If you’ve been following along on my meandering author journey, you’ll know I’ve been going on about The Trilogy In Process for most of the year.
I’ve mentioned first drafts of book three, final drafts of book one, and the second draft of the second book…which is all getting a bit numerical for blog that has nothing to do with math.
Which means a few weeks ago it was time to sit down and come up with titles for these pesky books and the series as a whole. A task I looked forward to with about as much enthusiasm as a dental cleaning.
Let’s Start with the Series
All along I’ve been calling these the Cassie Black books because the main character’s name is, you guessed it, Cassie Black (but is that really her name? hmmm????).
I didn’t think that had much of a ring to it and thought I’d try to be more clever in my naming. Time to put on the thinking cap.
The books take a very reluctant Cassie from the “real” Portland to a magic community within Portland. It’s a long time before she learns the official name of this community, so in the meantime she calls it MagicLand.
So, I thought, what about The MagicLand Trilogy. Which Mr. Husband shot down pretty quickly as sounding too much like a kiddie book.
Okay, back to the drawing board. And back to the setting.
Portland’s unofficial motto is Keep Portland Weird. In the first book, Cassie learns this is a twisting of the original motto, Keep Portland Wyrd — “wyrd” being an old word for witchy-magicky things in general.
So how about The Keep Portland Wyrd Trilogy. Well, my first test of this had more than one person asking what in the world “Wyrd” meant. Since I’d really like to not confuse my readers before they ever pick up the book (I should wait until at least page 54), I scrapped that one too.
So what to do? Well, what about what I’d originally been calling it…The Cassie Black Trilogy? So far, I’ve had no objections, which means we have a winner! It’s not terribly clever, but at least it’s easy to say and type :))
A Trio of Titles for the Cassie Black Trilogy
Luckily, I had a head start on this one. I already knew what the title of Book One would be: The Undead Mr. Tenpenny.
Hoorah!! One down, two to go. Two very empty, very naked, very unnamed books. Ah hell.
About that first title. These books aren’t exactly about zombies, but the dead do have a nasty habit of waking up around Cassie. A real problem as she works in a funeral home.
I wanted the title to represent this initial trouble our Cassie faces (the Undead) and a little of the humor that runs through the trilogy (personally, I find the name Mr Tenpenny amusing…maybe I’m easily entertained).
So, book one…done and done.
The second book takes places mainly within the Tower of London, specifically in the White Tower. Thanks to magic (and to some authorial liberties with architecture), the White Tower has more rooms and floors than William the Conqueror ever planned for. So my first idea for this book’s title was The Hidden White Tower.
I know, kind of bland, huh? And if said too quickly, might sound like the Hidden White Power, which is NOT what I want anyone to think I’m promoting.
There’s also a raven that plays a key role in the book. So maybe the Hidden Tower Raven?
And I still had book three which I had absolutely NO idea what it should be titled. Mainly because I hadn’t written it yet.
Time to break out the thesaurus.
I’m not kidding. I went through the beginning pages of my thesaurus where they list words relating to emotions and feelings. I came up with a huge list of words tied to secrets, strength, quirks. But one stood out…uncanny.
Cue the big light bulb over my head!!
If all the books had an “un” word as the main adjective it would give the trilogy a nice little bit of branding and cohesion. YES!!!
This time I broke out the dictionary and scoured all the adjectives beginning with “un”.
“Uncanny” stuck and I really wanted to keep that raven in there, so book two soon became christened The Uncanny Raven Winston.
But what about the third book? I don’t want to get too deep into the weeds of the plot and magic system just yet, but my magic system involves plenty of physics, namely quantum physics in which particles are tangled and doing something to one particle means you also affect its entangled particle.
Which is why I got a little too giddy when I read down the list of “un” words and found “untangled”. Could the life of titling get any better?
And so, moments later, the third book was named The Untangled Cassie Black.
It was a bit of a struggle, but I really like these titles. I like tying them together with the “Un” but also managing to make the series even more cohesive by using a name in each title. I rarely fall into such a lovely bit of branding stew.
So….do you like the titles? What do you think of the series title? If you’re a writer, how do you go about naming your books?
Have a great week, and I’ll be back very soon to show off the covers for the series!!!
By the way…on December 1st, subscribers to my newsletter are getting a HUGE sample (14 chapters) of The Undead Mr. Tenpenny. If you want to get your hands on that sample, be sure to sign up today. You’ll also get my short story Mrs. Morris Meets Death as a sign-up gift..
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