Book Titles by Marla Bradeen
I’m excited to announce the publication of my second humorous mystery novel, Lost Witness. In honor of its release today, Kathy has graciously agreed to allow me to ramble on a bit in her corner of the Internet. Since I’m ill qualified to give useful writing advice or discuss habits of highly successful authors, I thought I’d address book titles instead.
As a reader, a book title is one of your first introductions to the work in question. If I’m debating over whether to try a new author, I often judge a book by its title. As someone who prefers reading novels broadly classified as mysteries, I’m unlikely to pick up a book titled Hot ’N Sexy even if it is billed as this century’s greatest crime thriller. Is that judgmental? Yes. But I only have so many hours per day to read and if I’m taking a risk on a new author, I tend to gravitate toward books I think I have a good chance of liking.
As an author, coming up with a good title can be either easy or hard (hey, I never claimed this post was going to be insightful). The title should reflect the story without giving it away, be intriguing enough to hook a reader, and fit the book’s genre. Oh, and it should do all this in one to five words. Personally, I love it when I can come up with a title that means one thing to a reader before or while they read the book and another once they finish.
The first novel I published, Lethal Injection, remained untitled days after I completed the story. I finally realized I would need to come up with a title soon, which led to a lengthy brainstorming session that eventually resulted in the book’s title as well as a pounding headache. My second novel, Lost Witness, was titled before I even had a story. I know, a bit backward, but nevertheless true. I had finished Lethal Injection a couple weeks earlier and was laying around being lazy instead of starting a new book. During one of my half-conscious stupors, I was thinking about Lost Witness the music project (check them out on YouTube if you’ve never listened to their stuff; they’re awesome) and thought, “Hmm, that would be a good book title.” At that point, I forced myself into a sitting position, wiped the drool off my chin, and started figuring out the story.
My third published novel might be the first one I wrote in 2004, except I’m still debating the title. Back then I vacillated between two different titles and I still am not completely happy with either of them. That book took me two years to write and is now going on ten years to come up with a title. So, if I end up publishing a book titled Hot ’N Sexy, you’ll know I simply ran out of ideas. And don’t judge; it will be the best mystery novel you’ve ever read.
Title: Lost Witness by Marla Bradeen
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Comedy
Word Count: 127,000
Take one overbearing mother, one adulterous father’s departed ghost, an unexplained tube of cherry ChapStick, and what do you get? A three-year-old question of who witnessed a man’s fatal car crash.
Follow Betsy Holmes as she attempts to solve this haunting mystery while struggling to maintain some semblance of control within her difficult family. When not bickering with her mother, parenting two rebellious teenage daughters, suffering through visits from an uninvited ex-husband, or working in weekend sex with her boyfriend, Betsy’s digging into her late father’s sordid past.
Brace yourself, Betsy. Your shameful family secrets are about to be exposed . . . and you may not like what you discover.
Ms. Bradeen is giving away one digital copy (ePub or mobi format ONLY) to one lucky commenter. To enter today’s contest:
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It’s that easy! The winner will be selected using random.org.