Sunday, June 04, 2006

TITLES -- THE NEVER ENDING STORY...

I know, we've been there, done that, but there is a painful point to this blog. Marcy – bless her – posted the following at eHarlequin on the 100 reads challenge:

THE MARRIAGE MIRACLE by Liz Fielding

"Sebastian Wolseley attended the reception for his college friend's marriage blessing ceremony. He'd only planned to make a showing since he'd come directly from a family funeral and wasn't in the best of moods. He hadn't expected to be drawn into a conversation with an intriguing woman sitting alone while everyone else was dancing.

"Matilda Lang has been in a wheelchair for the past three years since an accident cost her the use of her legs. She's sassy and witty, but she also uses humor to hide her vulnerability. She hasn't felt feminine in three years, but Sebastian makes her feel things she's afraid to feel.

"My post doesn't do this book justice. It was a wonderful, emotional story. Though I haven't read it yet, apparently Matilda was introduced in the book, A WIFE ON PAPER. It's the story of her cousin Fran, whose blessing ceremony reception starts this book
."

In response, Fake Frenchie posted the following:

"This sounds good. But I'm wondering, is the miracle the obvious one that we might expect? Cuz if it is, that might be problematic for people in Matilda's situation. Just a passing idea."

She has a valid point.

The problem is right there, in the title. That word “miracle”. It suggests all kinds of things that aren’t in the book, which a wheelchair-bound reader wrote and assured me got it right for her. About as much praise as any author can take, let me tell you, without going pop with happiness.

The book was a tough one to write simply because it did have to be based in a world where miracles did not happen. This was not a "pick up your bed and walk" scenario and believe me, I hated that title. And when I saw the UK cover, with the heroine standing straight and tall at the altar, I cried. Next time, I swear, I'll stand up to marketing and threaten to pull the book unless they listen to me.

6 comments:

Michelle Styles said...

The title didn't bother me or the UK cover.

The miracle of course had nothing to do with her walking normally again as she could always use her crutches for a short while...

All I know is that the ending brought a huge lump to my throat.

Margaret McDonagh said...

The story stayed true to the heroine, regardless of the word 'miracle' in the title and you cheated neither heroine, reader nor any person with a disability by the wonderful story, characterisation and ending - as I've told you before!!!! The cheat would have been a miracle cure. It is a wonderful book, I loved it, and you should be justly proud of it - whatever it is called and whatever the cover.

My first Med has 'Bride' in the title which is also very misleading as there is no wedding in the book! But the powers that be say it sells. I just hope no one will be disappointed. I was so excited at the weekend as I received my hardback copies! I can't stop touching them!!!!

Thanks for all your support and encouragement - and for writing such wonderful books full of inspiration.

Love,
Mags

Kate Walker said...

But the whole point about your book, Liz is that the miracle that happens is not as FF says 'The obvious one'. The real miracle is the love that Mattie finally lets into her heart and into her life - and the miracle of that love that changes Sebastian's life for ever as well.

Anyone who reads your book will know that. And that's the strong, wonderful special book you wrote.

Covers? Well, we all have some stinkers and yes, your UK cover was one of them - misleading everyone and not being at all true to the strength and honesty you put into your book. At least the USa cover was a little more like the real thing - though dear Mattie would have found it hard to walk in those shoes!

We should be used to the mess that marketing make with our covers every now and then but I thijnk our readers also know that covers and titles are things we authors can't do anything about. I'm sure readers will have picked up TMM just because it was written by you and because they know that while they can't trust Marketing, they CAN trust *you* to tell the sort of story that doesn't have those sort of 'obvious' answers in them.

It's a great book, Liz, no matter what it's called or what's on the cover

And yes, I'm going to say this loud and clear on my blog too

Love

Kate

Liz Fielding said...

You are just the best! Here I am, feeling truly fed up that at the thought of all those people out there who've never read me, don't know me, have no reason to trust me, who looked at the title, read the blurb and thought ... no way ... and then you come along and make me feel ten feet tall.

But the threat to pull over another lousy title stays. This was one too many.

Sharon J said...

I wish somebody would stand up to them because the titles are often so misleading that I feel I've almost been conned.

Just out of curiosity, I have The Marriage Miracle on my TBR shelf but haven't got that far as yet. Is Mattie the same Mattie as was in the book about the woman whose husband dies and leaves her with nothing so the brother-in-law comes along and helps? Mattie was her cousin, I believe? Sorry, a title would probably have been easier but I'm hopeless at remembering them.

Liz Fielding said...

Yes, Sharon! Mattie originally appear in A Wife on Paper. She was such a handful! It was at the point where she asked the hero if he fancied a shag (at a funeral!), that I had to promise her a book to get her to behave.