I have a title to go with the cover. There’s a story behind that title that will one day be one of those anecdotes I’ll tell, "Way back in aught-09, when I was a young whippersnapper of 51…" You see, just as writers do not always know what stories will be accepted by magazines or zines (It isn’t always our favorites or the ones we think are ‘our best’ – sometimes it’s the ones we think, "that one? you want That One? and not This One?), writers cannot always see what will work when it comes to the Wonderful World of Publishing. And titles and book covers fit under that umbrella. We haven’t even made it to galley proofs and line editing yet – where my publishers used the word "we’ll argue and …" I had to laugh at that. Yet, I will say Bellebooks has been a dream to work with – everything is going smooth as creek pebbles.
I had many titles to the Virginia Kate novel. Here are a few:
I am Virginia Kate (then Wolfe came out with his I am Charlotte Simmons)
Mountains Are for Winds (A shakespeare quote! But, right after I titled it this, Gone With Wind came on tv – nuff said)
The Waiting (I googled this and didn’t like what I saw)
The Waiting Women
From A Mountain Rising
None of those stuck. There were a few more, but I’ll not bore you with that. When my publishers became involved, we threw around more titles – some I thought were Genius! Pure GENIUS!*laughing* alas, what a writer thinks as genius (see above) isn’t necessarily so – or, at the very least, isn’t what is universally appealing to the audiences we want to inspire to read.
I can’t necessarily drive this car anywhere any place any time I want to. And, I admit to a relief at that.
So there came the new title from the publishers. And at first I resisted. Why? Because – remember what I said? Writers can’t see the very forest they are in because they are hiding under a bush? or something like that.
When I sent the new title to friends, I heard: "Oh how lovely — Oh exquisite…" I said ‘What? you didn’t like MY title idea…" They hummed and hawed and welled and et cetera.
I sent my Bellebooks a few more Genius! Absolute GENIUS! titles and they said, "well, yes, that’s …yes…hmm, ….sure…okay….but think about this…" And I would and I’d go, "Oh…I see what you mean…" teehee — until finally, I had to release. I had to let go. I had to trust the ones Who Know and can see all those trees in the forest and the forest in the trees and all those metaphors and analogies and clichés that mean I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, so let the professionals take over. *laughing*
So I have my title: Tender Graces. I have my cover – which I hope to be able to show soon, and I think will be heartbreakingly beautiful with the title.
I’ve let someone else help drive my car and I feel a relief, a safety, a settled in the leather seat as I watch the landscape go by after having driven and driven and driven alone for miles. A feeling of being taken care of. A feeling as if I’m under a big soft blankee with a cup of cocoa — of course this is the calm before the veritable storm…but I’m ready.
Below is one of my favorite photos. My brother found it and I begged him for a copy. Finally – FINALLY TOMMY! – gave his big sister a copy. What Joy! What Beginnings! Something about them inside this car, within this hard steel, protected from everything that can bombard – something about that image of being contained and embarking on a journey pulls at me now. Of course. Of course.
Ha – my dad’s hair: (There once was a girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead) "and When he was good he was very very good and when he was bad he was horrid…" teehee