The Name Game

When I finished writing and editing my soon-to-be-published novel, HEAVEN IN THE DARK, one of the hardest tasks still lay ahead of me: what to call the darn thing. I already had a working title, SWIFT (the hero’s last name), and I kind of liked it. But SWIFT, darn it, just didn’t sound like a romance. If the name didn’t evoke swoony possibilities for me, I knew it wouldn’t for anyone else, either. When I went back to the drawing board, I tried two time-tested author methods for finding a title: 1) Combing my manuscript line by line; and 2) Looking through my iTunes, in hopes that a talented songwriter had already come up with a great title for me.  And in the end, both methods resulted in the same title. Meant to be!

A rose by any other name...but what about a book?
A rose by any other name…but what about a book?

Late in the novel, the heroine, Allie, talks about how a very dark moment in her life inadvertently led her to the happiest time of her life…to a heaven of sorts. Meanwhile, over in my iTunes, I kept going back to a Neal Coty song titled “Heaven in the Dark.” Coty’s song, which is an autobiographical tune about his being given up for adoption, includes the lines: “I’m the firstborn son of a father I’ll never know/But I’ve got his eyes and that means he’s hiding somewhere deep inside my soul.” These words could just as easily be spoken by David, the hero of my novel. I knew right then that HEAVEN IN THE DARK must be the book’s title. Will it evoke lush, romantic feelings in others? I can only hope. But for me, there was no other choice.

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