Monday, January 18, 2010


We have been searching for the perfect title for our YA paranormal. We both knew we'd recognize the one if we found it. After two weeks of tossing titles back and forth with no luck, serendipity stepped in.

Stef commented on my last post, and I went to her blog and read OF TIME.

Stef's post was an exercise in generating imagery. It sparked my journey that started on her blog at 10pm and ended at 2am with an article on pranayama (which of course I knew nothing about, but it happened to be perfect for our book. (And BTW Bethany probably knew what it meant because she is big into yoga.))

The moment I created our two-word title, I experienced an epiphany. I knew it was the one.

But would Bethany feel the same?

She was busy with a houseful of guests, so waited until a decent hour the next morning to call her. I was a bit incoherent from my lack of sleep, and in a hurry to get all the words out. So my spiel started with

"I think we've been barking up the wrong tree..."

and ended with

"...and you can say no if you don't like it, but the title I came up with is..."

And I uttered those two magical words.

Bethany was silent for (what felt like) a long moment. And then,

"Oh my gosh. That's the one! I have chills!"

So now we have our title. (Yay!) And if you really, really want to know what it is, you'll have to head on over to my website.

I want to hear about your moments of serendipity. What has guided you down the right path? And epiphany - what helps you know something is the one?


Bethany Wiggins said...

I got chills just reading this!

Kathy McIntosh said...

I believe in serendipity. Your post captured your joy so well that I got chilly, too!
One instance I recall is the endless search for the name of my business. List after list and suggestions from my clever sister; none was right. Then I woke up one morning with A Well-Placed Word.
Okay, I'm off to your site. Can't stand not knowing the title, you clever thing.

DL Hammons said...

That's so much fun when that happens. I'm excited for both of you!

BTW...I like the title you've chosen!

Yamile said...

Oh my gosh! I love the title of your book!
My moment of serendipity arrived one afternoon when I was writing a short story for the Utah children's Writers blog. The words flowed from my pen and all of a sudden the plot for the novel that had been simmering in my mind for months was completely formed.

Going back to your book. I read the excerpt and I can't wait to read more!

Conda Douglas said...

Wonderful--isn't it amazing when that happens?

Christina Lee said...

OOOh I went and looked--love it and the description!! And you wrote it together--so cool. I wan't that kind of comeraderie!!I'm calling my sister right now and cursing her out for being a nurse and not having dreams of writing like me :D:D

Danyelle L. said...

Yay for coming up with the perfect title that you both love! Celebratory cookies*

Tess said...

Love your title, Suz...and, in a wierd coincidence, I just came up with my title last night and spent the morning working on a very, very similar blog post about how fun it was to have that 'aha' moment.

so, when I came over here just now, I swear I can hear the Twilight Zone music playing in the background.

tell me that's not freaky.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Oh, I love that title! I'm so bad at titles. Hopefully I'll have my serendipitous moment before I reach the querying point. : )

Liza said...

I do think that there are synchronistic moments when our brain synapses fire at the right speed, allowing pure and perfect thoughts to move in. Glad you had one of those.

Corey Schwartz said...

Whoa! I am suddenly confused. You blog together AND write together? Then how is it that you have two different agents???

Southpaw said...

Great title. I love those moments when everything becomes clear.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love those moments!!

I actually felt that way about the 2 word title for my ms as well - in fact the title triggered the entire story into my head :)

Melissa Hurst said...

I love your title!

I had an "aha" moment recently when I was watching a program on The History Channel. I was stuck on a scene in my WIP, and I got a great idea to help me out. Got chills when the idea clicked into place.

Amber Lynae said...

Love the title. And the header on your page. It is just gorgeous. I don't know if I've had that epiphany yet. I'm still working toward that.

Tracy Loewer said...

Epiphanies are awesome! Congrats on the perfect title.

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

That is a GREAT TITLE, girls!!! and the synopsis sounds fantastic!!!

Suzette Saxton said...

Glad we made you chilly, Kathy! And I do love the name of your business!

Thanks, DL. And thanks for visiting my website!

Yamille, I didn't know you blog for Utah Children's Writers... where do you live? And THANKS SO MUCH for your vote of confidence for our title!

Yes, it is wonderful, Conda. You are right!

LOL, Christina! Tell that sister of yours to quit nursing and start writing! And thanks for liking the premise/title. :D

You make THE BEST cookies, Dani! Thanks oodles!

Whoa Tess... really? Our wave lengths must have synced at the party! (We'll have to do that more often!) I'm heading to your blog next.

Kimberly, I hereby predict that you will have an epiphany before you query! ;)

Couldn't have said it better myself, Liza.

Thanks, Southpaw and Melissa!

Isn't it amazing, Jemi, that two words can be so powerful - and so hard to come by?

Amber, your epiphany will come. I sending epiphany vibes your way!

Thanks bunches. Tracy and Kimberley.

I never thought I would love blogging as much as I do. It's the readers/commentors that make it so worthwhile!

Suzette Saxton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
V. S said...

I love that feeling of just knowing... wonderful!

Carolyn V. said...

Yay!!! You've got a title! Sweet!

Serendipity? I'll tell you once I get my agent. I will be awesome.

aelko said...

Great! I'm excited when I read..


Katie Anderson said...

Oh I love this post!!!! The SAME thing happened to me this weekend.

I have been working on my WIP with the sucky title and then all of a sudden, in the middle of a british teen movie, one of the characters just said a word in conversation and the word floated out of my television and sparkled in front of me before popping into thin air!

And that was it. My title :-)

Elana Johnson said...

Oooh, chills over here too! Very cool. I have to brainstorm titles for a long time. I make lists and lists of them. Happy for your "moment." Now I have to go check out your website!

Windy said...

Had to click the link because I couldn't wait to get down here to make my comment first. Love the title!

I love it when you blink and suddenly everything just fits.

So glad for you!

Anonymous said...

Woo-hoo! How cool is that? Congratulations, you two! Happy fortunate day!

G. B. Miller said...

I have a bit of an odd question (I always got odd questions) that doesn't really pertain to this post, but will help me understand this and other similar blogs.

I know what YA stands for, but what does MG stand for?

As for a title epiphany, I don't think I've experienced any of those yet. Most of my epihphanies have been of the sort of "Hey, perfect idea for a story".

cleemckenzie said...

I've had several of those epiphany things; some I've paid attention to and been very happy. I won't mention the ones I didn't. Now I have to visit your website to read your title.

Suzette Saxton said...

Thanks for your comments! MG stands for Middle Grade. :)

Unknown said...

What a nice dark angel tattoo, a torn wing, inked on the shoulder in black! It is giving us a feel to fly upwards.