Peek at the Process: Where do my titles come from?

Hey, everyone! A few days ago, a friend asked me, “What’s your process for picking your titles?” And thus, today’s post was born.

I’ll admit, this process can change from book to book, but five times out of ten, I have the titles before I’ve written one word. The reason?

A lot of times I have the twist or highest point of drama in mind before I begin to write. That’s where my titles The Compact, Gut Check, Would You Have Believed Me? and so on, came from.

“But, what drama can a Marshmallow Float cause?” you say. haha You’ll have to wait and find out. This title would be part of the four out of ten times. There are several upcoming titles from me which are part of the Shop series my publisher is doing. With those, we generally pick our “flavor” a Cherry Marshmallow Float, in the case of the Soda Shop series. One of the stipulations to be a part of the shop series is to include your flavor in your title.

A third option that can happen on a rare occasion, is to find a cover I adore; my publisher has premade covers we can choose from too. In the case of my upcoming novel The Clockwork Killer, I was bored one day and scrolling through the latest cover selections and found one I absolutely loved. It spoke to my imagination and I had to have it! The stipulation with my publisher, though, is in order to claim a premade cover, we must be able to send in the title, blurb, genre, tagline, and so on within 24 hours. This cover was a gem, and I knew if I didn’t snap it up, someone was going to. Problem was, it was 11pm, I was tucked into bed, and had nothing to send my publisher. I stared at this beautiful cover and began concocting. Once I found the seed, I pulled up the notes app on my phone and began typing. I’d never had everything come to me so quickly. Turns out, I had a story idea I’ve been sitting of for a while that fit perfectly, with a few minor adjustments. The cover inspired the plot, and the plot inspired the title. That’s how, The Clockwork Killer was born.

All my titles are inspired by the stories they lead, sometimes they come from the cover, others the stories introduce themselves, but always, they capture my mind and inspire their titles to take readers on a twisting journey through my imagination.

Sincerely,

Justina

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