Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Author Spotlight - What's in a name? Creating a Title

by: Stephanie Burkhart
Creating a title for your work in progress can always be a challenge. It has to embody the story and hint at romance. Interestingly, it took me a bit to find "Danube in Candlelight," but when I did, I knew I had the right title for Book 3 of the Budapest Moon Series.

When I originally contracted the series, I had written "The Hungarian" and plotted "The Count's Lair." Book 3 would be about Matthias' daughter, Morgan, and Anton's son, Adam. Morgan would have to deal with becoming a werewolf. That was the basic plot of the book. The title still escaped me.

A few months later, I read "Crown in Candlelight." It was about Henry V's wife, Katherine Valois and her 2nd husband, Owen Tudor. The title appealed to me. (Mind you, the book was difficult to get through and I don't subscribe to the theory that Katherine was schizophrenic, just a "genetic carrier") but that's beside the point. The title resonated with me. It festered in the back of my mind until I had "Danube in Candlelight."

But what did it mean? I had this really cool title, but now I had to flesh out a more meaningful plot.

Here's where my research paid off. The story would be set in Budapest, 1922, in the aftermath of World War I. The Hungarians were on the losing side of the war and saw their boundaries reduced to what is modern day Hungary. The Communists took control of the government, but threw the nation into chaos. The former nobility rose up, overthrew the Communists and established a constitutional monarchy with a regent. The regent entered into the Treaty of Trinanon, Hungary's peace accord with the victors of the war. Hungary then began the slow process of reconstruction. The Hungarian nation is shadowed by Candlelight during this time (my metaphor) but a flame can grow stronger as a nation does, or it can sputter out.

Morgan's world is shattered when she learns her father is a werewolf. While she's not a wolf, her actions become more reckless as the flame of her soul flickers. Adam's flame is steadfast.

Both Morgan and Hungary must push forward and face their future. Will the candlelight burn bright and strong or weaken and become extinguished?

5 Stars, Reader's Favorite:
This story is the closest I have ever come to reading a book that feels like a movie!

5 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews:
Once again, Stephanie Burkhart has touched my imagination and with her writing brings 1922 Hungary to life. Danube in Candlelight is a very romantic, yet spicy read. This is a must read if you enjoy the paranormal werewolf stories or even if you merely enjoy a great romance.

Book Trailer on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgzUIHCRN0I

Set in Budapest 1922, The Hungarians are recovering from the war. Adam Varga is Hungarian to the bone and becomes an architect to help rebuild his nation. Morgan Duma returns from England also intent on helping to rebuild her country.

After a tragedy happens to her mother, Morgan discovers her father is a werewolf. She begins to question who she is, becoming more reckless, more daring, and her choices more bold. When Zoltan Kristos, a known werewolf, requests Morgan accompany him to the summer ball, Morgan has to decide which man will best fit her life.
PUBLISHER'S BUY LINK: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-219/Budapest-Moon-Book-III/Detail.bok

AMAZON KINDLE BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Hungarian-Moon-Book-Three-ebook/dp/B0061XJFG0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1320188529&sr=1-1
BARNES & NOBLE NOOK BUY LINK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hungarian-moon-book-three-stephanie-burkhart/1107039692?ean=2940013659148&itm=1&usri=danube%2bin%2bcandlelight






  1. Hi Stephanie,

    I too have a hard time picking a name for my books. It has to be just right and until it is I have a hard time moving on.

    Good luck with your Danube in Candelight. It sounds like a very intriguing story.

    Susan Jaymes

  2. Thanks for popping in, Susan. I agree - it can be challening choosing the right name for the book. It's got to be perfect.


  3. I love the way it all came together for you, Steph. The books and their titles are great reads. With me, the title always comes first, just somewhere out of the blue a title will pop into my head, then a stroy builds from the title. It's weird, but true. lol

  4. I don't blame you for working hard on creating just the right title. Titles are one of the first things readers check out before buying a book. I've seen some titles that were just turn-offs or even kind of disgusting. I think you made a very good choice.
    BTW, that is the first time I heard that Katherine may have been schizophrenic--or even a genetic carrier. Very interesting, Steph. Loved your blog.

  5. Titles are not always the creation of the author. With many mass market publishers, the title is the product of the marketing department or must fit into a particular mold that fits the publisher's brand (The Rancher's Secret Baby, Marrying the Millionaire etc.)

    I'm grateful authors have more control at Desert Breeze so we can have evocative titles like yours, Steph.

  6. Tami, usually titles come to very easily, but this one I had to put a little thought and research into it. I'd like to think it paid off. hehe

    Sarah, ditto with Katherine Valois. In all my reading and research, I don't think she ever showed an schizophrenic tendencies, but her father was bi-polar, schizonphrenic, and her son, Henry VI was as well. Jarman has her totally "wigging" out which doesn't seem true to me.

    Barbara, I agree - it's nice to have that control over the title. I would think the "mold" would get a little drab after a while.


  7. Titles are key. You have to live with the title for a long time. I'm always thinking about my next book while writing the first one. But I now have a secret weapon- my 11 year old nephew. We were on a cruise this past summer and I mentioned to my sister I needed a title. He very seriously wanted to know the plot, setting and characters. He started brain storming and I ran to get a paper and pen. It was the most fun I'd had finding the right title

  8. Kathleen, sounds like he's an awesome secret weapon. hehe