When it came to choosing my book's title, REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD, a lot of thought was put into it. I wanted something that's catchy, shocking -- and captures the dark comedy tones of my story.
This wasn't my novel's original title. It was actually called WHO'S ON FIRST?, alluding to the fight between Melinda and Kathy for first chair flute. However, when my former agent took me on, she immediately told me to nix that title, explaining that it was too vague and too reminiscent of Abbott and Costello's famed "Who's On First?" bit (I was kind of going for a play on that, but I understood what she was saying). Instead, she suggested that I make my title music-related. I suggested a straight-to-the-point FIRST CHAIR, but she again said that it was too vague and advised me to incorporate the revenge aspect. I brainstormed ideas and eventually came up with REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD. My agent loved it! So did many of the editors to whom she sent my manuscript. Though they all disagreed on which parts of my story they liked and disliked, they all got a kick out of the intriguing title.
One of the criticisms I recently received is that the title gives away too much of the story, but I don't think that this is the case. It tells the gist of the tale -- you know that a band geek is going to do something awful in the name of revenge, but you don't know why or how, or if there will be consequences. I mean, take the popular movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You know that people will die and you know how they'll be killed, but you don't know the details -- and that's what makes you want to tune in.
Being a journalist, I like to think of my title as being kind of like a headline in a newspaper. It's the lead-in that teases an idea, but doesn't give the entire story away. It's the very first part of a story -- even before you read the first line -- that gets you excited and draws you in. A header like, "Crazy Mom Goes On Rampage In Supermarket" technically tells you exactly what happened, but definitely grabs your attention and makes you want to find out WHY and HOW it happened.
Besides, revenge is only part of my story. There is also romance, friendship, music among other things; it's just that for the title's sake, highlighting the revenge aspect made the most sense to me.
So I'm sticking with my title -- and am confident that others will want to "get revenge," as well.
Please read and review REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD, FREE on Kindle, today, November 10.