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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Titled! (finally!)

In this post, I expressed my woes over not having a title for the Searching the Skies sequel. The same thing happened this weekend as with the original book - I finished the first draft, and still had no title. I decided last night that THE TIME HAD COME, and I was going to title this damn book even if it killed me. (Which I believe would make me the first case of "death by untitled manuscript". Alert the medical examiner!)

I went back to the original list of ideas. [Verb]-ing the Skies still seemed like my best bet, especially since I have at least one more book in this series up my sleeve. I made a list and consulted whatever friends were unlucky enough to be signed into gtalk at the moment and nagged them for opinions. I kind of liked Saving the Skies, but I was still wary of the alliteration leading to ridiculous titles down the line. Guarding the Skies topped the list for a while; I was heavily leaning toward it, but I'll admit that some of that was just due to the "ugh, I just want this thing named already!" feeling.

The Artist Known as Boobulon didn't like it. Wah. We discussed at length the plot and themes of the book, and he told me what he felt the key points were and how he thought the title should reflect them. I understood and appreciated what he was saying, but it was still difficult to find a verb that captured all of that. Actually, we did find a couple, but 1) I felt they had negative connotations that I didn't really want in my title, and 2) they just didn't feel right. The seven o'clock hour was drawing near, and it was time for me to put down the computer and pick up the knitting needles and watch Jeopardy. (Because I'm secretly an old boring woman.) I told Boobulon I'd be back in an hour and we'd contemplate it some more.

And then as soon as I picked up the yarn and needles, it hit me! My mind stumbled upon the Verb that reflected the focal themes of the book and still sounded badass. I renamed the relevant documents and finally felt a sense of relief.

So I'll announce it here first: unless my editor changes it, the story of Geneva, Ash, and Marcus will continue on in Defying the Skies. I won't post details here yet, but trust me, "Defy" works on multiple levels. I also like how it calls to mind both death-defying aerial stunts and the song "Defying Gravity". I hope it's a winner!

(And now I can rest easy, for I already have titles in mind for my next couple projects. Thank goodness. We really don't want to have to go through this again.)


  1. Oooh, love it! That's a badass title if I ever heard one.

    1. Thanks! I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to mention there are plenty of ass-kickings to go around in the second half! :D

  2. Congrats on the new title! I rather like it. And yes, at all costs avoid the tongue-in-cheek jokes you'd be setting yourself up for with too much alliteration. There's just something about the sibilant sound of a sonorous syllable that sucks all seriousness from a stately soubriquet.

    1. Damn, I should have outsourced all my titling needs to you. That was some mighty fine alliteration. It gave me the tinglies!