What's in a Title?

Led Astray by a RakeBook titles, they’re a real pain in the you-know-what.  For me, anyway.  Either my mind goes completely blank or I end up with something totally inappropriate.  As for asking my husband… he believes a rake is something you use in the garden!  So, more often than not the title is chosen by my editor after discussions with her colleagues and I agree.  That’s probably the way it is for most authors.

But titles are important.  They have to call to you from the bookshelf, intrigue you when you read them, urge you to buy this book and discover what it’s all about.  There have been some great titles over the years:  Gone with the Wind, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice.

I always think a title has to evoke something of the story you’re telling.  For instance, my latest, Led Astray By A Rake, is fairly self explanatory ;)   Or is it?  Olivia Monteith is in love with a man who everyone else believes is a rake.  Wicked Nic has a reputation as a bad boy while Olivia is a proper young lady.  On the surface it appears Olivia is being led astray by this rake, but the truth of the matter is it’s Olivia who’s doing the leading astray.  She’s seducing the rake and he’s falling in love with her and fighting her every inch of the way.

When I’m writing a series I try to chose titles with something in common.  For instance, the Greentree Sisters series was supposed to have a school/educational theme because Aphrodite, the Courtesan, was tutoring the girls in seduction.  So I had Lessons in Seduction, Rules of Passion and Mistress of Scandal.  When writing my Medieval series I tried to think of titles incorporating the heroine’s name, which was also a flower, and the hero, who was represented by a piece of medieval weaponry.  So I had The Lily and the Sword, and The Rose and the Shield.  The third book began life as the Briar and the…hmm, but that was the trouble.  You can’t have the Briar and the Lance or the Briar and the Big Javelin.  And the Briar and the Ball and Chain is just plain silly.  So we ditched that idea and the title became Once He Loved, with the final book as Kissing the Bride.

I can see I’m going to have a problem with Book #2 in the Husband Hunters Club series.  Led Astray By A Rake is a great start, but what next?

What do you think?

Sara Bennett

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