Pub Rants

Title Saga Revisited!

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STATUS: Two more days and counting…

What’s playing on the iPod right now? HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS by Judy Garland

I can finally talk about this now. Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when we were title brainstorming for one of my clients? If not, here are the links to refresh your memory.

A Good Title Is Hard To Find
The Title Saga

So here’s the full story.

Late last year and on behalf of my author Carolyn Jewel, I sold a project called Magellan’s Witch to Grand Central Forever (formerly known as Warner Forever).

It’s a dark, sexy paranormal romance. Her publisher didn’t like our original title much. After all, there’s nothing all that exciting or sexy about the word “witch” so they were throwing around a couple of other ideas.

Unfortunately, the title they really liked was Burning With Desire. As I mentioned before, Carolyn wasn’t keen on this one. Time for a title change and it was up to us to find an alternative (with the help of 162 commentators who also offered suggestions on the blog!).

I was so moved by all your unselfish help, I offered to look at a project from the person who suggested the final title.

So, it’s with delight that I announce the final title but alas, I’m sad to report that nobody on the blog suggested it. However, I do want to add here that I think the many suggestions helped to inspire the winning title. And the joke is on us because there isn’t a verb in sight!

Drumroll please (and both Carolyn and I like this one), the final title will be

Thank you again for all your help and although this cover copy isn’t final, here’s a sneak peek:

A power that can’t be controlled…

Carson Philips is a witch on the run. For years, the notorious mage, Álvaro Magellan, has held her as his psychological prisoner, suppressing her magic to the point where she doesn’t even realize she is a witch.

But once Carson gets a glimpse of the true extent of his evil, she flees Magellan’s mansion—stealing a stone talisman of unimaginable power on the way.

A hunger that can’t be sated…

Nikodemus is a fiend with a mission: Kill Magellan and his green-eyed witch. But when he meets the desperate Carson, the attraction is immediate and relentless—something even beyond the forbidden body-and-blood lust between fiend and mage. He’s not sure he can trust this tantalizing witch—she is his enemy—and less sure he can keep his hands off her. With Magellan on the hunt for his witch, can Nikodemus stop him before his desire for Carson drives him over the edge?

21 Responses

  1. Trish Ryan said:

    Great job. The title hunt is crazy…my editor and I spent WEEKS trying to figure out what to call my memoir, to the point where I was referring to it as SOME STUFF THAT HAPPENED TO ME in conversations. What a relief when you find the one everyone likes that captures the story.


  2. Anonymous said:

    Trish Ryan–

    I sort of like the title SOME STUFF THAT HAPPENED TO ME.

    So, what did you end up naming it?

  3. Kimber An said:

    I’m not crazy about any of those titles. All enemies are wicked. ‘Burning with Desire’ sounds like any number of hot paranormal Romance novels. What sets this story apart from all the others we’ll see on the B&N shelves? If the theme is love overcoming hostility, shouldn’t the title reflect that?

  4. Phoenix said:

    Ooh, sorry. I must say I’m with Kimber An and Anon 5:05. Wicked modifying enemy does seem pretty redundant. Despite the musical, wicked doesn’t carry the connotation of witch or magic or talismans for me. And please tell me the story is told in first person with that “My” in the title!

    But all is subjective. I bet the book is grand enough to overcome any title hiccup. Congratulations, Carolyn! I’m sure the title search was headache-inducing enough without it being made so public :o) Thanks for being a terrific sport and letting us get a behind-the-scenes peek at the process.

  5. Allen B. Ogey said:

    None of my title suggestions were chosen?

    Dang, now I’m going to have to make my query so enticing you can’t pass it up.

    This has been educational and entertaining – thanks for the follow up.

  6. Mags said:

    I like some of the phrases in your last paragraph, to be honest…

    Kill Magellan, Beyond the Forbidden, Between Fiend and Mage, Body and Blood Lust, She is His Enemy, His Green-Eyed Witch

    Actually, I like Magellan’s Witch just fine. Good call passing on Burning with Desire. Doesn’t get me heated at all.

  7. J Parker Haynes said:

    Titles, like all writing, like all art–like life–are so subjective. Personally, I like Magellan’s Witch better, but I’m neither the author, agent, editor or publisher…but by any title it sounds like a fun read.

    But I must admit I’m something of a title lover. One of my favorites is from the 1994 socio/politico/eco commentary by Chellis Glendinning–“My Name is Chellis & I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization.”

  8. Amy said:

    Yeah, what happened to the verb requirement?

    I also liked the original title better, but that’s probably because I read mostly fantasy and that would be a perfect title for a fantasy novel.

    Thank you for letting us see this process- it’s been fascinating. I never realized that the editors could reject a title- I suppose I thought it would just be part of the package they’d bought.

  9. JulieLeto said:

    I like My Wicked Enemy. Wicked is a very sexy word…it’s like “evil” but with attitude. In that way, no, not all enemies are wicked. It also implies the paranormal.

    And I don’t think anyone can discount the musical’s influence on modern pop culture when it’s been such a runaway hit.

    Congrats to the author! I hope it sells very well!

  10. Angie said:

    They actually wanted to call it “Burning With Desire?” [boggle] Umm, wow. Is it just me or does that seriously sound like a title someone would come up with in a humor piece parodying bodice rippers…? :/

    Congrats on finding something better, and convincing the publisher that it was better. Great escape!


  11. Charlotte said:

    I like My Wicked Enemy. It plays on “wicked witch” and also could refer to either the hero or the heroine.

    Romance titles that intimate the fella is a rogue of some sort always grab my attention more quickly, and this title is a shoe-in for the genre.

    I love the entire premise of the novel and will seek it out on the shelves when it comes out. When does it come out? Please do tell!


  12. Tia Nevitt said:

    I think that the word “Wicked” in titles is in danger of being overused. Do an Amazon search for books with “Wicked” in the title and you’ll get lots of hits. I know because I did a blog entry on this subject a couple of months ago, inspired by the title “Wicked, Lovely”.

  13. Selene said:

    Does the book actually have something to do with the real Magellan? If so, I like the original title best. (If there’s no particular reason he’s called Magellan, and no relation to the historical figure, I have to say I’d find that pretty irritating, regardless of whether it’s part of the title or not.)