great phrase but it’s already been used.

Messing around on Google is a dicey thing to do if you’re punch drunk from writing 3500 words and have never been that great at attention and focus. Because the next thing I knew, I was reading (with inappropriately deep absorption) about something called “Midwinter Pottery.” And suddenly I’m helplessly in love. I mean, look at this stuff. midwinter pottery

Could it be any cooler? Those who know me know I am a midcentury modern kind of girl. My house was built in 1961. Some of the neighbors even call it the “Jetson House.” So anything from that era… 

Anyway. I don’t have a title but I have a new obsession. I am in such trouble.

  • Did you find a title yet? Or did it find you?

    In addition to ‘mid-winter’ and ‘the lake’, what are the other theme(s)? Redemption, forgiveness, rebirth, secrets, old love made new again, home, sojourn, water, full circle?

    Or would telling us be giving away too much of the book?!

  • Thank goodness it’s not just me! I am supposed to be getting book 2 in shape to show my editor and here I am off in blogland! I simply love the pottery and am so envious as I cannot have glass or many breakable things on my boat. 🙁
    Let me see.
    The Midwinter of our Discontent
    Lions in Midwinter
    Midwinter Garden
    Midwinter Wonderland

    I’ll go away now.

  • How about a play on the “Mid Winter” theme and title the book “Amid Winter” provoking the sense you are in the middle of winter.????

  • Creepers, this morning you’ve already written 3500 words, and found a new bookmark-worthy website, and delivered a fresh, fun blog to the world?! With that kind of energy you”ll have a title selected in no time, Susan.

    While you might not have found that elusive title during this past weekend at Cannon Beach, Oregon, as you’d intended, the rest of us who attended your writing/publishing workshop were certainly inspired. Kudos to you–and our gracious hostess Wendy at the Ocean Lodge–for creating a thought-provoking yet relaxing weekend. The perfect blend of food for thought and tranquility for the soul. And speaking of food, the chocolate created some lasting memories too. Yum! Thanks again, and best of luck with the title search. We’ll be following the TSS…Title Search Saga!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *