insecure writers support group, writing

#IWSG Blurbs, Titles, and Covers Oh My!

Happy November to all insecure writers everywhere. Join us here, and thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for creating and sustaining this writer community.

Kudos to the co-hosts for November: Kim Lajevardi, Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery!

This month’s question:
What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

Eek, I’m getting the shakes from this question. I thought Halloween was over? Both tasks can bring a writer to her knees, but I have to choose creating titles as more difficult.

Blurbs kick my butt at first, but after scuffling with the sentences, my critique partner and editor always help turn the blurbs into something coherent and catchy. (Whether or not the blurbs are appealing enough to make readers want to buy my books is another matter.)

Titles, though? I’ve ridden the struggle bus drumming up titles for at least four of my nine novels.

The toughest title was for my swimming military murder mystery romance published in 2012. (Maybe covering 11 genres in one novel was the start of the problem?) The initial title was Swimming Against the Tide, then Against the Tide. However, when it came time to publish, both titles seemed cheesy.

My hero faced countless obstacles, including an abusive father, and he had a talent for exploding off the walls on his flip turns. I suggested the swimming term, Streamline, to signify a tight body position allowing him to slice through even the roughest waters.

My publisher thought “streamline” evoked a corporate takeover more than a new adult sports romance. She was probably right. But, I couldn’t think of another damn title! So we went with it.

In addition to blurbs and titles, I want to add another TOUGH task of publishing: creating a book cover. I’ve had countless back-and-forth convos with book designers over the years. My publisher grappled with the cover concept for Streamline, but I love the design they landed on, representing an underwater kiss scene from the book. Still, I wanted the image of the characters to be bigger.

Streamline by Jennifer Lane

How about you? Which writing task gives you the willies the most?

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#IWSG Writing Funk and Title Trouble

I love summer! I was so absorbed in summer goodness that I forgot to post for June’s Insecure Writers Support Group yesterday, whoops.


Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for his clever creation. Join us here.

I haven’t written for six months and I’m wondering if my writing mojo will return. But I do still enjoy supporting fellow authors like Ellen Jacobson from The Cynical Sailor! Her cozy¬†mystery, Murder at the Marina, is a cute hoot, and I’ll post my review on 6/22/18.

IWSG June Question: What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?


I gotta go with titles. I agonized over the title of my last novel though in the end it probably didn’t matter much. For the most part I have a blast drumming up character names. I don’t have children so the characters are my babies I get to name and hold and pet.

Make sure to visit these stellar co-hosts!

Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

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#IWSG Inserting Yourself into Your Characters #amwriting

Doh! I almost forgot IWSG two months in a row (busy fall at my day job). Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for creating this supportive group.


October’s Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

Oh, yes, in multiple books, on purpose. (That sounds narcissistic!) As a psychologist/author (psycho author), I throw all of my characters into therapy, and the therapist character often channels me in some way. And in my swimming novel, Streamline, the heroine’s friend was a backstroker who struggled with her body image–also autobiographical.

I look forward to hearing how other authors have inserted themselves into their characters.

How is your writing? I’m 80% done with my romantic suspense and I’m really excited about releasing it into the world maybe January or February of 2018. I keep changing the title (my original idea was Twin Sacrifice) and my latest brainstorm is My Life For My Brother. How does that title sound to you?