Friday, 26 November 2010

Title Fight Anne Cassidy

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?


Katherine Langrish said...

You can't win! For the record, indigestion never occurred to me.

Debs Riccio said...

lol, Anne, I'm always ignoring my husband's remarks. What the heck does a carpenter know about voice, characterisation, tenses and subplots? Pah! Have to say I prefer 'I Owe You' but, you're right, saying out loud does turn it into IOU. And, like Katherine, the indigestion connection didn't occur until your husband's comment! Good luck with this (the book I mean, not the husband.. although...)

Elaine AM Smith said...

Working titles verses the real thing - what a struggle. I would hate to find myself in the position of having to explain the title when the target audience didn't get what I meant. (Although, perhaps I'd only hate it a very little bit ;) )

Savita Kalhan said...

Indigestion didn't occur to me either, and I don't think it generally occurs to kids or teens -until they reach middle-age!

Sarah Taylor-Fergusson said...

Very impressed with your logic and decision-making. And getting it past a marketing department intact!

Stroppy Author said...

(Will occur to teen readers who have been pregnant.) I sympathise. Currently feeling besotted with potential new agent who claims to have a whole host of people who dream up titles, which is just what I need at the moment as my working title won't work.

But we'll all read it whatever the title!