To borrow a line from my forthcoming suspense novel, "Every Breath You Take," you gotta have a theme.”
Themes come in handy for many things: parties, rooms…Lifetime movie marathons…If you’re an author, having a “theme” is a must, be it the all black-covers of Gillian Flynn’s books with their two word titles (the covers of her first two books were updated to match the tone and style of “Gone Girl,” after its runaway success, a smart move on her publisher’s part), the simple, candy-colored covers of Danielle Steele’s books back in the day, or J.A. Konrath’s use of drink names to link his books. In the publishing world, themes are an effective tool because they can help you stand out on the crowd.
One of the “links” in my chain is the use of song titles to name my books. I’ve always bought into the “music is the soundtrack of our lives” mindset that Dick Clark preached and as such, knew early on music would play a huge role in my books.When I released my first book back in 2012, I was firmly set on “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” by Bonnie Raitt. It’s a heartbreaking song and it fit the characters and the story like a glove. However, nobody liked it; while it may have “fit” the story, it didn’t “fit” as a title for a psychological suspense story. So, it was with great reluctance I set about finding a more fitting moniker. I selected and rejected numerous contenders before choosing “Live and Let Die.” I didn’t love it, but it seemed to “fit” so I went with it.
Over time, I continued to fall more out of “okay” with the title and earlier this year, I decided to do something about it.Hence, the new name, “Killing Me Softly,” which I LOVE.
The title comes from “Killing Me Softly,” a ditty by New Jack Swing prince, Al B. Sure!. His version is a remake of the popular Roberta Flack tune, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” (got all that?)I also decided a new name should get a new outfit, so I commissioned a “refreshed” cover with the same tone, style, tagline and color (albeit, a slightly darker shade of red) as the previous cover, but with a new cover image, which I also LOVE.
The interior of the book also got a little facelift, as I fixed a few formatting issues and some typos that were missed the first time around. However, there was no major surgery performed; no new characters, no new chapters, no deleted chapters, no revisions whatsoever to the story. Just a little Botox, if you will. Nothing more, nothing less.Without further adieu,
To celebrate, I’m running a giveaway over at Goodreads; I’m offering five free signed paperback copies through January 8, 2015. Check it out!