I have a new book coming out in February called Heart Burn. It’s a story about a girl called Ashley who owes a favour to a boy called Tyler. She once had a relationship with this boy and she still has strong feelings for him. When she hears that he’s been beaten up and left for dead she is deeply shocked. Tyler asks her to go and see him in the hospital and then he asks for her help.
When I first thought of this story I had a working title in my head YOU OWE ME. I wrote a lot of the book calling it this. Then one day I didn’t like it. The story is told in the first person and it seemed better if the title contained the words of the girl. So I decided it had to be I OWE YOU.
I did a few school visits round this time and students often ask “What are you working on now?” I tried to explain the story to them and as soon as I said the title I OWE YOU an image of I O U came into my head. So the story ceased to be about a favour owed and became a kind of cash transaction. I spent a lot of time clarifying to the students what the title meant.
It wasn’t working so I threw it out.
When I looked at the story it was about a favour owed but that favour was only important because Ashley LOVED Tyler, had never gotten over him.
So the title HEART BURN seemed to fit.
I showed it to my husband and his response was “Indigestion?”
I ignored him. What does he know about teen fiction?