Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Title Quandary: Please Vote!

Fran├žoise Bui, my editor at Delacorte, called to talk about my revision of a young adult novel tentatively scheduled for release in 2008. "So how's it going?" she asked.

"Great," I answered. "I've been thinking about the book while I sip coffee and watch the cardinals and blue jays play in the spruce tree outside my window."

Doesn't sound like I've been working hard, does it? But I have been. I've been preparing my psyche to delve once again into the plot, characters, and setting of this novel, a story that is much closer to memoir than any of my other books. It also might not have a happily-ever-after kind of ending -- a first for me.

Fran├žoise also asked me to think of alternatives to the book's working title -- Asha Means Hope. I've thought of a couple of possibilities (The Secret Keeper or Family Secrets), but I need your help, Fire Escape visitors. Please cast your vote for the title that sounds the most intriguing in the sidebar to the right. I'll be back after the holidays to share the results, but in the meantime, stay safe, celebrate, and peace be with you.


  1. Just to consider: ASHA MEANS HOPE unequivocally tags the book as 'multicultural'; THE SECRET KEEPER does not. THE SECRET KEEPER also, to me, has a fantastic, magical element to it (SECRET GARDEN, etc.).

    Good luck with whatever you decide; the book is going to ROCK!

  2. Thanks, Pooja. You're right. Do I want the multicultural tag or not? And I added one more choice since your visit ...

  3. i personally feel that ASHA MEANS HOPE is more...poetic, it stands out. the secret keeper conjures in my mind a mystery of sorts, and a sad melancholy book.
    so basically THE SECRET KEEPER feels more sad, and ASHA MEANS HOPE is more..happy? and the multicultural tag is something thats nice to keep on, but that tag shouldnt be part of your decision at all, in this multicultural country of ours.

  4. I voted for "Asha" because it was the most intriguing for me. It does sound "foreign" and exotic, and the rhythm of the title stands out more than "The Secret Keeper" which is more sedate.

  5. Hi Mitali. Can you get people to vote on titles for my books, too?

    The Secret Keeper is definitely better than Family Secrets. But I have no problem with Asha Means Hope.

  6. These comments are so helpful! Thank you! I have no confidence in my title-choosing capabilities. My working title for "Monsoon Summer" was "Indian Summer," for example, as I wanted to show the nuance of thi particular summer's effect lingering long after it was over. And L/B decided to switch "The Sunita Experiment" to "The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen" because the first one sounded more like a Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy thriller than a middle-school read. But I didn't have a blog back then, now did I? I didn't have YOU to help me choose ...

  7. mitali, how about The Fire Escape for your title?
    just a suggestion.

  8. Hey, anonybrown, that's a great suggestion for the sequel I'm mulling over. Thanks!

  9. Asha Means Hope - A unique title that will make kids ask, "It means hope where/in what language?" "Is Asha someone's name?"

    The Secret Keeper - The perfect cover image springs immediately to my mind: a finger to the lips, either full-face or partial-face plus neck and shoulders, which would be eye-catching; a title that will make kids wonder who is keeping secrets and what the secrets are, of course.