If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


February Interviews













2/5 Heather Weidner, Glitter, Glam, and Contraband
2/12 Rhys Bowen, Above The Bay of Angels
2/19 Elizabeth Penney, Hems & Homicide
2/26 Annette Dashofy, Under The Radar


Saturday Guest Bloggers:
2/1 Valerie Burns
2/8 Jeannette de Beauvoir
2/15 Kathryn Lane

WWK Bloggers: 2/22 Kait Carson, 1/28 & 1/29 Special Interviews with Agatha Nominees by Paula Gail Benson

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WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel (wish they weren't having to compete against each other), and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination!


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."


Kaye George's first novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Revenge is Sweet, will be released on March 10th. Look for the interview here on March 11.


Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, will be released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here on April 29th.


Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!


KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.


Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.


Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.



Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Titles

I love book titles. My all-time favorite, If I’d Killed Him When I Met Him..., by Sharyn McCrumb says it all. After reading the book, I knew the title was apt. McCrumb has a knack for titling. Another of her books, The PMS Outlaws, brings visions to mind making me smile. I appreciate the art of titling because a good title attracts readers and provides a taste of the content. But the best titles also give the reader a notion of the tone of the book.

McCrumb’s title, If I’d Killed Him When I Met Him..., suggests the following:

• Murder is probably involved
• The murderer may be the protagonist
• The male victim is in all probability a despicable character
• The protagonist has regrets
• The victim did something to deserve the protagonist’s ire
• There is a timing element in which the protagonist realized her error
• Her procrastination may have allowed the victim to do something terrible
• The protagonist has judged and sentenced the man
• The death sentence may have been carried out but,
• Murdering the man sooner would have been better.

The title suggests many notions to the reader before buying the book. The reader is intrigued to the point of wanting to buy it to find out what the man did to create such emotion. But not only does the title induce finding out about the man, it also gives us a taste of the protagonist’s attitude about the situation. That attitude is the tone of the book.

McCrumb allows her main character to justify murder, setting the reader up before the first page is turned. In the case of some people, murder may just be the perfect solution. It’s a naughty concept. We like it! (And maybe the thought has occurred to us too.)

Tone is a nebulous concept. It is the line between the lines that reveal the authors’ feelings and attitudes about their own characters. In the McCrumb example, the tone reveals the author feels that her main character is a good person who possesses good judgment with a bit of naiveté, but who also has enough guts to get the job done once she’s assessed the situation. (The reader makes the assumption the protagonist is a woman, but isn’t sure.) We like her. Her humor’s on the black side. She’s retrospective and regretful about what she hasn’t done, which may have prevented something worse, but would have taken action had she been quicker on the uptake. So much like ourselves…

So often authors want a short and glib title with great alliteration, something catchy that they think will attract the reader, which isn’t a bad objective, and sometimes those titles do the job. But giving the reader all that McCrumb’s title gives is much better. Think verbs describing what happens, think nouns in terms of content and think about the tone of your book, the intentions of the main character. It’s a hard task.

Have you gone round in circles over your title? What’s your favorite title?

I thought I had mine, but maybe…

6 comments:

Warren Bull said...

Sharyn MCCrumb is graet at titles. I like The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter,

Kara Cerise said...

Great example! I think it is very difficult to create a title that provides content, tone and is memorable. One of my favorite classic titles is Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None."

E. B. Davis said...

I liked a lot of Christie's titles. "And Then There Were None" is terrific, but then I also liked "Sparkling Cyanide."

Maryn Sinclair said...

Titles can make or break a book. I had a real problem with one recently, which never happened to me before. A title usually pops into my head, and there it stays. Same with character names. Not this time. Makes me worried about the book.

Betsy Bitner said...

Whenever I come across a good title I wonder "Why didn't I think of that?" Because I'm bad at thinking up titles, that's why. I agree that a good one will make me pick up a book. Your examples are great, E.B. and I also like "A Bad Day For Sorry" by Sophie Littlefield. Gives you a little taste of the protag's mindset.

E. B. Davis said...

I worry about my title all the time since it has the word "fear" in it. There are a lot of titles containing that word, none exactly like mine, but it also has to convey the right tone so that the reader isn't ticked off when the book doesn't meet her expectations based on the title. A short title can be catchy but may also create false expectations.