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.