Thursday, May 22, 2008

Name This Baby

When I had my boys, I knew right away--before I was pregnant, even--what their names would be. Strong, traditional, simple, masculine names. Names that have stood the test of time. Names any boy or man would wear with pride, ones that suited my husband's taste and my own.

With my daughter, not so much. She was, in fact, nameless for the first twenty-eight days of her life, at which point, the government forced my husband and me to come to a compromise and slap a sticker on the poor girl. We were neither of us overjoyed with the name we ended up picking, but we met each other halfway and our daughter is now thankfully in possession of a moniker other than "Baby Girl S.".

As authors we are often told, "your book is not your baby", a sentiment I wholeheartedly second. But right now, the book in my editor's hot little hand is behaving exactly like my daughter. My first two books, Crossing Swords and Healer's Touch, pretty much named themselves, the words appearing in my head in a burst of creative clarity. But this book, the sequel to Crossing Swords, is stubbornly resisting any semblance of labelling.

Add to this irritation the fact that my editor, the incomparable Bethany Morgan, is holding my contract in reserve, awaiting only the christening of this recalcitrant manuscript. In her words: "If someone were to name her book, she might receive an email..."

Yet we remain at an impasse, my book and me. The 80 000 words of this story poured from my fingertips and onto my hard drive with an effortless certainty. But the two to five words that will encapsulate the tale for the benefit of readers continue to elude me. To be honest, I'm not sure these words even exist. Perhaps in Esperanto?

This book being an erotic romance/fantasy featuring a sword-wielding hero and two--count 'em, two--heroines, the possibilities for title cheese are as endless and seductive as the oh-so-subtle symbolism of swords and *ahem* sheaths.

So that's it. I'm putting my foot down. If this thing doesn't tell me it's freaking name by tomorrow night, it will be contracted under the dignified moniker of One Sword, Two Scabbards.

Take that.


Aislinn Kerry said...

ROFL! Hey, that's what I do with my characters who stubbornly refused to be named. "Fine, until you give me your name, you're going by BRUNHILDA, dammit!" It never lasts more than a day or two. ;)

Didn't you say Bethany had some suggestions for titles? What were they? I'd be happy to try to help you come up with something, but I don't think I'm familiar enough with the bulk of the novel to really do so without some help.

Bethany said...

Dangle, dangle... hehe.

Gotta come up with a GOOD name too! Oh the horrors of changing a title after it's been put into various hands.

And you know me, I'll take that dare - One Sword, Two Scabbards has that perfect purple tone to it that will make it an instant fascination for readers!

kirsten saell said...

I triple-dog dare me!

I know, I'll name the book Brunhilda. That'll show everyone.

Seeley deBorn said...

you bastard!!