Help Me Choose My Next Title by Mae Clair

Before I get into the main reason for this post, I wanted to mention that my Lyrical Press sister, D.B. Sieders, is hosting me today on her blog. She tossed some awesome questions my way about Twelfth Sun, Reagan and Elijah. I love digging deep like that, so please stop by if you can. You can find the interview here.

Next, I’ve now added a “News” page to my website. Yep, in case you forgot, I actually have one of those at  🙂 I concentrate so much on my blog, sometimes even I forget it’s out there, but I’ve decided I want to pump it up. I’m not exactly certain what that entails, but I hope to add several new features in the coming weeks. The first of those is my News page which will feature a recap of the month and an update on my works in progress.

Speaking of those, I’ve finished Solstice Island. YAY!  This is a 21K romance/adventure that will be included in an anthology with three other authors and offered as a free read on Amazon. We hope to pub late this year or early 2014.

The end of June I ran a post lamenting my indecisiveness about the title. I wasn’t sure if it was too, well…bland. My friend, Emma Meade, suggested I run a poll (great idea, Emma) so here goes.

First the blurb:
Tag:  Can an ancient leviathan work magic between a practical man and an idealistic woman?

Rylie Carswell is an amateur cryptozoologist in search of a mythical creature, the Sea Goliath. In order to reach Solstice Island, a location the ancient leviathan is rumored to haunt, she’s forced to hire charter boat captain, Daniel Decatur.

Initially, Daniel wants nothing to do with the trip or the fool woman waving double payment in his face. Convinced she’s yet another loony treasure hunter looking for gold on the remote island, he reluctantly agrees. An embittered neighbor wants to have his charter license yanked, so the extra cash will help him stay afloat.

It doesn’t take long for Daniel to realize Rylie is after the same beast his parents were tracking when they mysteriously vanished ten years earlier. He’s avoided all links to cryptozoology ever since, but the smart and sexy cryptid hunter has him second-guessing his oath and wondering what he’s signed on for.

Warning: A family legacy, glowing plankton and rough waters.

title post copyThe titles I’m considering are:
Solstice Island
An Admirable Man
Cryptid Hunter

I have a definite favorite among these three, but I thought it would be fun to get other opinions.

So what do you think? Does one of these work or do I need to go back to the drawing board?

29 thoughts on “Help Me Choose My Next Title by Mae Clair

  1. I’m partial to SOLSTICE ISLAND. It sounds mysterious and mystical, so it makes me want to know what else is on that island. 🙂 I don’t know that I’ve seen the word “cryptid” before. LOL So I wouldn’t know what to expect if I saw that in a title. Best of luck with the anthology — it sounds great!


    • Thanks for the input, Donna. You’re spot on about cryptid. I’m fearful that in using it, I’ll leave people scratching their heads and saying “huh?” I’m also afraid it might sound like a testosterone-drive guy read. And guess what….that’s my favorite of the three. Drat!!


  2. Pingback: My pal Mae Clair is trying to decide on her book’s title…wanna give her a hand? | Thomas Rydder

  3. You awe me Mae with all that you accomplish
    By the way as to your tag line: the advice I’ve been given is not to use questions in a blurb.
    I believe you decided on Solstice Island a long time ago, so if that’s what your gut tells you to do, stick with it. I’ve also read that titles help “brand” an author and together with Twelfth sun Solstice Island is consistent in this regard


    • Sue, I never heard that advice about tag lines. Did you read it on a blog somewhere?

      Great point about building my author brand. My next novel (hopefully releasing in April-May 2014) is called Eclipse Lake, so it fits with Weathering Rock and Twelfth Sun and would work with Solstice Island too. I wrote it before SI, which is probably why I was worried about using Solstice Island….that it sounded too similar to Eclipse Lake. Sounds like everyone is in favor of it though!


  4. A rebel would choose one of your other titles just to be different from everyone else… but alas… I really like the intrigue of Solstice Island… However…. And admirable man isn’t bad either!


    • And we have a vote for An Admirable Man! 🙂 Although it sounds like Solstice Island is your front runner, and of the two, that’s the one I prefer as well. Thanks, Debbie. Love getting all this input!


    • Hi, Cd. I can well imagine you had your hands full sending your first off to Kindergarten.Hope Mom and little one are adjusting 🙂

      I’m so glad I ran an opinion poll here first because you and Donna have both responded exactly as I feared might happen using the word cryptid. To the bulk of readers it’s going to be a foreign word.

      Another vote for Solstice Island. Just as a side note, I hate to tell you guys how many times I’ve changed the title on my ms BEFORE I even posted the question here. I’ve lost track, LOL!


  5. I like Solstice Island best. I too have never seen the word Cryptid before. The titles all seem so different. The word Hunter is intriguing. Admirable makes me think of a play on the naval “admiral”, but “man” is boring. Solstice Island has a mysterious undertone and brings to mind the most vivid image.

    Good luck!


    • Thanks for the input, Jessi! I actually wanted to use “An Honorable Man” rather than “An Admirable Man” but when I plugged that into Amazon a slew of books came up. I want to try to keep my titles different.

      Looks like Cryptid Hunter is definitely on the low end of the radar.


    • HI, Joanne. I’ve considering moving my website to WordPress, but I really like the looks of the one I have at GoDaddy, and I hate to lose two years of SEO.

      Thanks for commenting on my interview at D.B’s blog (I need to hope over there). And yet another for Solstice Island. We have a runaway winner!


  6. I like Island, but I personally associate the word “Solstice” with Pagans (perhaps because I know so many) and so “Solstice Island” would suggest something more along the lines of a mystical awakening story than a contemporary romance. That might not be the case with enough people to matter, though.

    A lot depends on the tone. If you’re going for light-hearted and humorous, I’d go with something reminiscent of a Republic serial– “Island of The Forbidden Creatures” or something.

    For a more serious romance, I like “An Admirable Man”.

    I think there is actually a YA book out there called “Cryptid Hunters”, I remember it because I had no idea what a “cryptid” might be. I like “Leviathan Hunter” better, but that would suggest to me that the focus is on adventure, rather than the romance angle.

    Be advised, I am a fifty year old man who seldom reads romances, so I’m probably not your target audience. But I do like playing with titles, so I figured I’d shove in with my two kopecks.


    • Hi, Misha, and welcome! I’m thrilled you stopped by to comment. Welcome to my blog! 🙂

      I have such a hard time with titles and this one more than most. Personally, my favorite is Cryptid Hunter, but I realize most people have no idea what cryptids are and certainly not the average romance reader! I get the Solstice connection with pagans, but I think it also speaks a lot to summer.

      As for the tone of the book, it’s 50/50 romance and adventure. I hadn’t considered Leviathan Hunter. I’ll have to mull that one over.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment. I love hearing multiple opinions!


      • I also like “Raising Leviathan”– for some reason titles with verb phrases seem more romantic and adventurous to me. It’s a reference to Job 3:8, and also reminiscent of the phrases “Raising Cain” and “Raising Hell” (not to mention “Raising Arizona”…)


  7. Hi Mae. Wow, you certainly have a lot of options open. I learned a lot by reading everyone’s comments. The comment about keeping your body of work ‘grouped’ – I rather like that thought. One of the things I look for in an author that I buy consistently without checking for subject matter content, title or anything is that I’m in for a read I won’t want to put down (like yours) and that after say 8 to 10 novels, I know the author isn’t going to throw a YA novel at me when she or he has always written literary fiction. At any one time I have 50 authors on my list that I attempt to stay current with plus read additional authors. I personally don’t think you can go wrong with Solstice Island.


    • Thanks, Sheri. Solstice Island seems to be the overwhelming choice and, since it was my original title, I’m going to go with it. I can understand what you’re saying about authors too. I have a few on my automatic read list and recently two of them did something entirely different that left me discouraged.

      I will probably eventually venture into a few other genres like urban fantasy with my writing, but I’m thinking about doing that under a different pen name.

      Thanks for your input!


  8. I like Solistice Island too. And I think it kind of goes with your other titles. Two words and the name of a place or boat If anyone already mentioned that, sorry, I didn’t read all the comments. I was thinking Practical Magic, but that’s a movie. I’ll keep thinking on it.


    • Mary, I love the way your mind works! 🙂 Thanks for weighing in on the title. I think I’m going to go with Solstice Island. Like you and a few others have mentioned, it’s a good fit with all of my previous titles. And I put the final, final edits on it tonight. Now all I have to do is send it to my CPs! YAY!


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