I hate titling books. Everything I come up with has either already been used, sounds stupid, or has nothing to do with what my manuscript is actually about. Each of my manuscripts has gone through at least two different titles. CODE NAME: WILLOW was originally WILLOW AND THE FALCON. WHAT THE HEART SEES was originally DOOR TO FOREVER. WILD CARD was originally OUT OF LUCK. And poor CRYBABY FALLS started out life as FATAL FLAW.
The genesis of CRYBABY FALLS as a title was kind of interesting. I was doing some just for the fun of it web browsing at Paranormal Research sites (I want to believe in ghosts, even if I don't) and kept coming across places called "Crybaby Bridge" and "Crybaby Hollow" and the like. I remember thinking that CRYBABY (SOMETHING) would be a great title for a book, especially one in the rural south. I filed the idea away until I pulled out FATAL FLAW to look at revising it as a single title. I'd never been happy with that title, so when I was considering changing the name, I thought, "How about CRYBABY FALLS?" Just one problem: there wasn't a Crybaby Falls—or any kind of falls—in the book. But the first murder victim did end up in a river, so it wasn't that hard to stick a waterfall into the mix. Then I used Crybaby Falls as a sort of metaphor for a time and place in every life where something unexpected and devastating occurs, knocking the ground out from under you and challenging you to survive against tremendous odds.
Another small factoid about CRYBABY FALLS: I got the idea for the book from the Richard Marx song, "Hazard," specifically the lines "I swear, I left her by the river...I swear, I left her safe and sound..." If some kind editor will buy my manuscript, maybe you'll get to find out why that makes sense.
Hey, maybe I've found a blog topic for the next few days—sharing what gave me the ideas for each of my four complete manuscripts! Next up: CODE NAME: WILLOW.