on October 27, 2005

Karin gets credit for the name of this new blog. (Applause.)

Titles are not my strong suit. I thought they were when I first started writing. My first manuscript I called Hot Latte because the heroine went to the corner coffeehouse every morning. Then I came up with the catchy Protecting Hart, which was my female-bodyguard-protecting-sexy-politician story. Watch Your Back was my attempt at a real mystery (as opposed to suspense). Then came Fatal Secrets . . . my paranormal romantic suspense set in the future.

None of those books will be published. And the titles? I tried to resurrect the last two, but they didn’t fly . . . with my agent OR my editor.

That’s okay, though. Each unpublished manuscript was a learning experience.

The Copycat Killer
, my fifth completed manuscript, had it. What’s it? I don’t know, I just sensed this book had it. So I queried agents, ended up with a really good one, and she sold the book to Ballantine . . . under a different title. It sold as Dead Letter, per my fabulous agent. (And here I thought The Copycat Killer was a good title and had a twist, because the villain copies murders out of my heroine’s books.)

Almost immediately, my editor told me the title had to go.

Back to the drawing board, or rather the critique group. But none of the suggestions stuck, and my editor came back with Killing Secrets.

Okay. It fit. It started to grow on me.

Fast forward nearly a year. My editor calls. Title has got to go. Okay, what’s it going to be? Well, they tell me, why don’t I come up with some ideas? And while I’m at it, think about titles that will connect all three of my books.

And here, I thought naming my kids had been difficult.

Back to the crit group. This time, it was my good friend Kathia who had the idea. She’d read the second book of the trilogy, The Hunt, and loved the title. It fit the book. So she came up with The Chase, The Hunt and The Kill. I ran them by my agent . . . pass. Ran them by the editor . . . loved them.

Fast forward a couple months . . . The Chase has to go. The powers that be thought it sounded too soft for a rather dark romantic suspense. They came up with The Prey.

Why hadn’t I thought of that?

At least I titled one of my books.

So when the five of us started talking about titles for the blog, I stepped back. (Okay, actually I had a few ideas, all of which went past the group without comment. They were universally bad.)

Karin came up with Murder She Writes.

Natalie came up with our fabulous tag line, courtesy of Mae West.

And me? I’ll stick to writing hundred-thousand word books and leave the titles–and tag lines–to the experts.

Welcome to our blog. We hope you enjoy your stay.