The Novel Approach welcomes author Alina Popescu today on her Craving Stains blog tour. Enjoy Alina’s guest article, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $20 Gift Card from Wayward Ink Press (one winner), or one of three e-copies of the book.
Titles and Blurbs, the Bane of an Author’s Existence
Depending on the author, one or both of these will be a constant source of stress, angry cuss words, and a lot of rewrites. Okay, in most cases, it’s blurbs. But the titles are just as bad. Or is it just me and my headlines that have such a love/hate relationship?
My educational background includes having studied journalism at Uni. Then I worked in Marketing and PR for most of my career. To say titles mattered is an understatement. Did I mention I’m also a veteran blogger? About ten years of writing and publishing posts. Plus I’ve been writing fiction since I was ten. You’d think I’d have the hang of it by now, wouldn’t you? I know, right? But you’d be wrong…
When it comes to finding a title for a story, my muse is fickle. Or just plain sadistic, depends on how you look at it. In some cases (not very often), I just strike gold fast. And by gold I mean a title that makes sense and that I am happy with. Craving Stains was one of those few rare cases. Wynn’s pristine prison, his spotless apartment void of any danger or color or life, just spoke of his need to go out and get high and dirty on life. The title struck me, much like lightning, while I was furiously typing the first variant of Craving Stains, the short story version that was published in Wayward Ink Publishing’s anthology Stranded.
I treasure these happy moments, because when my muse doesn’t feel like doing his job (yes, my muse is a man, gorgeous and inspiring), he really slacks off! It took me about three years to come up with a title for my debut novel, The Edge of Hope. What I used as a working title became the tagline. My second choice became the series title, Bad Blood. I had a title, but I wasn’t feeling it. So years after completing the draft (and rewrites on it), I finally found what I was looking for. It took almost as long to come up with the title for book 2, The Breaking of Bonds.
When the title muse is out to play with my other muses… Yeah, it’s a harem, what can I say? Well, when that happens, I have to do his job and look for inspiration. I find music, movies, drawings, and photos very inspiring. I came up with the title for my first novel in the series Tales of the Werewolf Tribes—Strength to Let Go—while watching an episode of Criminal Minds, for example. When that isn’t working, I start to look within the character, their struggles, their desires, their experiences. Something stands out and I toy with it until I get a title that sounds good to me. I mull over it for a while, then do a few test runs, then I am finally free! Well, till I need a new title and the muse is a no-show.
Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?
Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window.
Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger.
But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?
Genre: Sci-Fi/Paranormal, M/M Romance
About the Author: Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.