What's in a Name?

name tagNames are meaningful things and I say that as someone who has a name that that-coffee-place-that-starts-with-S can’t ever get right. (Seriously I’ve thought of taking pictures of all of the crazy permutations they’ve come up with and that’s WITH me spelling it out loud). Yet names are something I have problems with. I was never great at writing headlines and although I think I’ve finally sorted out how to knock out a good query letter, titles are NOT my thing.

My debut book, due out in Spring/Summer 2014 from FLUX was called ICE for the longest time. ICE is the nickname given to my main character by the most important person in his life, his older brother Kevin. My MC, Gordie, is a hockey player, so there’s that. But I also like the fact that Ice, as a substance, is strong and yet can melt and crack.

Organically, the title evolved to IN CASE OF EMERGENCY because sometimes you need to learn where your safety net is. In Gordie’s case he needed to accept that he even had one.

So that’s what my cover page said. But I always referred to it as ICE because I’m lazy and typing out the long title was just a pain. I was SO lazy that my agent was surprised (and I think dismayed) to find that the book had a longer title. Which was just because I'd probably never typed the whole think out for her before.

And now….my book has a new name. It’s REAL name. A name that I think might raise questions from readers, but a name that reflects both the book’s content in a deep and meaningful way as well as Gordie’s nature. Because like ICE, he’s strong, yet fragile and prone to cracking. He's wounded, but gentle and trying to wrestle with things that others can't see.

I give great thanks to my editor, Brian Farrey-Latz, for seeing through the layers to target right to the heart of this book, which is now and forever known as THESE GENTLE WOUNDS.