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Guest blogger: Susanne Bellamy

22 January 2017

susanne-bellamyBirth of a title

‘Push … keep pushing … almost there!’

Giving birth to a book baby is, as with an infant, filled with joy, sleepless nights, and a great deal of uncertainty. Weeks and months have passed as the child of your imagination takes shape and grows until it’s ready to burst into the world. You’ve nurtured it from the euphoria of discovering the seed of its existence, through doubts about your ability to guide this amazing creation all the way to the wonderful shining possibilities ahead of it.

Then finally, all the blood, sweat and tears pay off and your book baby is ready to burst into the world.

And, as with a child, finding the right name can be incredibly challenging. At least it is for me.

Unlike friends who had selected their child’s name before he was born (and fellow authors who have a title before their story is written), my son was three days old before my husband and I settled on his name. It had to suit this tiny being we had created, work with our surname, not have any annoying abbreviated form, and somehow capture the essence of who he is and what he might become. That might give you a clue to the difficulties I have with finding the right titles for my books. A title has to suit the story I’ve created and capture its essence in a few key words.

As I was writing a post about my current Hearts of the Outback series, it occurred to me that these titles were, subconsciously, influenced by all the music I’ve listened to over the years:

Just One Kiss
Heartbreak Homestead (my husband came up with this title but I’m not sure if Elvis’ Heartbreak Hotel inspired him)
Long Way Home (listening to Supertramp at uni in the early 80s)
Winds of Change (makes me think of Bob Dylan’s ‘answer’ blowing in the wind)

I know I’m not alone in my angst over the name game. There are many examples of famous authors whose work-in-progress/original titles were simply awful.

There is a breathless moment as I try out a new title against the story I have just completed, and relief when I realise it’s a perfect fit. A special moment of private celebration between me and my book baby before I set it free to stand on its own merits in the world. Can’t wait to learn the name of book five!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and a bright 2017 filled with great books!


Born and raised in Toowoomba, Susanne Bellamy is an Australian author of contemporary romances set in exciting and often exotic locations, and rural romance with a twist of suspense set in Australia, including the bestselling Hearts of the Outback. She adores travel with her husband, both at home and overseas, and weaves stories around the settings and people she encounters.

Her heroes have to be pretty special to live up to her real life hero. He saved her life then married her.

Susanne is a member of the RWA and was a finalist in the Emerald Award. She placed third in the 2015 Pan Macmillan short story competition with Chez Romeo. Mentoring aspiring writers, and working as a freelance editor keeps her off the street! She loves connecting with readers and fellow writers.

You can Susanne here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

winds-of-changeWinds of Change

When famous actress, Willa Raynolds, comes home to the Australian outback to film a mini-series, the last person she expects to see is her first love, Jax Heathwood. Their breakup was unpleasant and he is the last person she wants on the set. Jax, an army major, is on injury leave and to his dismay has been seconded to provide technical advice on location for Willa’s series.

But when Willa is the subject of a stalker, Jax’s protective instincts kick in with a vengeance and he realises he’s never got over her.

Who wants to harm her? Can Jax keep her safe and convince her to take another chance on them?

You can buy Winds of Change from Amazon.

  1. sandyvaile permalink
    22 January 2017 10:17 pm

    I love your fresh view on this difficult subject. I had a book that was just called “Mya’s Story” for a long time.

    • sourris25 permalink
      23 January 2017 12:11 pm

      Thanks, Sandy. Reminds me of TS Eliot’s ‘The Naming of Cats’ and how important and mystical the right name can be. Thanks for visiting. 😀

  2. 22 January 2017 8:01 pm

    Thanks for a great post Susanne. I wonder how much influence publishers may have over the title? There are some fabulous titles out there which really appeal, leaning more to literary wit than alluding to the story within. I guess anything goes. I think I’d be much better at naming other peoples books than my own!
    Best wishes, jay.

    • sourris25 permalink
      22 January 2017 8:13 pm

      Hi Jay,
      My publishers have varied between the first one who went with my original title (White Ginger) to renaming my Melbourne set story (changed from Merger in Melbourne, which is rather blah, to Engaging the Enemy). I’ve had to fit in with other authors in a series (A Bindarra Creek Romance), and I’ve been able to name my own in my Hearts of the Outback series.
      There is quite a mixture of approaches out there.
      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  3. 22 January 2017 11:20 am

    I like the analogy, and am having a read of your book

    • sourris25 permalink
      22 January 2017 8:07 pm

      Hi Barbara,
      Thanks for visiting here and leaving a comment. Hope you enjoy whichever book you choose to read.

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