Names & Faces: Titles and Covers

Names & Faces:  Titles and Covers.  Shadow Falls Book Two Unveiled.

When I was pregnant, I fretted over finding the perfect name for my baby and I spent hours trying to imagine what my baby’s face would look like.  While I had no say in the baby’s facial features, the name was on me.  This was no little task.  Names are important.  I would latch on to one name for a day or so, try it out by saying it out loud over and over.  Meanwhile, I would pat my baby bump while repeating it, with hopes of getting a kick of approval from the child who would go through life with this name.  I dreamed up dozens of names, some of them were a bit ridiculous.  I opted out of naming it after my grandfather.  Burnett Bankhead Craig.  Nope, that just didn’t work.  I know some people who have several names picked out and they wait to see the baby’s face before making a final decision.  And that makes sense; a name should be reflective of person’s character.  I’ve heard of some couples having heated arguments over a baby’s name.  Basically, naming a baby is hard work.

Well, since I’ve been a writer, I’ve realized that picking out a title for a book, is much like naming a child.  You want it to be reflective of what the book is about.   But like most parents who name the child before it’s born, most writers pick a title before they’re even finished with a manuscript.  Heck, some writers have a title before they even have a plot.  And just like choosing a name for your baby, you don’t want the title of your book to sound stupid, or be one that everyone will poke fun of.  It would be as bad as naming a boy Anne, or Burnett.  (Yeah, I know, I gave the name to one of my characters, but he’s vampire and no one would poke fun at him.)  You want the name of your book to be unique, but not so unique that people can’t remember it.  Nor do you want it to be so common that everyone and their pet gerbil has the same name.  And as parents are often known to argue over names, some writers argue with their publishers over titles.  And guess what?   Generally speaking, a publisher has the final say over the title of author’s book.

Not that it’s always a bad thing.  Publishing professionals often have a keen insight to the market.  When I first wrote Born at Midnight, I titled it, Bone Creek Camp.  I was told they liked the title to use for the series, but I needed another name for the book.  So I came up with, The Secret, referring to the secret Kylie’s parents always kept hidden from her.  My editor liked it, but said with the nonfiction book “The Secret” already out, she thought we’d best go with something different.  I came up with several other titles, one of which was Born at Midnight.  Everyone was happy.  But then the publisher took the title of the series and the book to the marketing department.  They thought Bone Creek Camp sounded like a western novel.  I had to admit, they had a point.

So it was back to the grindstone on titles for the series.  My editor came up with several.  I picked my favorite title from hers.  I liked Shadow Falls, but duh, at the time the book didn’t have a falls in it.  So I went back into the book and found a way to work in a waterfall.  And I loved what happened.  The whole concept of the falls kept adding layers to the plot.  While Kylie never makes it to the falls in book one, in book two, the scene at the falls is one of my favorite.

Then it was time to name the second book.  I came up with Cold at Dawn, referring to how Kylie’s ghost has a bad habit of waking her up at dawn with the icy chill of the spirit’s presence.  My editor countered with Awake at Dawn.  It made sense and I liked it, so we didn’t even have to get out the name-that-book boxing gloves.  And last week, like getting the initial peek at my baby’s face, I got my first glimpse of Awake At Dawn’s cover.  Amazingly, they depicted the scene where Kylie first saw the falls.  I love it.

Since we’re talking names and titles, I thought it might be interesting to hear what you think of your own names?  Did your parents do you a favor by giving you the name you have, or do you wonder what the heck they were thinking?  If you could change your name, what would you change it to be?  And . . . since you are all readers, tell me what you like to see in a title and a cover in a book?  Does a title or cover provoke you to buy a book?

One person who posts will win a goodie bag of Shadow Falls swag, which includes a bookmark, a brush and mirror compact, a pen, a notepad, and a signed bookplate.  So come on, let’s have fun and post some comments.  Oh, and make sure you come back tomorrow to see who won and send me your snail mail address so I can send you prize.

CC

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C.C. Hunter
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34 Responses to Names & Faces: Titles and Covers

  1. Jaye Garland says:

    Great post, Christie and I Love, love, LOVE your new book cover! I’m one of those who hear a phrase and say, “Oh, what a great title for a book.” So far, I’m happy with my own book titles but have yet to go nose-to-nose with an agent or editor on this issue. Maybe one day soon? As for my name, several years back, another writer told me she liked my name…and was I keeping it….? Oh Yes, I’m keeping it!

    • CC says:

      Jaye,

      You do have a great name. I’d keep it, too. C.C. Hunter is a pen name, but C.C. is sort of my real nickname. And Hunt was my maiden name.

      Thanks so much for stopping in.

      CC

  2. My Given name is Stacyann. All one word no middle name. When I was growing up I hated my name, no one ever spelled it right or they would say it like it was 2 different words or write it as 2 different words so I just started going by Stacy (and still do) I use to think I would love to change it but as I grew up I realized its a great name and now I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    Its not usually the title that provokes me into buying a book but the picture on the cover, I find if I dont like the picture I usually dont even pick it up.

    • CC says:

      Stacy,

      My real name is Christie. It gets spelled so many different ways. Years ago, I had a reporter write an article on me and she spelled it three different ways in the article. LOL.

      I’m drawn to covers, too. And I guess I look for a cover that reflects the kind of book I’m looking to read. If I want a light read, I look for a cover that says . . . light. If I’m in the mood for something dark, I’ll pick up a book that reflects that tone and mood.

      Thanks so much for stopping in, Stacy. And I did make sure I spelled it right. I have friends who spells it …ey.
      CC

  3. Sandy says:

    Love the cover, CC.

  4. Terri says:

    Beautiful cover, Christie! Very eye-catching!
    I’ve never had a problem with my name, although I think it must have been very popular in the early 60′s because you won’t find many people under the age of 45 with this name. (makes me feel special–hah). My mother gave my brothers and sisters and I all “American” names I guess because she felt we’d have less of a chance being discrimated against.
    Congrats on the new book, btw!!
    {{hugs}}

  5. Aydrea says:

    First off I have to say that I won an advanced copy of Born at Midnight and absolutely LOVED it! I cannot wait for Awake at Dawn, the cover is gorgeous :)

    My name is Aydrea (like Andrea with a Y and it is a long A sound). I love my name because it is unique and people always comment on it, however almost everyone pronounces it wrong and it can get annoying. I almost correct people before they even try to say it because it will most likely be wrong. It is even a problem with my college professors!

    • CC says:

      Aydrea,

      Thanks. I thrilled you enjoyed BAM. I was happy that my publisher gave away so many ARCs. I like your name. I’m always looking for different names to use in my novels.

      Thanks for stopping in.

      CC

  6. Jody says:

    C.C. Love the book. Love the cover. I even love you, baby sister.
    Jody

  7. Alexis Salcido says:

    I am absolutely am in lovee with the Awake At Dawn cover! Congrats! It looks perfect next to the first one. I think my name really suits me, my parents actually said they argued whether to name me Alexa or Alexis. Well, my mom won and my name is Alexis :D I am actually really glad and I love my name! Congrats C.C. on Born at Midnight and the cover and title for your second book. I cannot wait to read BORN AT MIDNIGHT! Thanks so much for hosting this contest :)

    • CC says:

      Alexis,

      Thanks so much. I agree, it looks good beside the other cover. As a writer, it’s important that my books all sort of have a theme, a look that when a reader sees it, they automatically think it’s my book. And I think that’s what they’ve done. I told someone recently that the theme the publisher seemed to pick for me and Shadow Falls is . . . a little person in a big place. And it works.

      Thanks so much for dropping by.

      CC

  8. Gorgeous cover, Christie!!

  9. I love the cover for Born at Midnight! That tree is just amazing! And Awake at Dawn is beautiful too. Great titles too–very catchy. I have to admit that I’m equally drawn to covers and titles. Often, I’m perusing spines at the library, and you don’t get to see much picture, but either of these titles would grab my attention. And once I saw the cover, I’d be a goner.

    As for my name, I wish my parents had spelled it correctly (Cassie) because I get called Casey all the time. However, I suppose it is unique, which helps an author stand out from the crowd!

  10. CC says:

    Thanks, Cassy. I like titles, too. Of my other seven novels, all but one was my own title. I can be chatting with someone and they say something and suddenly, I pop out, “Oh, that would make a great title.”

    And for your name, I’ll bet they thought they were being clever. At least, they don’t know misspell your name. My mom has. LOL.

    Thanks for stopping in.

    CC

  11. Christie,
    You’ve hit the title/cover jackpot twice over. Congratulations!

    As for names, like most kids, I didn’t like mine growing up, mostly because it didn’t lend itself to any cool nicknames and I desperately wanted one. But I guess I’ve grown into Colleen, or it’s grown on me. :)

    It’s also a name you never hear associated with young girls anymore.

  12. Amber says:

    My name is Amber, and I use to hate it. I had like 10 different Ambers around me all the time. My best friend in kindergarten was named Amber and because we had the same name we could not sit together. Now I like it. It seems like a nice almost unique name.

    About covers and book names. Well this is why I wanted to read this book so bad. And I won it on goodreads!! YAY! I loved it by the way!!! I had no idea what it was about but was drawn to the book. I love neat covers. I am getting sick of up close face shots. I like some backround and different things.

    I know you should not judge a book by its name or cover. I so learned that. I wouldn’t read Vampire Academy or Morganville Vampires for a while because of their name and now they are my favorites. But really if you do not know a book those things do make you think about reading them.

    • Amber says:

      Oh one more thing. I hated my last name my whole life. It was Pruchnicki so I was always determined when I was married it was going to be something so easy. Well I got Imbrogno. and well its so not easy.

      Also when I was younger probably until like 10 yrs or so ago I wanted my name to be Snow.lol. Thought it would be fun.

      • admin says:

        Amber,

        I like the name Amber. I’ve always had that one on my possible character name list. But you’re right, they are a lot of Ambers. And I love it that you wanted an easier name and got one just as hard. You were probably destined to do that the day you swore to marry someone with an easy name. Thanks so much for stopping in.

        CC

  13. P.M says:

    your cover catched my attetion at first sight while i was in borders.com, i’ve no idea if i while be able to buy it soon becouse i’m from Uruguay, a contry in betwen Argentina and Brasil, and all the books take ages to come in, but my dad travels alot so i’ll make sure he buy it!!!
    my name is Patricia Mayte, i totally hate my first name so i go by my second, but i would prefer Alex or Vanesa or anything like that
    i’ve promise my self to change my name!!!

    • CC says:

      Hi Mayte,

      I like the sound of Mayte. Thanks so much for stopping by. I know that a Brazilian publisher bought rights to publish my book so you might can find it there.

      Thanks again for posting.

      CC

  14. Wow! Thank you! I constantly wanted to write on my blog something like that. Can I include a part of your post to my blog? http://quizilla.teennick.com/stories/18183558/jailbreak-iphone

  15. Jessie Mariah says:

    Before I was born my father was closer to my grandmother than any of his two brothers. He was the baby you see. Grandma Sharen always wanted a daughter, my father was determined he was going to have a daugter and would spend afternoons with Grandma Sharen determining a name for his future daughter. After Grandma Sharen passed away from a brain tumor (I kid you not) all her five grandchildren were girls, including myself. I was born not even a year after she passed away with the name her and my father had come up with. Jessie Mariah. Mom even claims that when she was having a nightmare of her losing her child, Grandma Sharen visited her in her dream and told her that “Jessie will be alright.” She said after that dream she realized she really had no choice in the matter of my name. Said she didn’t argue with a ghost.

  16. Abigail Odom says:

    My name is Abigail, and I LOVE that name. I have the same name as a first lady, and of one of my favorite teen actresses, Abigail Breslin. But i have seen some… intresting spellings in the past, and its not even that hard to spell! Ive seen Abbygail, Abigale, Abygale, its crazy! But still, I love name. And now, about your amazing covers. The only reason I began the Shadow Falls Series a couple months ago, was because I had gone to My Grandmothers booksigning, (it was for her new mini-book “Absolutely Adorable”). I had been browsing the shelves when a certain book caught my eye. It was a beautiful cover with a blonde in a tree, intitled “Born at Midnight”. I picked it up, read the back cover, began the book, and had to buy it. It automatically became my favorite book. When I finished and saw the preview for book 2, Awake at Dawn, I had to go out and find that one too. When I saw the preview for book 3, I was too happy. I put the release date on my calender and made a countdown fo April 10th. The day it came out, I went straight after school and bought it. I could’nt put it down! Now I’ve gotten my 3 best friends hooked as well, and I can’t wait ’till this come October, when I will have the teffific privilege to read book 4 of the Shadow Falls Series, Whispers at Moonrise. Thank you C.C. Hunter, for writing the absolute BEST book series, I have ever read.

  17. chelz says:

    I like my name, it describes me. I’m girly, talkative, and loud. If I had to change my name I would have changed it to Cameron. But I’d rather keep my name. Cameron is just a name some of my friends call me.

    I absolutely love the names in shadow falls series!!!! Now I feel like I want to change my name to kylie!!!!!!!

  18. Pingback: Cover Art Coverage: 7 new titles!All Things Urban Fantasy

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