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Book Club question: “How did you pick the title?”

BOOK CLUB QUESTION: “HOW DID YOU PICK THE TITLE?” It has been eight months since Crashing Through the Windshield was published, and my speaking engagements and invitations to attend book clubs have steadily increased. I enjoy sharing my writing and publishing journey with those who have not yet read my novel, and I learn so much from the book club participants who have already finished the book.

With regards to the book clubs, I get to see my characters from varying perspectives based on the reader’s life experiences. Some clubs have animated discussions about the motivation of certain characters, while others have a more homogeneous outlook. I hear comments like, “I absolutely hate so and so,” to “I wish I knew a so and so.” Of course, these are different so and so’s!

Almost every participant so far has said “I couldn’t put the book down,” or “I read it in one day,” or “I’m not much of a reader, but I was really into this book.” Makes an author feel good. Of course,  if the reader didn’t like the book, I doubt they would be willing to share their criticism in a small setting where the author took the time to attend their club. Just saying.

The universal question though has been, “How did you pick the title?” Ah, that’s a story in itself! I know several published authors who were published through traditional presses, authors who were given an advance and did not have to pay for the publishing. They told me that the publisher picked the title and the cover design, so I never even considered a title or a cover as I wrote the novel.

When the time came to work with Archway Publishing, I discovered that the same rules do not apply to self-publishing authors. I needed a title—and I didn’t have one. Not a clue. Living where I do, in a senior cooperative, I did what any panicked resident would do—I sought help from other residents. Several of us brainstormed, but nothing seemed to satisfy. Finally, one of my neighbors said, “Oh, just go through the book and pick something.” Well, that was a thought, and that’s what I did.

When I came to the phrase, “crashing through the windshield,” the clouds parted, the sun shone, and I think I even heard the ringing of celebratory bells. Really? I knew that “crashing through the windshield,” was the title. Why? Because we all go crashing through the windshield at some point in our lives.

Literally? No. Metaphorically? Yes.

We crash through the windshield when we encounter a death, a betrayal, a sickness, the loss of a job, a divorce, financial ruin, a deep disappointment. I could go on and on, but that would be depressing, and life is hard enough at times. Is crashing through the windshield the end of the road? Well, it could be, but most people bandage their heads, get the windshield fixed, put their hands on the steering wheel, and continue the journey on this universal, human road trip.

“Family man and FBI agent Jack Jurlik has gone through life on cruise control. Now that his wife and infant son have mysteriously disappeared, he is driving as fast as he can to find Gloriann and Martin while protecting his other children, Emma and Will. He soon discovers that the road ahead is taking him where he never thought he’d go.”

Dear Readers, I wish you smooth roads and good driving weather in the days ahead. Thank you for reading my blog.

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