Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Little Something for the Weekend - What's In A Title?

The Pink Heart Society is delighted to welcome back Elizabeth Heiter, as she muses on how titles impact the writing process...

When I was brainstorming a proposal for my Lawmen series with Harlequin Intrigue, all I started off knowing was that I was going to have some FBI characters who somehow had an overlapping backstory. There was going to be a profiler, a Hostage Rescue Team sniper, and a SWAT agent. But how did they know each other?

Despite the fact that I’ve had to change the title of every book I’ve written thus far, for some reason, I began coming up with titles instead of storylines. Along the way, I hit upon a title I loved: “Catch and Release.” When that title idea hit, all of a sudden, I had my backstory: a serial rapist who abducts one woman a year, brands her, then lets her go.

Ten years ago, that woman was Maggie Delacorte, the first victim of the Fishhook Rapist. After that day, Maggie (my future SWAT agent) made a pact with her older brother, Scott (my future sniper), and their best friend, Ella Cortez (my future profiler). Forget their plans for the future and instead join the FBI, where they could prevent things like this from happening to others.

From that, my Lawmen series was born! And then I was off, writing like mad on three stories that just suddenly came together for me. After I turned them in, though, I found out that (yet again!) we weren’t keeping my titles. Catch and Release (along with the other two book titles in the series) got tossed out the window. And I wondered: would a book by any other name seem as sweet?

The third book in the series (Maggie’s story and my current release) was changed to SWAT SECRET ADMIRER. The title that had spawned the series was gone, but as it turns out, it didn’t really matter. I had my stories, and the inspiration just became fodder for blog posts!

The complete list of my Lawmen series (and my Profiler series) is available on my website, with SWAT SECRET ADMIRER (an RT Top Pick!) on shelves now:

A predator is no match for her protector... 

It's been ten years since the attack that drove Maggie Delacorte to become an FBI SWAT agent. She's an elite fighter now—and when the Fishhook Rapist sends her a letter saying he's coming back for her, she knows she has to find him first. Her teammate Grant Larkin is assigned to the case, and he's determined to protect Maggie, even if it damages the connection that's been growing between them. And even if her attacker has decided that the way to get to Maggie is by targeting the people she cares about. Her feelings for Grant could get him killed, but she needs him—and his love—to make it through the worst danger yet...

Elizabeth Heiter likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. You can find her one herwebsite, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

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