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Swoon Author Samantha Hastings: By Any Other Name... A New Title

“I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage,” said Anne of Green Gables.

Sorry, Shakespeare, but I’m with Anne on this one. Names are VERY important and finding the right name for your book is sometimes harder than you think it will be. The title has to represent what your entire book is about in only a few words and entice a reader to pick it up off the shelf.

The working title for my book was Unfinished. And at first, I thought it was a great title and a fun play on words. My main character is recently out of finishing school (*wink*) and she wants to find out the ending of an unfinished book.

But when people asked me, “What’s your book called?”

I would tell them, “Unfinished.”

And they would respond, slightly confused, “You’re not done with it yet?”

Then I would say, “Oh, no. I’m done writing. The title is Unfinished.” (*big smile*) “My book is set in 1861 and it’s about a character whose favorite author dies leaving their last book unfinished. So, my main character has to go and find out who the author really was and how they would have finished their story.”

Then the conversation turns into a fascinating discussion of authors who died without finishing their last book like Robert Jordan, Elizabeth Peters, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens, just to name a few. But what I learned from these conversations it that my old title was confusing (*sigh*).

Thanks to the Swoon Reads team, my finished book has a shiny, new, fabulous title:

The Last Word

I love the new title so much that I’m going to go out and celebrate with some skunk cabbage… I mean roses (*sniff*).


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Author spotlight

Samantha Hastings

Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. ...

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