Wednesdays with the Arts: The Thing About Titles

I’m a writer and I should be talking about the art of writing–or so they say. Here’s the thing; I love a lot of different arts and I happen to think life is far too short to spend it limiting myself on what arts I can talk about. So yes, Wednesdays with the Arts has pretty much focused on everything other than writing. I know some of you hate that, but I did give fair warning that I’m all over the board and that I would try to stay focused as much as possible. For those of you who would love for me to talk more about writing…well, surprise! I’m talking about writing today :).

I do cover design for my books. Quite frankly I don’t have $300+ (and that’s on the low end) to pay somebody else to do it, and since I did actually get certification in graphic design (not the same thing, but it helps) I just play with it and see what I come up with. One day I may be able to afford Photoshop, but for now, the program I have is working for me and I’m still learning so much about it that I’m really having fun with making covers. Some covers I love beyond love (if that’s even possible), other covers I like, and some I keep working until I like them. Sometimes that means I do ten to fifteen covers for one book and then pick the one that wowed me the most.

I know covers are not writing, but just go with me on this one and you’ll see how it all comes back to writing. Every book gets a cover and every cover eventually gets a title placed on it. I love the title on this one cover in particular. I mulled over changing the title because I figured those who are quick to judgment would just assume I made a big grammar mistake; I make them, but this isn’t one of them. After careful consideration I decided to leave the title because I liked the title with the contraction and not without the contraction. The title is: Mine’s to Kill. Now yes, I do know that mine’s = mine is and that’s exactly what I want it to be. Of course I didn’t like the title without the contraction. It didn’t look all that great by way of titles for covers, but it is the exact representation of the story. So, I kept it Mine’s to Kill.

My serial killer in the book tells my lead female, “your mission’s to save lives; mine’s to kill.” Getting rid of the contractions and adding the word “is” would keep the context the same, but I didn’t like that for the cover.

I know I could have taken the title of this book in so many different directions. Mission to Kill for instance, but I didn’t like that and I think it really doesn’t fit this story, but does fit one of my other future stories. Another option was to make the title: Mine to Kill. I hated that. It changes the context completely, in my opinion. It’s like saying, “that guy over there is mine to kill;” that’s not my story.  At the end of the day, even with knowing some people will rush to judgment without even reading the book, I decided to leave the title as is–Mine’s to Kill. I even put a little excerpt before the first chapter so that any confusion can be removed if a person actually reads the page before the first chapter. It’s only one line so I don’t see why reading it would be a hardship…but you never know. The thing about titles is that they are much like a regular sentence in that changing one word can sometimes change everything.

I have talked about this cover so much I’m going to give you all first look at it. Have a happy Wednesday, and don’t forget to do something artful if you can…okay, something artful yet legal 😉



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