Friday, February 8, 2013

What’s in a Title? Guest Post by @Schledia #Giveaway

I would like to thank Emily for inviting me to her blog today.

For some writers coming up with a title for their work is the very last thing they do; they want to have the entire picture laid out before they attach a title to their work. There are some writers who get part way through their work when the title jumps out at them. Sometimes titles are changed by the publishing company after the editor has read and accepted the manuscript. Titles are important to a work. The first thing a person will see is the cover and the title, and hopefully the name of the book itself will reach out and grab their attention. I’m a huge Twilight fan, so I found it interesting that when Stephenie Meyer sent out her query and manuscript, she had titled it Forks. As I read the book for the first time, I searched for the reason for the title Twilight. There was only the mention that twilight was Edward’s favorite time of the day because it was between daylight and dark. (That comment is paraphrased, by the way). I could imagine how he felt during that portion of the day; it wasn’t the time to hunt, and it wasn’t the time to fear sunlight breaking through the clouds and exposing him. It was a simple undertone in the book, but I understood the reason for the title.

For myself coming up with the title is one of the first things I do. It inspires me and gives me focus and drive. My titles are often derived from the centralized theme of the books I write. I was sitting in my van waiting to meet someone when the idea for my first YA novel came to me. These words came to me, so I jotted them down on an envelope I had in my purse: “Plain, that was a word I knew quite well. The word described me perfectly.” And “A lovely dress covered with lace and frills could enhance even the plainest of girls, and I was plain.” I knew in that instant that I would be telling the story of a young girl’s struggle with self-esteem, and I knew the title would be Plain Jane.

I had no intention of writing a book to be a companion to Plain Jane, but after my husband read the story, he turned to me and insisted that I had to tell his story; hence, the birth of Pretty Boy. I remember the first time I sat down face to face with an agent; she was intrigued with those titles. She told me she loved the irony in them. I walked away that day with a smile on my face. She had complimented me on my ability to pick a title that said something to the reader.

When the idea for Wildflowers came to me, it was through the inspiration of a seed that had been planted in my heart about a young girl named Susan. As I drove down the road during the fall, beautiful black-eyed susans were in full bloom. I knew in an instant that Wildflowers would be the title of the book growing in my heart, and I knew that my main character would be referred to as a black-eyed Susan. I could see her clearly in my mind, beautiful, big, dark-chocolate eyes, and golden hair. I knew I would be telling the story of two young lovers (two wildflowers), and I could see their love blossoming just as those wildflowers grow uncontrollably in many fields here in the South.

So, what’s in a title? For me the title is the essence of the book. For some the title is a small trace of the character’s plight, or it may possibly be a trivial word making a profound statement. Either way, all writers hope that something about the title jumps off the shelf at passers-by and makes them turn around and give a second glance.

From the author of Plain Jane comes a new young adult novel by Schledia Benefield

Have you ever feared what may be hiding deep within you?

Darkness often skulks in the blood of unsuspecting victims, but Aster McGrath is acutely aware of the violence coursing through his veins. After all, he is the son of a murderer, and everyone in the town of Bayville, Mississippi says he will end up just like his father.

When Susan Blackman moves into town, Aster has already embraced his brutal nature, but her gentle spirit draws him in and slowly melts the icy exterior of his heart. Taming his savagery, she professes her love, but will the good within him be able to overcome the evil lurking deep inside? Or will the fiend break free of its fetters and seek blood?

Fans of Nicholas Sparks' A Walk to Remember will fall in love with the young love, tough choices, sacrifice and redemption found within the pages of WILDFLOWERS.

Buy it TODAY in ebook & paperback at Amazon

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About the Author: 

Schledia Benefield is the author of Plain Jane, Pretty Boy, and her soon to be released novel, Wildflowers. She attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College but chose to be a stay-at-home mom for many years. She devoted eight years of her life to working with youth as a youth minister and has been invited to speak in a rehab to hurting and wounded women, giving them hope for a better future. She was the Keynote Speaker for Division 14 of the Key Club International’s divisional rally. 

Born and raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Schledia holds a sense of pride in her southern heritage. She presently lives in Big Point, Mississippi with her husband and four of her five children. On top of writing novels, she writes youth and children’s church curriculum, and she works as a substitute teacher at East Central Middle School. In her spare time, she reads, sews, and spends time with her family. 

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