Welcome readers! I'm so glad you came by today. As part of a virtual tour for Dancing Naked In Dixie, I have the author, Lauren Clark, guest blogging today. I hope you'll leave a comment and check out the other stops on the tour, as there is a giveaway involved.
I asked Lauren about the importance of titles. I think the title "Dancing Naked In Dixie" is really catchy, so when asked what topic I suggest, that's what I thought about. So, without further ado, I turn the blog over to Lauren.
First of all, I love this question and I adore the title of your blog -- Storm Goddess Book Reviews is so powerful -- it makes a statement about you and your personality. Likewise, with novels, titles are crucial and just as important as a book's cover art.
The title inspiration for Dancing Naked in Dixie was the opposite of Stay Tuned, my first novel. Since Stay Tuned was about broadcast journalism (and a real-life fistfight between anchors), I needed a catchy title that incorporated the feel of watching TV news.
For Dancing Naked in Dixie, the title came first and I built the story around it. The phrase popped into my head one day as I was thinking about Eufaula and the Pilgrimage. I wanted a title that would stand out and express the unbridled joy and abandon a person can feel when in a particular place or with a very special person.
Without getting too deep, I think Dixie also looks at a woman allowing herself to be vulnerable (and emotionally naked, if you will). While it's scary, it also opens her up to finding love and happiness. Julia's been closed up, hurt, and guarded for so long that it takes visiting Eufaula and being humbled by the kindness of strangers to strip away all that she's built up to protect herself.
Back to the importance of titles (other than Dixie), I attended a writer's conference in which T.R. Pearson talked about titles. Pearson's worked in the TV and movie industry for a long time and did a great presentation about pitching an idea for a new series or show to studios. I didn't realize that the popular series "Friends" was actually first pitched as "The Insomniac Cafe." I don't know about you, but the latter doesn't work for me at all.
I think title is a bit less crucial for established authors with a huge following (Sophie Kinsella, Jane Green, Jodi Picoult). Sophie Kinsella could call her next novel "Pirate Booty and Pink Slippers," put a skull and crossbones on the cover, and I would still buy it. In my opinion, with an established audience, it's the content that matters more. That said, ALL authors like to attract new readers, so there's never a time that title and cover art aren't important.
When I am looking for a new author to read, I do the following: Ask my Facebook friends who are avid readers for recommendations, talk to my book club BFFs, look at friends' suggestions on GoodReads, and wander around book stores to find covers and titles that 'speak' to me.
How important is 'title' to you? Is cover art just as important? What are some of your favorite titles?
Dancing Naked in Dixie
by Lauren Clark
Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired.
With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.
Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?
I’m a travel writer at Getaways magazine. Paid for the glorious task of gathering up fascinating snippets of culture and piecing them into quirky little stories. Jet-setting to the Riviera, exploring the Great Barrier Reef, basking on Bermuda beaches. It’s as glamorous and exhilarating as I imagined.
Okay, it is a tad lonely, from time to time.
And quite exhausting.
Which is precisely why I have to get organized.
I sink into my chair and try to concentrate. What to tackle first? Think, think.
Third reminder. Uh-oh.
Marietta rolls her eyes and jerks a thumb toward the inevitable. “Guess you better walk the plank,” she teases. “New guy’s waiting. Haven’t met him yet, but I’ve heard he’s the ‘take no prisoners’ sort. Hope you come back alive.”
I grope for something witty and casual to say, but all of a sudden, my head feels light and hollow.
I’ve been dying to find out about the new editor.
Every last gory detail.
“I’m still in another time zone,” I offer up to Marietta with a weak smile. My insides toss from side to side as I slide out of my chair.
Marietta tosses me a wry look. “Nice try. Get going already, sport.”
I tilt my head toward the hallway and pretend to pout. When I look back, Marietta’s already disappeared. Smart girl.
“Fine, fine.” I tug a piece of rebellious auburn hair into place, smooth my wool suit, and begin to march toward the inevitable.
Our new editor.
My neck prickles.
I’m not going to worry. Not much anyway.
My pulse thuds.
Not going to worry about change. Or re-organization. Or pink slips.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lauren Clark writes contemporary novels set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets.
A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.
Lauren is giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon to a commenter in the duration of the ENTIRE book tour. Below is a link to check out the other stops. The more you comment and follow along, the better chances you have to win. Do check it out!
Where you can find the book:
Barnes & Noble