I was musing today on book names. Not so much the title a published book has across its cover, but the name it still carries in my head. Sometimes, when people talk about a story of mine I need to do a quick mental calculation, swapping its published name for the one I used to call it privately while I was writing. Some of those first names stick in my mind a long time and others disappear as soon as a final title is decided on for publication.
Take my next book. 'A Vow to Secure His Legacy' seems an okay title. Yet, I still think of it as 'Bucket List Bride' which is the name I and my crit partner gave it as I was planning the story. It wasn't a title I suggested to my editor as I really couldn't see BLB being used for a Presents story. The story is about a woman who believes she's dying. She decides to spend her last relatively healthy months on travelling the globe to tick items off her bucket list. Along the way she acquires a French lover and then a pregnancy and her plans change. You can see why the name appealed.
Similarly, the book after this one, which is called 'The Flaw in Raffaele's Revenge' is still, in my mind, my RBB or Reverse Beauty and the Beast, as it's about a scarred, reclusive heroine who falls for the most gorgeous man on the planet. Again, not a title I suggested to my editor.
Here are a few others. When I wrote an amnesia story about a hero from Lake Como in Northern Italy it was fated that it would become 'Coma in Como' to me. Most of the time I remember it's now called 'Forgotten Mistress, Secret Love-Child' but I still think of the old nickname just as often as the published title.
Along the way 'The Liakos Legacy' became 'The Greek's Convenient Mistress' and 'The Unwanted Wife' turned into 'The Greek Tycoon's Unexpected Bride'. I still remember and sometimes use the old names for those two as they were both books where, remarkably, I wrote the book because I got the title in my head and just had to write the story!
'Forbidden Desire' turned into 'Defying His Desert Duty'. It's a story very reminiscent of Tristan and Iseult, where the hero falls for the woman he's escorting as a bride to marry his king. Hence 'forbidden', but I admit I tend only to remember the published title of this one now.
There are a number of others, including 'Love at First Sight' which became 'Undone By His Touch'. In that book the hero falls for the heroine while he's blind, but when he regains his sight he recognises her as the woman he's always held responsible for his brother's death. So there's a question about whether he 'saw' her better through his eyes or when he was blind. Sometimes I have to think for a second or two to remember the official title.
How about you? Do you use nicknames for favourite or everyday things? Do you find yourself sometimes using a shorthand code with your family and friends for things the rest of us would call by another name? Do YOU have a nickname?
A VOW TO SECURE HIS LEGACY will be out soon. Here are a couple of links if you want to order it:
Barnes and Noble