I’m often asked about where I come up with the titles for my books. Actually, I don’t find the titles; the titles find me.
Every book I’ve written has been a process of laying down the first several chapters as I look for a focus, something about the characters or the conflict that speaks to me. Once I grasp the direction of the plot, that’s when the title comes to me.
In Murphy’s Law, the title started as a pun on Katie Murphy’s name. But that title quickly took over the story. Everything that could possible go wrong for Seth and Katie went decidedly wrong. Their lives and their love became the epitome of the stereotypical Murphy’s Law.
In my urban fantasy series, I wrote quite a bit of the first book before the title appeared. In fact, I had to come up with a title because I wanted to enter it in a contest. Having no idea what to call it, I settled on Contemporary Amazon. Awful, I know, but it hit the finals under that name. Right after I sent in the entry, Rebecca’s character revealed her true nature. She might be a contemporary Amazon, but she was a damned reluctant one, hence The Reluctant Amazon. After that, the rest of the titles were easy. Each Amazon’s book is named after her weakness. Hopefully, those books will find their way to print soon.
The only book that I wrote around a title was Turning Thirty-Twelve. I sat down on my forty-second birthday and wrote a monologue about my own middle-aged angst. I joked about how I always tell my age to my students. I’m not forty-five; I’m thirty-fifteen. Jackie Delgado was born from that monologue’s pledge that she would make that time the best year of her life.