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Friday, July 1, 2011

The Connection Between Life and Writing

Three plus stories into The Women’s Circle, my series of seven books, I can state with the utmost confidence that I have something in common with each of my heroines. Although the stories are not about me, there is an aspect of ‘me’ in each story.
In my first story “Trust Comes…Slowly” or “Spirits of the Land” also referred to as “Lily’s Story”, I share professions both as a child welfare worker and geriatric case manager and professional guardian.

“To Have It All” or “The Lady and The Sacred Grove” or simply “Elizabeth’s Story” is set in part in Ireland, a country I have roots to (my great grandmother emigrated from there) and I’ve traveled there.

In “Show Me The Way” or “The Queen and The Knight” – again, “Diana’s Story” the heroine learns to use The Tarot to see her way through the challenges of her life. I’d never used The Tarot myself until I started to write this story.
“Dragonflies and Dreams” or “Ashley’s Story” is next up. Ashley is a breast cancer survivor. I am a cancer survivor.

While an aspect of each of my heroines touches a part of my life, each has her own journey very separate from my own. Read my IntroductoryPost and Do You Believe in Magic? to learn more about my real and writing lives. I'm trying to come up with intriguing titles that reflect my stories. Which of these titles is your favorite?

© Judith Ashley, 2011. All rights reserved.

11 comments:

Tam Linsey said...

Titles are soooo hard to get right! And then we face the fact that the Publisher may change it anyway.
I love Dragonflies and Dreams, BTW.

B. A. Binns said...

I love reading about your connection between yourself and your writing.

Sarah Raplee said...

I'm terrible at titles, but i do think with your books, you want to emphasize their unique spiritual aspects in order to reach your core audience. Is their a way you can include that with the character journey in the title? Ex: The Queen and the Knight Lead the Way, or Queen and Knight's Path, or Following the Storm Queen and the Dark Knight.I'm not familiar with Tarot terminology, but you get my drift. Or Finding Love in the Sacred Grove, Finding Her Path Through the Sacred Grove, ...

Sorry, that's all I got. :) But Dragonflies and Dreams is my favorite, too.

Judith Ashley said...

I took a workshop where we looked at Titles and with only that information determined what genre the book was and whether we wanted to know more.

When I pitched to one editor with "Trust Comes...Slowly","To Have It All" and "Show Me The Way" as the titles her first comment was "The titles have to go."

I think the content has to be great but if the title stinks, I'm not sure how well the book will sell for an unknown writer/author.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks, BA. I don't know that I can write about something I'm not familiar with on many levels. I'm amazed with your work - PULL - writing from a teenage boys POV!

Judith Ashley said...

One of your strengths, Sarah, is brainstorming. Thanks for the ideas. I agree that I want to reference eithr subtly or strongly the alternative spirituality of my stories. The Tarot Queen that fits Diana best is the Queen of Swords and Matthew is best represented by the Knight of Pentacles. It is unusual for a Queen to choose a Knight over a King. Oh yes, there is Guinivere and Lancelot...

Sarah Raplee said...

Queen of Swords and Knight of Pentacles - now that's what I'm talking about! Intriguing and, for those familiar with the Tarot, meaningful. Way to go!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks, Sarah. Because of your comment I took the time to review my Tarot materials and figured out who Diana (Queen of Swords) and Matthew (Knight of Pentacles) would be within The Tarot Deck.

Diana Mcc. said...

If I saw your book with the title "Queen of Swords" I'd have to buy it! It is intriguing, for when does a Queen use a sword? I picture a Joan of Ark type fighting along side her Knights. And then of course, falling for the Knight of Pentacles. :))

Vonnie Alto said...

Hi Judith--

I agree with Sarah that you should emphasize the unique spirituality of each book. However, since each book is part of the same series, make sure that the titles are grammatically in sinc or harmonious with each other. This will gain greater reader identification and become a series hook.

You have some great titles which are grammatically harmonious with each other because each title has a "and" separating two subjects: "Lady and the Secret Grove," "Queen and the Night," "Dragonflies and Dreams." Also very poetic and thus memorable.

In keeping with this syntax, you need to axe the titles for Book one and substitute something else (probably using the words, "spirit" and "land" since those words were originally in your Book 1 Title). Play with it and see what you come up with.

Good luck! You have a captivating series!!!

Judith Ashley said...

Vonnie,
Thank you for your suggestions. My mind has been shifting through ideas for Book One - I've worked on it the longest and in some ways am more confused about it than the others. Trust is such a huge theme in all of my books and I'd like Book One to have that in the title. My way is clear - just need to finish this version and in the process figure out a title - perhaps "Trust and the Spirits of the Land"?