A Book By Any Other Name

A title. One simple fricken title.

That’s all I’m looking for. I’m searching for a better title for the second book in the Penley Mystery Series. I want something to grab the reader’s attention and imagination. In the search for the name, I’ve staged my own mini-protest and all that’s missing is a #All Titles Matter sign. Titles do matter and will turn potential readers off, or lure them into pulling the book off the store shelf for a closer look.


So much to choose from image by cristina gottardi via unsplash

After 90,000 words, edits and revisions, coming up with a title should be a snap. But the only snapping I’m hearing is the swarming of crickets in the field.

After filling post it notes and notebook pages with potential titles, nothing seemed to jump out and scream, “This is the one true ring title.” Whenever, I hit a plot problem, or a question on which character to kill off, I pull out my secret weapon. Two weapons, actually. I take the dogs for a long walk while I noodle on the story problem that vexes me. This time it was the title conundrum.


Usually, these guys are pretty helpful in getting my mind unstuck. This time–I’m not so sure. The possible crime fiction titles that came from our walk had a certain focus. Among them were:

  • We Need Brushing
  • When Do I Get A Cookie?
  • Where is That Damn Cat?
  • Are We There Yet?
  • I’m Peeing on This Rock
  • Oh–A Bird

You see my problem. Tanner and Emma reminded me that It’s all about the Corgis–all the time. When we got home, I picked up my notepad and read off a few of the titles I’d carefully crafted.  Their reaction was less than enthusiastic…


Fine, I’ll go do this one my own, without your help.  Or maybe I’ll ask the neighbor’s Labrador for input. He seems like a free spirited guy:


The search continues…


  1. Delores · · Reply

    When the kids are gone and a 9-5 work schedule no longer beckons to us, the dogs become the saving grace that forces us into our new found required routine and reason to rise and shine (or so I’ve found). Now, get going on that title….I’m waiting…not so patiently either.

    1. The Corgi enforced early morning wake up replaced the alarm clocks. That’s part of the new routine too…

  2. Haha! I like “it’s all about the Corgis” I’d pick up that book!

  3. The dogs are outlying the sequel — All Corgi, All the Time.

  4. Lab looks like he had the right idea and maybe even the right beer (do I spy an IPA?). Titles are best crafted as a drinking game.

    1. A sharp eye there, Charli! The lab did make off with an IPA.

  5. Cindy · · Reply

    Oh my gosh, the Corgi’s are adorable! Personally, for me, it’s the cover picture that grabs me first, and then I move to the title. If they both strike me as a great combo, then I go after the book. Maybe you need someone to help you with the title? Someone else who has read it and know what would describe it well? But what do I know.. I’m not in the publishing business. LOL…..

    1. The Corgis do make life interesting. I agree the title and cover need to gel. My publisher and I go through options for both before we hit on the winning combo. I still struggle with the working title and that’s where the Corgis come in.

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