I generally like one-word titles, but sometimes I see a title that’s so good I have a physical reaction, accompanied by a small jealous whine, as I scan the book to see if the awesomeness outside matches the awesomeness inside. Here are a few of my favorite titles.
1) A Certain Slant of Light by Cynthia Thayer or Laura Whitcomb. They both used this title. I haven’t read either. I’m too jealous to go pick it up—I love this title that much. I have a ragged index card with titles on it and… Yup, A Certain Slant of Light is on it. It’s perfect! My editor said that it’s okay to use the same title as long as it’s been three years or more between publications. I’ll never use this one, though. I’m going to sneak in another one here: The Way a Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith and Shane W. Evans. That’s another one where I went, “Man, I wish I’d thought of that.”
2) When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt. This is long, but is perfect for the book. I have read it and loved it. When I closed it and wished I there were more by KWH. Her other great title is My Louisiana Sky. Another beautiful book.
3) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Perfect YA title. Perfect YA book. My son read it several times. It’s now a classic.
4) Girl, Interrupted. This is a cool title and it matches the book beautifully. It’s not a one-word title, but it’ll do. If you have to use more than one word, make it count.
5) Thicker Than Water by P. J. Parrish, Kathryn Harrison, Maggie Shayne, Carla Jablonski There really are four novels with this title. When I first started Buried it was called Thicker Than Water. I loved the title and at the time I discovered the others I felt it was stolen from me. Fortunately, my story evolved and the title no longer fit so I wasn’t faced with what to do. It’s fascinating to see all four books with the title on Amazon and to notice how the words have lost their impact.