First, an announcement.
The third book in the Wings series will be titled...
I know it was a long time coming, and I apologize for that. But now that it's public knowledge, you might be interested in why the book remained untitled for so long. You also might not, in which case you will want to skip the rest of this entry. :)
When I first sold Laurel's story, I had titled all four books. The original titles were:
The plan was for each book to take place during the season in the title, but fairly early on I realized that this wasn't going to work. Furthermore, the sales team at HarperTeen pointed out that with the books tentatively releasing annually during the early summer months, "Autumn" and "Winter" might not draw much of an audience.
So we scrapped the titles and tried to think of new ones.
One serious contender for the first book was Forget-Me-Not. We thought perhaps each book could have a flower name, but while Forget-Me-Not seemed like a decent replacement for Autumn Wings, naming the rest of the books proved more difficult.
We tried on a lot of titles--some serious, some not. Flower Girl and Petalwings didn't make the cut. I was only kidding when I suggested Roots and I'm pretty sure my husband was only kidding when he came up with Venus Boy Trap, but some days it was just easier to think of silly titles than serious ones. :) (My mom suggested Petal Pushers and I told her she was dating herself.:D)
After much deliberation, my fabulous editorial team settled on simply dropping the season from the title and calling the book Wings. Sadly, the struggle for evocative titles had scarcely begun.
I did enjoy some respite, as there was no rush to title the rest of the books. For a while, books 2 through 4 were just called Spells, Enticements, and Illusions. It was suggested early on that Enticements didn't stand on its own, though, and for about a month we called it Enchantments. Somehow that title made it to Amazon Canada, and from there to the rest of the Internet... but it was actually vetoed pretty early on. Like, six months before Wings even came out. (Yanno, ancient history!;))
Spells, however, stuck to Book 2, and eventually HarperTeen gave me permission to announce the title. Which I promptly did! And one month later, I was told that we needed a different title. I was worried, because I'd already announced the title, and I didn't want readers to be confused!
But there wasn't much to be done but brainstorm, and the process began anew. Should we continue with one-word titles? Should we keep the word plural? Wings was both a metaphor and referred to a particular passage in the book--was there something similar we could use from Book 2? It was either my editor or her assistant who came up with Essence, and I prepared to announce the new title on my blog.
And then it was Spells again. I don't know where in the process Essence got trapped--sometimes booksellers express concerns, sometimes it's sales or marketing, you'd be amazed how many people have to "sign off," literally or figuratively, on decisions like this sometimes! But everyone went back to calling Book 2 Spells, and that's how it was released.
So hopefully that explains why I was reluctant to announce Illusions until the title was finally finally final! I would hate for someone to miss a release because they were looking for something with a different name. And sometimes I was very jealous of other authors who managed to get their titles finalized early on in the process! But then again... it's hard to complain about a publishing team who works hard to get things just right.
Now, before you go asking for the title of Book 4: it doesn't have one yet. :) My hope is to post the final cover art for Illusions before Christmas this year, and while I still don't have a firm release date, you should still be able to expect Illusions to arrive at your bookstore around May of 2011.