Friday, February 25, 2011

Letting Go

It's funny, but when I started dreaming up the first book in what would become the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, the title came first; Hoosier Dead Guy? I thought it was mildly funny, and it made me smile. That was a year-and-a-half ago. I've turned the first book in (November 30th, 2010) and am about halfway through writing the first draft of the second book, but the process of titling and cover illustration for Book 1 of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series is about to begin.

My lovely editor warned me that they might want to brainstorm a new title, and it was pointed out to me by my fabulous agent (Hi, Jessica!) that when most folks hear the word 'Hoosier', they think of the college basketball team. (I don't; when I hear 'Hoosier' I think of kitchen cabinets) Or they remember the Gene Hackman movie about the college basketball team.

Basketball? Yikes. The last thing I want is for folks to buy my book thinking they are getting a basketball mystery, though I think one would do very well. But that reader, expecting a sporty mystery with a feisty Indiana basketball team, might not want to end up with a vintage kitchenware collecting, tea drinking, girly girl heroine in a mystery centered around a Hoosier kitchen cabinet.

So, what I'm working up to is this bit of publishing world truth; most writers know that the title of their work is always subject to change. It's difficult sometimes, because if they're like me, they get wedded to their title, and find it hard to break free. But this time I surrendered with grace. I'm proud of myself! I have learned this time around that one must let go and trust the process. Think of your title from all angles, listen to input, take advice. And it truly is best to be a part of the process so you'll end up with something that you like.

After some consideration, and some tweaking of the plot, we brainstormed and found a new working title: A Deadly Grind. I won't tell you yet why that is the perfect title--and no, it's not gross--but it is just right. I can't wait to see my cover, which I still hope will have some rendering of a Hoosier-type kitchen cabinet, much like the one pictured above.

This lovely photo is used with the permission of John Lucas: http://www.johnbob.net/hoosier.html

Visit his wonderful and entertaining page today, if you, like me, are interested in the vintage kitchen!

8 comments:

  1. I like your new title and can't wait until it's published and can check out the meaning. Of course, I'm also looking forward to the book for other reasons!

    I must admit, I would have thought Gene Hackman, too.

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  2. Any chance of a vintage coffee grinder on the cover sitting pretty on top of the Hoosier? They all have such a grace and elegance and would be whimsical with your title...unless of course someone gets "ground" and then, erm...LESS whimsical. lol

    I think the new title is fascinating and certainly is making me wonder about the book! I can't wait for it to be out!

    GOOD FOR YOU for surrendering with grace! "Pick your battles" is something that I suspect applies in the publishing world as well. =)

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us.

    Janece
    @gourmetmama

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  3. Hey, Erika, thanks for posting and reaffirming that I did the right thing in choosing a new title.

    And Janece... noooo, not a coffee grinder. I'll leave that to Cleo Coyle and her fabulous Coffeehouse series! Glad you're guessing, though!

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  4. Sorry to be the fly in the ointment, but I have always thot of the piece of furniture. Love the first title. BUT I am a big girl and I can live with change and I WILL buy the book no matter the title. (Just let me know so I buy the correct book...ok??)

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  5. Nice to know someone else is like me, Rita! LOL.

    And you can bet I'll let eeeveryone know the title when it comes out. And the date. And where it can be bought!!

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  6. I'll look out for your book. Sounds like one I would enjoy.
    Ann

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  7. Hope you do, Ann, enjoy the series when it starts!

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