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We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Thursday 25 July 2013

Magic Thursday - what is in a name?

Nicole Murphy

At the moment, I'm revising and re-writing my science fiction romance. I love this story - I should, I've been writing it for nearly 30 years!

Soon it will be ready to send out to my beta readers. By the end of August, maybe mid September, it will be ready to start submitting.

Which brings me to the part I hate most of this entire process - coming up with the title.

I sooooo suck at titles. Honestly, it's horrendous. Maybe one third of my titles get used as is? The rest get changed. I almost want to send my subs in with the note "yeah, I know the title sucks, but you can change it, I don't mind and honestly, the book is good..."

My upcoming release 'The Lies We Tell' went into the publisher called 'Painted Together'. Neither the editor nor marketing liked it, and so the discussion began. What to call it? We came up with an idea (damn I wish I'd saved the emails - can't remember what it was) but marketing didn't like it, so we tried again.

At least it didn't take as long as the books in the Dream of Asarlai trilogy. Honestly, it took months and I was about to throw my hands in the air and tell HarperCollins to call them whatever they wanted when the publisher and I finally came up with 'Secret Ones' (originally Love in Control), 'Power Unbound' (originally Freedom to Be) and 'Rogue Gadda' (originally Chance and Reward).

See? Complete suckage.


Here's the synopsis:

Cassandra Wiltmore would do anything to keep the Rican Balcite Mining Company profitable, both for her family and for the people of Rica, who she will one day rule. When a consortium tries to convince the Planetarium that the RBMC shouldn't hold the license to mine balcite any more, Cassandra is determined to find out who they are and stop them.

But everything she does seems to backfire. Her attempts to find out who is in the consortium results in her obsessed wannabe lover convincing the entire planet they are to be married. Her confrontation with the man she believes at the root of her problems leaves her lover Kernan Radaton first in a coma then unable to remember her.

Then just when she finds out the truth and realises she can save herself from a horrid marriage as well as the family business, she is kidnapped. With time ticking away, she needs to get out and have the truth revealed in four days, or she'll be forced to marry and will have to leave her home, not allowed to return until she brings a new heir.

With ingenuity, Cassandra is freed and arrives just in time to witness the destruction of her fiance and her salvation. She thinks all will go back to normal, except the Prince of Rica has plans for her. The only good thing to look forward to is that Kernan has regained his memory, forgives her the part she played in his injury and is ready to help her led her new life, so she gets a happily ever after - just not the one she really wanted.


What would you call my science fiction romance? Tell me your suggestion and you'll go in the draw to win my new book, The Lies We Tell. Not to mention the one I like the best will become the official title of the book, and you'll be acknowledged in the text.


  1. The Balcite Monopoly, The Rican Consortium, The Balcite Conspiracy. It sounds like a political mystery intrigue suspense sci-fi romance and thus evokes that kind of name, like "The Manchurian Candidate" or "The Bourne Identity". SO think of "The (something adjectival hat evokes the time and place) (something nounish that evokes the politics and intrigue)

    1. That's a really interesting way to think about it Gabrielle - it does have a lot of intrigue and suspense so going with that pattern makes sense to me. Thanks :)

  2. Thanks DD. Consortium is a great word, working it into the title would probably work well.

  3. Actually I use another methodology. I go to the last paragraph and pluck a phrase or word or think about the emotion being stressed in the last paragraph. It also depends on whether you are pitching for the SF market or the romance market. You could always go for 'Digging Deep' if you want to keep genre open :)


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