In a Fog

2002 Cypress Point hardcover

Ah, the title challenge once again.

My publisher plans to reissue Cypress Point in late 2010–a plan which makes me very happy! This is the old cover, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with for the new one. In addition to changing the cover, they would like to change the title to one that’s more in keeping with my more recent books. It’s true that my recent and upcoming books have more evocative titles–The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, Before the Storm, Secrets She Left Behind, The Lies We Told–the sort of titles that make you go “Hmm. . . wonder what that book is about?” So I agree with them. Now it’s time to put on my thinking cap, and I’m asking you to join me.

One concern I have over the change in title: I once bought a book by a favorite author, only to realize that I’d already read it under a different title. I’m going to discuss that problem with my publisher and make sure it’s clearly stated somewhere that the book is indeed a reissue.

For those of you not familiar with Cypress Point, it’s about an old woman named Carlynn who is reputed to be a healer. She lives on a cliff in Monterey, California, with its twisting roads and dense fog and beautiful cypress trees.  Then we have a medical social worker, Joelle, whose best friend is seriously ill. In spite of the fact that Joelle is in love with her friend’s husband, she enlists the help of Carlynn to try to heal her. Half the book explores the dramatic story of Carlynn and her sister, Lisbeth. The other half is Joelle’s current day story as she makes decisions that will impact the rest of her life and the lives of those she loves.

So the main themes are: Who really needs healing in the story? What is the real meaning of healing? Lesser themes include the entwined relationship between sisters and the link between love and friendship.

As I think about titles, I’m definitely stuck in healing mode.

  • The Healer’s Choice
  • Her Sister’s Gift
  • The Healer of Cypress Point
  • Healing Lessons
  • The Healer’s Promise
  • The Last Healing
  • The Reluctant Healer

Then I got off on the fog and the winding roads.

  • A Path Through the Fog.
  • Hidden by the Fog.
  • A Turn in the Road
  • A Twist in the Road

I don’t think I’ve found the magic words yet. Maybe we can brainstorm together?


  1. Margo on November 2, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Just a few come to mind:

    Touched By Grace
    Touched By Time
    Power With Grace
    Power Of Grace
    Touched By Her

  2. brenda on November 2, 2009 at 9:30 am

    I am home with the flu-finally able to think about looking at my computer. Don’t change the title-it will confuse people. Another author has had patrons actually angry because of the confusion of the reissue of books. I assured her that “since the title is the same” the reader should have known-if the titles are changed-it is a guessing game. If it is not broken, why change it? We don’t change the names of classics. SORRY…I love your books and love the titles…Can you imagine the confusion when buyers think they are getting a “new” book by D.C. only to get it home and find it is a reissue retitled???

  3. Emilie Richards on November 2, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I like the original title and the cover. That said, I do understand what your publisher’s trying to do here with the cover. Just wonder if they warmed up the cover image, if the title might work as is to avoid confusion, particularly if they follow with a riveting tag line. Staying with point? Point of No Return? The House at Cypress Point? Counterpoint? Titles! One of the hardest parts of writing a novel.

  4. Margo on November 2, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Diane, I think I wrote in your previous blog that I loved the original title…I made some new suggestions since your publisher wants to change the name but I have to be honest and tell you I agree with Brenda and Emilie…why change something that is already good and works?…I think there will definitely be confussion…those of us who read your blog faithfully will know whats going on, but others won’t.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on November 2, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Thanks for this feedback. I’m going to discuss these concerns with my publisher. I’ll keep you posted! Brenda, feel better soon.

  6. Margo on November 2, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Get well Brenda…I’m so sorry you’re sick…

  7. Ann on November 2, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Diane, I have been so disappointed several times to realize that the book I have bought is one I have already read when published under a different title. It happens quite often when British authors are published here in the U.S. I finally learned to check the author’s website and often they have information on the books that have more than 1 title. If your publisher insists on changing the title I hope that there will be an indication of that on the book so the reader will not feel like I have when I have made the mistake of buying the same book with a new title. It is probably one of my “pet peeves”!!

  8. Diane Chamberlain on November 3, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    I hear you loud and clear, Ann. My publisher, agent and I are discussing pros and cons, and everyones feedback helps so much. Thanks!

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