Re-titling Sand and Bones

Book titles are funny things. The title should encapsulate an entire novel, be unique, and be concise. It’s not easy to come up with a title. I struggle with every book I wrote to name it with the Most Marvelous Title Ever. Or at least one that doesn’t suck.

Book # 2 was called Sand and Bones for the last couple of years. I thought it was the perfect blend of spooky and evocative. Tropical island was the Sand and the murder and peril was the Bones.

And then came the Beta Readers. I asked them what the title made them think of. Almost everyone said something about archaeologists and dinosaurs. <facepalm>

Right, back to the drawing board. I enlisted my lovely beta readers and writerly friends to help me brainstorm and distill the essence of the book.

What is it really about? It’s about Clara’s journey into and out of a cult, the Order of Andronicus. A title including something about Andronicus would be appropriate and it even hints at the name of the island she’s visiting, Andros Island. Plus it includes the root word for man and since this IS somewhat about a woman finding her own power and getting out from under a man’s control, Escaping Andronicus seemed to fit nicely.

Oh and a note about Andronicus: it comes from the Shakespeare play Titus Andronicus in which the titular character serves parents a pie made from their sons. While there isn’t exactly cannibalism in my book, there is a certain similarity. No spoilers. The Titus Andronicus suggestion came from my dear friend and fellow author Dover Whitecliff.

There we have it, Sand and Bones is now Escaping Andronicus. Until someone else tells me how that title completely doesn’t work!

How do you come up with titles for your work? Any tips and tricks? Please comment below!


3 thoughts on “Re-titling Sand and Bones

  1. Reblogged this on Wild and Woolly Wordsmithing and commented:
    Considering the weirdness of my title journeys (on everything BUT the stolen songbird…which just kind of stuck from the get go) this is too good not to share… Let’s see… The Fourth Jhrin Book (nope, now it’s book 1) to Invitation to the Dance (nope, and where did that come from?!) To Dainan, Sarn (nope, he’s not the main character now) to She Wolf (hmm will peeps be annoyed there’s no werewolf in this story?) To Superspy with the Clockwork Eye. Thank you BJ! This is awesome…and can’t take credit for the scene…that goes the the incomprable Mrs. Barbara Earle… Our Elizabethan tlit teacher in high school gave us all the good ones!


  2. Reblogged this on Sharon E. Cathcart and commented:
    I almost always struggle with this myself. “In The Eye of The Beholder” was “Erik/Claire” on my computer for the longest time. My current work in progress is just called “Harmon/Hope” while I figure it out. Author BJ Sikes shares a bit of her process for creating the perfect title here.


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