So, I was walking through Wallyworld today and while Jake and I were in the pet section–for munchy bones and food–I kept bobbing my head along to the song on the speaker system. One of the advantages of going there before 89 a.m. is that it’s quiet enough to actually hear the music. I LIKED the song and being a curious sort, I whipped out my smart phone, opened the Shazam app and hit go. If you are like me, I don’t always recognize songs even if I know that I like them. So, if you are like me and you don’t have Shazam or Sound Hound, get one or both. The app will listen to the song and tell you the title, the artist and where you can buy it.
Why am I talking about apps and music on Tuesday, when I usually talk about book titles and food? Well, there’s a couple of reasons. 1) I needed a topic for today. 2) I see a lot of song titles (and movie titles) get recycled for books. 3) I find music inspirational.
Some of you know the story of the first book I sold to Harlequin Desire. For those of you who don’t, this is the short version: I met my editor at a local converence and while I didn’t have a Harlequin to pitch, he still aske to read my MS of SEASON OF THE WITCH. He liked it. A lot, but yeah, not exactly his wheelhouse. I received the “rejection” letter the day before I left for New York for a BIG writing conference, a year after the much smaller local one. We met in NYC again and I popped off something to the effect of, “If I writing you a Harlequin Desire, can I send it to you?” He replied, “You write me a Harlequin Desire, I will hunt you down if you DON’T send it to me.” I cam home after that conference and bnaged my head against the wall. Trust me, Harlequin romances are not as easy to write as people seem to think. One day, I started my car to heaqd out for errands and Reba McIntire’s “Cowgirls Don’t Cry” came on the radio. By the time I got home, I had the plot, I hat the title, and six weeks later, I mailed that puppy off to the editor. And yeah, he bought it.
Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s like SEASON OF THE WITCH, which is the title of both a Donavan song (and yes, I AM dating myself because I remember when it first released) and there was also a Nicholas Cage movie by that name. Loved the song, the movie not so much.
Anyway, coming up with titles is not always easy. In fact, COWGIRL’S DON’T CRY is the ONLY title I ever submitted to Harlequin that was actually picked for the book. For my self-pubs, I have only myself to blame. There’s a lot that goes into picking a title. It has to be catchy and memorable. It has to fit the book–the story/plot arc and this is doubly true for genre books. I’m guilty of using song titles and/or catch phrases from songs for the Penumbra Papers books. I depend on music for inspiration when I’m writing them and yes, the song picked for the title usually has a big impact on the story. Granted, there are times, I have no clue until I’m close to the end. Then there are the books in a series where I start with the title and tailor the book to it, even though I usually have a good idea before I ever settle on the title. The Moonstruck world series are examples of this.
Anyway, I’m babbling but I thought I’d share a bit of backstory and insight. I’m always curious how authors come up with titles and how often their working title becomses the published title. If you are an author and care to share, inquiring midns (MINE!) want to know. Readers, what’s the one title you always remember?
And now for the treats, because you know, it’s Tuesday and there’s supposed to be food. Munchy bones and kibble don’t count. Except for Puppy Chow. 😉
1 (12 oz) box Rice Chex cereal could also use corn
1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips could also use dark choco, milk choco, etc.
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (2 lb) bag powdered sugar or less to taste.
1 – Place cereal into a large bowl. Set aside.
2 – Place chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a large microwave safe bowl.
3 – Microwave for 60 seconds and then stir until smooth. If the chocolate chips haven’t melted enough, microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the mixture is completely melted.
4 – Stir in vanilla extract.
5 – Pour the chocolate mixture over the Chex cereal and stir together gently with a spatula. DO NOT OVER MIX. The cereal pieces should be completely coated in chocolate, but it’s ok for a few to clump together.
6 – Pour the powdered sugar over the mixture. Use as much or as little as you like, but I think this is best when no chocolate shows through. Gently stir to combine. Again, don’t over mix.
Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container!
Yep, music and books go together like… chocolate and peanut butter? Two great tastes that taste great together. Heh. Now look who’s dating herself. Anyway… I love how you mix music with your writing. Cowgirls Don’t Cry is an awesome book, btw. So is Season of the Witch. Hell, all of your books are awesome.
As an aside, I’ve been watching Beat Shazam (a gameshow about guessing song titles). And I kinda figured there was an app or something mixed in there, so thanks for proving my figurin’ correct. It’s a fun show, if you haven’t seen it.
And yum, puppy chow!
I’ve seen the show advertised but haven’t seen it. I don’t remember titles so I’d just be going, “Huh?!?” 🤣 The people who appeared on “Name That Tune” always blew my mind.
Thanks for liking the books. I guess I should have taken the time to like…you know…put links to them in the post. Yesterday was one of those days. I was not braining well at all! Hopefully, today will be better. So far, not so good. I guess that means I have no where to go but up, right? 😉