Titles: Your Opinions?


My publisher has decided, wisely I believe, that the title for my June ’09 book, After the Storm, is problematic. It is the sequel to Before the Storm, and even within the publishing house itself, the title has given rise to confusion as people try to recall which book they’re talking about. In addition, it’s a title with more “acquired resonance” than “automatic resonance,” as we discussed a few posts ago. In other words, now we need to look for something more concrete and gripping.

So it’s back to the drawing board on a title for this book, and I would love to hear any ideas and thoughts you might have, since you all were so helpful with Before the Storm. Here are a few ideas my editor and I have come up with. We’re trying to still tie it to Before the Storm since it is a sequel. I was playing with the word Storm for that reason, but my editor thinks we should perhaps focus on the word After instead.

So you know, in this book one of the adult characters “goes missing” in chapter one and it is her story, as well as that of three of the teen characters, that we follow.

Some ideas:

 Why She Left

 After She Left

 What’s Left Unsaid

 After the Fire

 The Last to Know

 The Secrets Left Behind

Let me know your thoughts. Of course, if I wind up using any of your ideas, you’ll receive a copy of . . . . whatever this book is called once it’s published!





  1. Margo on September 2, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    I really like AFTER SHE LEFT but here are a few others
    After The Clouds Part (or After The Clouds Parted)
    After The Sea Called Her
    Island Departure
    Leaving Them Behind
    Goodbye Island
    I need to think on this some more…

  2. Denise on September 2, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    The word “secret” is partly what grabbed my attention about CeeCee. ‘Secret’ or ‘secrets’ tend to appeal to nosey folks like me and imply a mystery within which also appeals to me. So I think I might like to see another title include the word ‘secret,’ if possible. Of course, I realize that this is not all about me. Lol!
    I like “The Secrets Left Behind.” Here are a few other suggestions:
    Abandoned With Secrets or Abandoned Secrets
    Secrets She Left Behind
    Secrets Left Untold
    Missing With Secrets
    Stormy Secrets
    She Went Missing and All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt (LOL!!!)

  3. Denise on September 2, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Here’s two more:
    Protected Secrets
    Secrets She Protected

  4. brenda on September 2, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    I am so so so excited…one of my new students brought Before the Storm to class today–she bought it…the others are getting excited too…can’t wait to hear her talk about it…Diane-thank you…you have a group of high school kids to reach-not only adult women…great…As you know, I have always felt that the word “storm” was problematic from day one…sorry but I did…as to using After…if this sequel is about someone leaving…is it a continuation of book one…using the same characters in a different way…or is it a sequal-continuing what happened? What happened to Maggie? Andy? In other words is it TO BE CONTINUED or just another story about the same characters??? AFTER SHE DISAPPEARED? TO be honest…I have problems with after and before…what about SHE TOLD NO ONE…??? Is she found? Does she die? All of those questions would determine the title…

  5. brenda on September 2, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    If she comes back…
    Finding Her Place
    After Finding Her Place
    Where is She?
    Why Did She Leave?
    After She Left
    Just some ideas…difficult to come up with a title if we don’t know what is going on…
    Is the story mainly about the person leaving???

  6. Diane Chamberlain on September 2, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Heh heh, you’re right about the problem of titling a book without knowing what it’s about, Brenda, but I can’t tell any more about it than I have. It is definitely a continuation of the story in Before the Storm, but with its own new questions and themes.
    All these ideas are helping me think, though, so thank you!

  7. Ann on September 3, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Having read Before the Storm I thought After the Storm was a perfect title but I see now that it could be confusing [or just not make sense] to anyone that had not read the first book.
    Aftermath of a Storm [not as specific as After the Storm}
    I know you will find a good one and am anxious to read it whatever the title may be!

  8. Julie on September 3, 2008 at 12:25 am

    Gone with the Waves
    Riders of the Lost Ark
    JUST KIDDING!! I fear I might have too much fun with this. 🙂
    I kind of like these three best from your list:
    What’s Left Unsaid
    After the Fire
    The Last to Know
    Hmm, original ideas…
    If the Sea Tender is gone, can the name still figure in at all? I really thought that was a great name for the cottage. If so, how about:
    The Sea Tender
    or just
    Sea Tender
    Or something somehow related.
    Tending the Sea
    Sea Tending
    The Tender Sea
    I’m like someone else who said it’s kind of hard to get a feel without knowing a bit more about the story.
    Ooohhh, how about:
    Lost at Sea
    (I really like that!) or
    Missing at Sea
    Swept Away
    Drifting toward Home
    Secrets of the Sea
    Okay, that was fun.

  9. Julie on September 3, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Also wanted to mention I gave away my copy of Before the Storm this weekend. (Not something I do very often, let me tell you!) A social worker did a home study for us because my husband is adopting my girls, and she mentioned in our conversation that she had adopted and raised a fetal alcholol syndrome baby, unfortunately with much heartbreak in time. She said she’s served many parents over the years who have been directly affected by FAS(Or fasd? Can’t remember which).
    I asked if she was a reader and had read any of your books. She is and hadn’t, so showed BTS to her and asked if she’d like to have it. I told her it was a very hopeful book, and that it might reach out to moms who decide to try to keep their babies and turn their lives around as well as others in related situations.
    Don’t know if I’ll ever see or talk to her again, but she seemed excited about reading it.

  10. Julie on September 3, 2008 at 1:52 am

    … make that alcohol. 🙂 Alcholol sounds like some kind of computerese! Heh.

  11. Margo on September 3, 2008 at 8:06 am

    I still like AFTER SHE LEFT but thought of a few others:
    Memories of Goodbye
    After She Fell
    Vanishing Spirit
    After High Tide
    Abandoned Spirit
    The Day After

  12. Diane Chamberlain on September 3, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    I’m going to forward some of your ideas to my editor and we can play with them. Julie, The Sea Tender won’t work. I still love that title, but if it was a reject from the first book, it definitely won’t work for the second. Thanks for giving the adoptive mom your copy of Before the Storm. It’s unfortunate that raising a child with FAS often turns out to be more of a heartbreak than it was in Andy’s case. I admire her for taking that on.

  13. Denise on September 3, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Titles like “She’s Come Undone,” “Breaking Her Fall” and “Driving with Dead People” tend to stick with me; they are attention-getting and easy to remember. They are sort of ‘present tense.’
    Would “Leaving with Secrets” or “After She Leaves” be possibilities?
    Julie, love Gone with the Waves. Lol!

  14. Gina on September 3, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Oh wow. You guys are good at this! I’m not good at thinking of titles. Diane, I’m sure whatever you and your editor come up with with be fantastic!

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