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Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Tale of Titles, Part Duae

My Latin scholar tells me she is so proud that I used the feminine form to count in for this series of post.  Not because I'm a girl.  And not because she's a girl.  But because "part" is a feminine noun and it requires me to count like a girl.  Who knew?  Well, she did.  But I didn't.

Okay.  The second book was Relics.  I thought it sounded great with Artifacts.  I liked the one-word plural archaeological noun theme I had going.  I figured titles were now the last thing I needed to worry about.  I had titles licked.  Pride goes before a fall.  I should remember that more often.

My agent thought I should save the title for later, to go with a book about religious relics and really old dead sacred bodies.  I saw her point, but I liked it for this book.  Because, not only is Faye digging up actual relics, she is working with an ethnic group that is a relic population left over from an earlier time, the Sujosa. 

I made the word Sujosa up, and I modeled my fictional ethnic group after some actual relic populations in North America, but they're very real to me.  I can't tell you how ridiculously proud it makes me when somebody tells me they wanted to know more about the Sujosa, so they googled them and came up with nothing but me.  So it seems appropriate for the title of the book to reflect the importance of my relic population.

I had a moment of panic when I saw the first dustjacket, because Relics was in a very Gothic font and, combined with the flaming cover image, it looked like a horror novel.  They toned down the flames and the font, which was a huge relief.  It just never occurred to me that Relics sounded like a vampire novel or something.  To refresh your memory, here are the more subdued flames:

Relics (Faye Longchamp Mysteries, No. 2)

One last story before I remember my resolution to write shorter.  My son was 19 when Relics came out, and still a less-than-respectful teenager.  He said to me, "Mom.  So you named the first one Artifacts and the second one Relics.  What are you going to name the third one...Trash?

Remind me to write him out of my will.


  1. I can't see the flames...

    Trash? No, Trashes! =^P

  2. Young men are wonderful -- especially when they are related. Tell him you're leaving him the rights to Trash. lol
    Giggles and Guns

  3. Michele--you don't see the burning building at the bottom of the page? The cover designer blurred them very artfully, but all that orange and yellow stuff are flames.

    Trashes? Ew...that's a pretty bad title, don't you think? :)

    Great idea, Maribeth. The ungrateful wretch should probably inherit the rights to TRASH (or TRASHES) and nothing else, but he's my firstborn. He's got me wrapped around his pinkie finger.

  4. It's not showing up for me in Firefox, but it does show up in Internet Explorer. Weird!

  5. Hmmm...I wonder if Amazon and Firefox are having a cyberwar. I use Amazon for linking to book covers, because Blogspot has a gadget that makes it sooooo easy. When I published a book and some stories on Kindle in March, Amazon's Kindle publishing interface didn't work well with Firefox. You'd think a site as sophisticated as Amazon's would play nicely with a browser as common as Firefox.

    Apparently not...