Thursday, September 30, 2010

Creating a Romantic Title

I’ve always been a sucker for a romantic title. Linda Banche’s LADY OF THE STARS makes me feel all starry-eyed and swoony-romantic inside.

Romance novels titles have always been a source of sweet pleasure for me. And, of course, if the title got me, back in the good ole days, especially the 80s, I would read the blurb, or whatever was on the back of the cover, then decide if I wanted to read a few pages. If I liked what I read, then I bought the book. Actually, I would also read whatever romance novels my sis sent my way. She did big time buying and, also, trading at a used bookstore.

In titling my own erotic romance novels it’s been magical, at times. There it is, the title. Or enough of it that I could easily pull it from my Muse. ALL SHADES OF BLUE PARADISE is an example. At other times, either my Muse was on strike, or I just wasn’t listening well enough... or, who knows? The creative process is mysterious at best... sometimes.

One title I had dickens of a time with was RED LIONESS TAMED. I had originally titled the novella with the heroine’s name, Sun Rocket Kahoqua of the Windgrass Clan. Okay, that was too long for Liquid Silver Books. And, that turned out to be a good thing. Tina Burns, the acquisition editor at that time, suggested Lioness Tamed. Good, but it didn’t quite have that special panache-bang that appeals to me, as a writer and a reader.

So, during my twilight time, between sleeping and waking up, there it was, repeating over and over in my mind... Red Lioness Tamed... perfect because my heroine’s lioness coat is red in color, and because that title sang inside me.

Recently, I finished a short story, about 5,000 words. It’s been submitted for an anthology call. The idea for this particular erotic romance came to me before I knew about the anthology. The working title was Weightless and Wanted.

I had recalled that opening scene in the campy, sci fi B movie, BARBARELLA... where Jane Fonda peacefully floats inside a weightless environment. My story evolved from there and from research I did on weightlessness. I mean, hey, what is it like to make love while floating weightless?

It’s the old ENQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW... if you’re from my generation you’ll recall that popular saying.

Yep, ever the curious cat, and because my heroine and hero began nagging me non-stop, and because the challenge of writing this story GOT ME in its claws... well, I yielded. However, I was never satisfied with the working title.

Yeah, it conveyed my story. But! It wasn’t romantic enough for my sensibilities. Not by a long shot. And being a devout romantic at heart, I had to do better.

So, after days of pondering, typing out various titles and generally tugging at my brain cells, finally the title arrived. Ta-da! WEIGHTLESS INSIDE HIS WINGS.

And here’s a blurb-summary ~

Striker of the Kalluv Windworld is a warrioress for her people. An adept at protecting herself from every known method of mind control, her missions take her across the galaxy to search out and stop those who enslave other races. Her last memory is hunkering down during a sandstorm. Now she finds herself floating inside an anti-grav sphere.

Dhray Zorr of the Vjemic Realm is a warrior on his planet-world. His kind, a hawk-panther shapeshifter, has been genetically designed to battle for freedom, then to hold it against would-be tyrants. However, there are few suitable mates on his world, and the population is declining rapidly. Now, he must face one more duty. He is called upon to take an alien woman as his mate.

So, what are some of your favorite romance novel titles?



Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~


Lindsay Townsend said...

Delicious and fascinating, Savanna! When the anthology appears, please let me know - I want to read your WEIGHTLESS INSIDE HIS WINGS.
Glorious title!

I agree about Linda Banche's LADY OF THE STARS, and also Bekki Lynn's LAST GLASS OF WINE - both so evocative.

I love intriguing titles so your WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS caught my attention, as did Jane Richardson's A DIFFERENT KIND OF HONESTY.

I'm also a sucker for anything with a shiekh in it. Also any title with any part of the ancient world in it - DAUGHTERS OF PERSEPHONE by Julia Rachel Barrett, for instance.

Savanna Kougar said...

Lindsay, oooh, that's true. Bekki Lynn's LAST GLASS OF WINE is a fave, the cover art too!

Hmmm... I understand 'shiekh'. There was a time period when I grabbed up anything with a shiekh hero.

Of course, all of your titles are delish. I especially love BLUE GOLD and BRONZE LIGHTNING.

Yeah, the goddesses and gods always grab my attention, as does anything with Atlantis in it.

Celia Yeary said...

Hmmm, if I could remember any, I'd tell you. I usually say,"Remember that novel written by so-and-so...ohh, what was the title?" See I can remember some plot and characters, but not titles--unless it's a super-duper memorable one that I've read more than once. Some of my favorite romance from old have rather mundane names--This Calder Range, Green Calder Grass--see? Not very romantic, but very good stories.
I remember movie titles much better, and some are so very romantic--The Last Time I Saw Paris, for example.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips not only had unique stories, the titles were, too--but see can't remember any of them.
I do remember a few--My favorite author of all time, LaVyrle Spender has simple titles: Vows, Years, Hummingbird, The Gamble, The Hellion, And Then Came Heaven, Family Blessings, Small Town Girl, Separate Beds,etc. Very simple.
Good topic, Savanna--I enjoyed this! Celia

Savanna Kougar said...

Celia, see, that's why I love people. Because we're all unique. What appeals to one doesn't necessarily appeal to another.

Actually, I remember characters and plot more than titles. But, if the title charms me, hits me, then I'm more likely to purchase. And I feel all dreamy as I do.

THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS... that is a romantic title... sigh.

AND THEN CAME HEAVEN... is a gorgeous title, one you can hang hope and a dream on.

Personally, I love your title, TEXAS BLUE.

Linda Banche said...

Savanna, thanks for your kind words on my LADY OF THE STARS.

I like unusual romance titles. I especially love your ALL SHADES OF BLUE PARADISE. Ooh, WEIGHTLESS INSIDE HIS WINGS is wonderful, too.

I'm pretty tired of titles like RAGING PASSIONS and SEX AND SIN ON MARS. Yawn.

Savanna Kougar said...

SEX AND SIN ON MARS ~ gee, I haven't seen that one yet.

What I particularly dislike is when a trend takes over like Claiming Julie... or the generic "Claiming" FILL IN THE BLANK... okayyy... gee, we get it.

Apologies to all the authors who have good books with a similar title.

Linda Banche said...

Hey, Savanna, I just made up SEX AND SIN ON MARS. Linda's wacked-out mind at work. *g*

Savanna Kougar said...

Linda, I found out when I did an internet search... lol... 'cause I was curious... and, hey, I didn't even find anything interesting.

Maybe you should write a futuristic Regency on Mars, titled ~ Her Scandal on Mars ~ or something along those lines.

Linda Banche said...

Wow, you mean no one else thought up that title? Must be really weird, which means it's right up my alley. I'll have to think about another science fiction romance. I already have the title. *g*

jenniferprobst said...

Great blog - glad I found you. I obsess over my titles and bet many of the editors end up changing them once published. Love your story about finding a title - Weightless Inside His Wings is beautiful. One of my working contemporaries is entitled Chasing the Light. The title came to me first, then the characters built around it - dark alpha male, light flowing heroine - delicious. Stop by and visit me at

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Jennifer, Chasing the Light is a gorgeous title and your premise sounds wonderful.