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Gambling on the title

Since my release date is coming up (next month! Eek!) I have been doing a little surreptitious marketing around friends, family and work colleagues using the “Just between you and me…” technique, which seems to have ensured that everyone immediately told everyone they know and the queue at the bus stop. Reactions have been good, and a particular source of interest has been the title, “The Hand He Dealt”.

The first question is usually “How did you get to it?”

Oh, how I would love to claim it came to me in a dream, or via some magic formula involving pharmaceuticals and Strongbow. In fact, it arrived by the same route I imagine it comes to every writer – a combination of prolonged thought and imagination (which was also helpful for plot twists, characterisation and not using the word “cock” eight times on the same page).

It is, in fact, a departure for me, as frequently my titles come from music – there will be one particular song that resonates with me as I write, and I’ll take my inspiration from there. In this instance? Nothing. Instead, I had to do it backwards – finish the story and start juggling words. Since the heroine is an intern in a casino, I began with gambling-related expressions and finally caught on to the phrase “playing the hand you’re dealt”, and since the catalyst for events is the heroine’s boyfriend, I decided that she was playing the hand he’d dealt – and voila!

I have to admit that I did feel a bit strange after the book was accepted, as the title isn’t openly or even indirectly sex-related. Feedback on it has been good, though, so I don’t mind that too much.

Still, it does mean that no-one outside of the TEB circle can tell what it’s about.

Friends and family have proved to be open-minded so far (although, as previously mentioned, this might change when they actually read it and encounter the pegging scene). However, it has put me in a slight quandary in one area. I belong to a national society which sends out both national and regional magazines and am co-editor for my local branch, so I have been invited to submit it for review… to both the national editor and my fellow co-editor, both of whom are older and far more respectable than this scarlet woman could ever hope to be.

Of course, I am making the major assumption that neither of them has ever read an erotic novel. They could even write them themselves for all I know.

So if you hear about an otherwise ordinary young woman being slung unceremoniously out of Mensa for appalling harlotry, give me a wave. But if you hear about a horde of drunken Mensans celebrating in Yorkshire on June 13th, give me a cheer!


Sam Crescent said...

Hi Tanith,

Great blog piece. I sometimes can wait for days for a title to enter my head. Office Hours, scheduled for release on the 20th June took some time to come up with. Good luck on your release and congratulations. Look forward to next month


Sam Crescent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tanith Davenport said...

Quite often I'll have the title before I even start, but this one went through about five titles as I wrote and none of them satisfied me. I do like "Office Hours" as a title - sounds intriguing and makes me want to read more!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Greetings, Tanith,

Having an intriguing title, one that has nothing at all to do with sex, can be a plus. So many romance titles sound the same. I like your title - I hope that your release brings you much success. (If I'm not mistaken, it's your first, right? At least with TEB?)


Tanith Davenport said...

It is my first, Lisabet - still having trouble realising I can call myself a writer now. Hoping the title does intrigue people!