Titles and How They Came About

Me at Wok meeting

by Marilyn Meredith

Linda and I have both written about the importance of a title and ways to choose one. This time I’m going to concentrate on the titles in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series.

The first book I wrote in the series, Deadly Trail, was not the first published, so when it was published it was called the prequel – or when Mundania republished it, they called it #0. And of course, there is a most significant trail in it.

Deadly Omen came next and based on an Indian legend—something you’ll see I’ve done often. For a brief moment, I thought about including Deadly in every title. Sure glad I gave up that idea.

Unequally Yoked came from the Bible, and refers to the differences in Tempe’s and her husband’s beliefs.

Intervention refers to a divine intervention.

Another legend about what an owl crossing one’s path means gave the title to Wing Beat.

It’s pretty obvious why I called the next one Calling the Dead.

There are two significant fires in Judgment Fire.

Kindred Spirits refers to Tempe’s relationship with two of the Tolowa characters in the book.

Dispel the Mist introduces the Hairy Man—and the title comes from an Indian quote.

Because a lot of the action is on Bear Creek Indians Reservation land, there are more references to the Hairy Man in the Invisible Path. The title comes from another Indian quote.

Bears invade Bear Creek and create havoc; Bears With Us seemed like an appropriate title.

Raging Water was the obvious title when torrential rain caused Bear Creek to become a raging river.

Another quote provided the perfect title, Spirit Shapes, for a tale about a haunted house and the spirits who live there.

River Spirits came about from a scene near the end of the mystery—and with much of the story being on the reservation again, the Hairy Man once again appears.

In this mystery set over on the coast, Tempe soon realizes much of what is happening is Not as it Seems.

This latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Seldom Traveled, also got its title from a quote – and it refers to several seldom traveled roads and trails in the story.

And that’s how I came up with those titles,


Seldom Traveled Front Cover

Seldom Traveled Blurb:

The tranquility of the mountain community of Bear Creek is disrupted by a runaway fugitive, a vicious murderer, and a raging forest fire. Deputy Tempe Crabtree is threatened by all three.

Mundania Press Buy Link: http://mundania.com/book (Directly from the publisher in all different formats).

Amazon Buy Link: Amazon Link


New Contest:

Winners will be randomly picked from those leaving the most comments on the blog posts. Each winner can choose one of the earlier books in the series as either a print book or e-book.

Tomorrow you’ll find me here: http://amymbennettbooks.blogspot.com/

Marilyn Meredith’s Bio:

Marilyn has had so many books published, she’s lost track of the count, but it’s getting near 40. She lives in a community similar to the fictional mountain town of Bear Creek, the big difference being that Bear Creek is a thousand feet higher in the mountains. She is a member of Mystery Writers of American, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, and is a board member of Public Safety
Writers of America.






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Titles and How They Came About — 9 Comments

  1. Welcome Marilyn. Enjoyed reading another interesting story around your writing career. Mundania Press did a good job with your buy link here. It is beautiful.

  2. Good idea about giving up on using Deadly in each title. People like me get very confused with similar titles and it’s hard to remember which I’ve read or not.

  3. Coming up with titles can be simple or an arduous task. I read somewhere a good title shouldn’t exceed three words. Note that most of Marilyn’s titles are less than three words. Enjoyed the read. Always something new to learn from Marilyn.