Monday, September 25, 2017

Choosing the Perfect Title by Linda O'Connor

Roses and Readers, join me in welcoming Linda O'Connor as guest blogger today!
Choosing a title for a book can sometimes be tricky. When I signed a publishing contract with Soul Mate Publishing for my first book, Perfectly Honest, I was surprised to learn that the author chooses the title and writes the blurb on the back of the book. I had imagined a team of marketing professionals doing that! But, I have to say, I was very happy that I was allowed to have input. I know some authors who don’t start to write their book until they’ve nailed down a title, but I have to wait until the book is finished. There’s a lot to consider. The title has to be catchy, not too long (for promoting), and reflect the genre of the book –a romantic comedy will have a very different feel versus a romantic suspense or historical romance. I usually search the internet to see how many other books have the same title because I’d rather pick something unique. Perfectly Honest is about two doctors who get caught up in a little white lie that spirals out of control and causes a lot of change in their life. Initially, I picked The Whole Truth for the story, but then I worried it was too close to An Inconvenient Truth. And then I wanted to use To Be Perfectly Honest but there were a number of other stories with that name already. By then I knew I wanted this story to be the first in a series, and I had the idea to use Perfectly Honest and start the subsequent titles with Perfectly – and the Perfectly Series was born! When I submitted this to my editor at Soul Mate Publishing, she noted that there was another book that was soon to be released with a similar title. She suggested naming it It’s in the Stars, Follow Your Stars, or Stars in Your Eyes because each chapter starts with a horoscope (a little fun foreshadowing). But when I discussed my idea of the series, she was happy to leave it as Perfectly Honest. Whew! I’ve had fun coming up with the other Perfectly Series titles – and I’m perfectly happy with the way it turned out. 

About Perfectly Honest (Perfectly Series Book 1)

You never know where your words will take you.

When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s ‘fiancée’ for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor. Sam O’Brien, aka ‘Dr. Eye Candy’, is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down.  But when his ‘fiancée’ helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his ‘fiancée’ ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted. Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven! 


Mikaela woke with a start to the sound of voices. Disoriented, in unfamiliar surroundings, she looked down at her short shorts and loose shirt covered with spatters of paint. Painting, of course. She must have fallen asleep in the chair, and checking her watch, she saw that it was two o’clock in the morning. Shit. She rubbed her eyes and yawned. Pulling herself out of the chair, she listened to the voices. One voice was female, sounding impatient and unhappy and one male, sounding apologetic and resigned.

“I know it’s not ideal, Sophia, but it’s what I want. I’m tired of the large city, the tertiary care center, and all the politics. I’m tired of all the meetings and all the committees. I want a smaller hospital in a smaller city. I want a life.”

“Nonsense, Sam,” the woman shot back. “You don’t know what you want or what’s good for you. You need to pay your dues now to reap the benefits later.”

“Look, I don’t expect you to understand. I’m grateful you’ve agreed to help me out, but . . . ”

Mikaela wandered into the hallway and stopped when she saw the two of them at the front door. The woman had unbuttoned her coat, and as she put her hands on her hips, there was a flash of the red cocktail dress she wore underneath. The man was a foot taller and wearing a suit. A very nice fitting suit, Mikaela mused, as she came up behind him.

The woman noticed Mikaela first, and her startled gasp had the man looking over his shoulder. Mikaela wasn’t sure who looked more shocked, the man, who moved to shield the woman, or the woman, who raked her gaze over Mikaela from head to toe. As Mikaela fought the urge to straighten her shirt and fix her hair, she decided, definitely, the woman.

The woman’s eyes narrowed, the hands on her hips became clenched at her sides, and her face flushed red. Mikaela held her breath.

The woman pushed at the man’s shoulder and spun him around to face her. “Why you! You! 'I can’t invite you in, the house is being painted,'” she mimicked. “Is that the new code word for 'mistress?' You could have just told me we were through. Well, I’m done. This is the last straw. You pig!” The woman spun on her heel and wrenched the door open.

“Sophia, wait!”

“No, wait,” Mikaela added. She lurched forward, now wide-awake.

The woman stormed out and slammed the door.
The man turned to Mikaela. “Who the hell are you?” 

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Linda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at the local home décor store. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories :D ). She hangs out at

Laugh every day. Love every minute. 

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Margo Hoornstra said...

Welcome, Linda. Great series idea and engaging excerpt. Thanks for an entertaining read. Best of luck in your new writing career.

Leah St. James said...

Welcome, Linda! Great to have you here. I love the story premise and excerpt! I'm definitely hooked. I agree, titles are so important. I struggle with them, but yours sounds...uh.. perfect. :-) Wishing you much success!

Linda O'Connor said...

Thanks very much for the warm welcome! I'm delighted to be visiting.

Jannine Gallant said...

Love your perfectly idea. Titles are fun. I used song lyrics/titles for a couple of my series: Every Move She Makes, Every Step She Takes, etc. My Born To Be Wilde series segued out of that idea: Wilde One, Wilde Side, Wilde Thing, etc. I think readers are drawn to the familiar, so a catchy lyric or phrase might make someone unfamiliar with your work pause...and that's the first step toward a sale. Good luck with your series!

Rolynn Anderson said...

I'm feeling lucky when the title I want for my next suspense novel hasn't already been taken by a rock band! Who knew how many music groups there were trying to play with words like I was. Heavy sigh. I'm glad you got your titles and it's nice to know another doctor/writer along with my friend, Carey Baldwin.

Diane Burton said...

Welcome, Linda. You are so right that the title should't be too long. I discovered that after writing the 1st book in a series where all start with "The Case of the..." Too long (esp. for Twitter) but I was committed. Maybe I should've been committed. LOL Your series sounds great. Best wishes.

Linda O'Connor said...

Thanks! I find I have to google it to make sure there isn't a movie or like you said, Rolynn, a song title with the same name. It's tricky but very satisfying when you find a catchy title that fits!

Andrea Downing said...

I have no problem with titles, really, though with the book I'm working on now it was something of a struggle. Since it takes place out west during the 70s I looked for a 70s country music song to use and started with Ring of Fire, but then I realized they (the h/h) were always thinking about each other after they broke up so used Always on My Mind. Guess we'll see if I stick with that!

Alicia Dean said...

I often have a difficult time with titles and usually change them a few times during the process. Love how you came up with your title. Glad the editor let you keep it. Congrats on the latest book!