One thing I discovered when I was writing Sanctuary is that, for a writer, I am absolutely terrible at coming up with title names.
It to me literally forever to think up Sanctuary as a title for the book, even though now I couldn’t imagine it being called anything else and am puzzled why it took me so long to decide upon when it is such a resonating theme throughout the book.
I struggled over it. I muddled over it. I barely came up with any other suggestions. At one point I decided to ignore it ‘oh I’ll think up a title later, the most important thing is getting the book finished’ but no matter how much I tried to bury it, there it was looking over my shoulder tapping on my skull, refusing to let me forget it’s presence.
Even when I thought of the title Sanctuary, I still wasn’t convinced. Did it sum up one of the main themes of the book? Yes. But would it show the would-be reader that this was a vampire novel? Was that even important? Sure, I would want all vampire fiction enthusiasts to pick it up, but what about those who specifically wouldn’t pick it up if they knew it was about vampires? Because there’s a hell of a lot of those readers out there and, I have discovered, quite a few people who aren’t partiuclarly enamoured with all things vamp, have read Sanctuary and still loved it anyway. So maybe it was a good thing that the title did not immediately scream ‘This book is about vampires’ or maybe I would have had fewer readers by now.
So anyway, not feeling particularly in love with the title, I kept it for a while. I tried not to dwell on it and thought, I’m sure one that I REALLY love will find its way into my head.
Then one day, listening to old cds of The Doors I came across a song I hadn’t listened to in ages. The Soft Parade. And the first lines that Jim Morrison sings made me prick up my ears and listen intently:
‘Can you give me sanctuary?
I must find a place to hide
A place for me to hide
Can you find me soft asylum?
I can’t make it anymore
The man is at the door’
‘That’s it!’ I thought with a rush of blood to my head and immediately I knew I had made the right choice. I had always made the right choice. It really was the only choice, it just took me a long time to realise it.
Recently I posed a question to a writer friend of mine over whether to keep Sanctuary as the title of the first book or use it as a series name and therefore re-name book one something else.
She replied as if she had already read my mind. It can’t be called anything else, you see. Sanctuary it is, and always will be.
So this now poses another dilemma.
What the Hell do I call the second book and what name do I give to the whole series?
Answers on a postcard…….