Calling Names (The story behind my book title)

To celebrate my 2nd anniversary of publishing I’m re-posting this explanation of where my very-long but so cool title came from. If this piques your interest you can enter a Goodreads Giveaway to win a signed copy. Follow this link and sign up to win your copy.


After almost three weeks on Amazon, I am starting to get some feedback on the contents of my novel, but more on the cover and the title.  When it comes to the literary world of Amazon your book will be judged by its cover and its title.  My cover is courtesy of the fabulous Kim and Kitten and Deranged Doctor Designs, the title is my own creation.  So, how did I decide on it?

For most of the time that I was writing, the novel was simply labeled Ben and Carrie on my computer.  I knew I couldn’t stick with that. Not only is it really unimaginative, it also tells you nothing about the story except that there is someone named Ben and someone named Carrie.  Not exactly intriguing enough to make you want to plunk down $2.99 to find out more.

One of the themes in the story is tribe or groups.  I’ve written a few posts here on my blog already about this concept.  I am fascinated with the idea of social groups, how innate they are, how they are formed, why we join them or leave them, and how they both divide and connect us to others.  Exploring those ideas was one of the main reasons I placed the characters in high school (and a little of  junior high).  That is a key time in life when people start to choose who they want associate with and be associated with.  For some it is a conscious choice, for others, it is more of a hit-or-miss chance meeting.

Burnouts, geeks and Jesus freaks are names kids use to define themselves, create separate identities, and connect with others who share the same moniker.  The names are short hand for (stereotypical) characteristics that allowed me as an author to build my characters more easily. In the beginning of the story, lines are clearly drawn between the groups but those lines start to fade and become less clear as the characters grow and mature.

The title grabs your attention because most of us remember these groups in high school or similar ones.  We had preppies, nerds, burnouts, goody-goodies, jocks; all derogatory terms meant to divide and define.  There was almost always a price to pay for crossing over the divisions, moving away from your group.  But some, like Ben and Carrie, were willing to cross those lines, because that’s the other thing that happens in high school: a love story.


2 thoughts on “Calling Names (The story behind my book title)

  1. Wow, that's quite an impressive amount of thought you put into it! And I thought it was just a YA love story…

    Guess I should give it a go. Might distract me from my lackadaisical marketing attempts *sheds fake tear*.

    Anyway, what did you think of DDD? I had them design a cover for my short story, The Sandman, and am unsure of what to think–is it good? Is it great? Is it crap? I swear, I never had this much doubt with my short story, or my novelette, or my god-damn epic!

    Must be a common writer's worry, eh?


  2. Hey Alex: I'd love for you to give my book a try. It's actually more NA than YA (there's sex in it – gasp!). It's a really fun, easy read (because I like those).
    As for marketing, wow, what a challenge that has been. Who knew that the world would not beat down my door just because I self-published a novel-not my delusional self.
    I loved working with DDD. The cover they designed has been key to getting that immediate attention I need. I saw your design and I liked it. Do you feel like it accurately depicts the story inside?
    My email address is Send me a note if you want to chat about writer stuff. I'd love to get to know someone else in the same boat as me.



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