Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Q&A with Lisa Unger

From my Q&A with Lisa Unger, author of Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

Titling a book may be more difficult than actually writing one. (Well, not really.) But I have loved titles that wound up on the cutting room floor in favor of something that I loved less but made more sense for the book. (The Stranger Inside was originally The Nightjar.) I have slapped a working title on a manuscript, thinking I’d have time to come up with something better, only to have an editor fall in love with it. (Beautiful Lies) Sometimes it’s collaborative, lots of emails back and forth until someone comes up with an idea that makes everyone go “Aha!” For example, Confessions on the 7:45 was originally Black Butterfly. After a lot of back-and-forth, it was my editor who came up with Confessions on the 7:45 – which may be one of my all-time favorites.

For Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six, all the credit goes to Margaret Marbury, VP of Editorial at Park Row. This one was a little painful. Originally, it was Blow Your House Down and I was weirdly attached to it, though you’d think I’d know better by now. But everybody – my editor, my agent, my husband, even my mother -- loved Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six. Everyone except for me! But over the years I have come to understand that the title of a book falls less in the area of the author and more in the area of the marketing department. So, I deferred to the judgement of people I trust, and it slowly started to grow on me. Now I can’t go a day without hearing what a fabulous title it is. And it really does capture the vibe of the book. So...[read on]
Visit Lisa Unger's website.

Q&A with Lisa Unger.

--Marshal Zeringue