I’d be the first to admit that titles aren’t my strong suit. Or at least I never stumble upon the title for a project and think wholeheartedly “This is the perfect title!” like some writers do. (See The Sight Seer and the whole Silver Moon Saga for one such example.) I didn’t come up with a title for my Month9Books debut until after I wrote and edited the first draft. I think I was going for something akin to The French Lieutenant’s Woman (in that the woman/”goddess” is supposed to be focus, but you’re still also drawing attention to the man to whom she “belongs” in a way). And I liked the idea of a veiled man (he features prominently in the book) since when you think of veiled people, you usually think of veiled women, right?
Still, I knew something was off about it. It worked in a way, but it didn’t fit with YA titles I’ve seen before. Who’s this man (not even a “boy”) and what’s he doing in my YA book? And then there’s the slightly erotic overtones of a man + his goddess that I didn’t mean to convey. There’s plenty of romantic tension (and just plain tension) between the two, but they never stray into erotic territory in the draft.
When my agent took on the book, he warned the title would probably need to be changed if it sold, and he was right. So after quite a while of back and forth, with Jason and Month9Books publisher/editor Georgia McBride and I all tossing out many (many!) solid, lovely ideas that still didn’t quite fit, and even after Georgia asked her colleagues for feedback on a few of our top ideas, we decided to step back and re-think. Then Georgia came back with a suggestion from my new editor Lindsay Leggett from a line in my novel and it clicked. Georgia’s suggestion for the series title after that just fell into place. (And yes, I still have to come up with titles for books 2 and 3–I have titles, but they probably won’t stick, either–but that’s for another day!)
So what sold as The Veiled Man’s Goddess will now be known as:
Book 1 in The Never Veil Series
What do you think? It makes a lot of sense (well, once you’ve read the book! She’s both “the veiled man’s” and “nobody’s” goddess in a way), and I think it’s better suited to YA. I got stuck because I was determined to fit “veil” in there somewhere (it’s such a lovely word), but we got it in the series name, so I’m happy!
And I just got my first round of edits! I’m excited about the suggestions and looking forward to shaping Nobody’s Goddess into the book I hope you all eventually read.