What’s in a Name?

media2   If it’s a book title, a lot!

For a year or so, I’ve been struggling with finding the right title for my almost completed manuscript, a companion title for Lighthouse Girl and Light Horse Boy. For continuity reasons I wanted the word ‘light’ somewhere in the title. We aren’t meant to judge a book by it’s cover, but research indicates that many of us do.

This story has been on the back-burner since 2011 when I visited the Anzac cemetery in the UK village of Harefield to research another idea (more about that journey in future posts). Ideas bubbled away as I completed other projects and then last year, at last, I was able to give this story dedicated time (thank you Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries). While the manuscript was a work-in-progress I initially referred to it as Quarantine Rose; a shocker of a title which I knew would never be the one. I couldn’t change my central character’s name because Rose is an overlap character with Light Horse Boy. For a while the title shifted to Rose on No Man’s Land, linking the story to a popular WWI song. However Rose works in a hospital not on the battlefield.

As the manuscript took shape I knew I needed a better title. At the annual SCBWI Rottnest retreat, fellow author Norman Jorgensen came up with the evocative Light from a Broken Lantern, however as the story progressed, there was more hope than brokenness. Sorry Norm!

Sometimes the right title appears at the same time as the first story idea. Other titles involve weeks of compiling lists and thesaurus trawling. Lighthouse Girl for a long while was Postcards from Breaksea, or simply Postcards. Then about two years into the four year writing process, the current tile settled. For Light Horse Boy, the final title was always the one.

With my going-to-print deadline quickly approaching, this month I sent out a cry for help. Thank you friends and family, writer group peers, bookgroupies and others who answered my call. You offered so many great suggestions. Even the cheeky suggestions from family were useful, as they sparked other ideas using the words light, shadow and darkness.

Meanwhile Fremantle Press have been market-testing one of the options on our short-list of title choices and I am pleased to finally announce that the title has been decided. The book will be called In the Lamplight. Tentative release date is April 2018. I hope readers will enjoy this new addition to the ‘light’ series. Thanks again to all the wonderful title-hunters for your kind suggestions…

4 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Caroline Kemp

    Hi Dianne,

    Sorry I wrote back to you about the Harefield Park photographs, on the Great War Forum.

    I only wrote back on the 16th of September, not sure if you got my reply or not..

    This is what I said..

    Hello Dianne, So sorry for my late reply, and only just signed into this site..Yes we own these photos I guess you would say, as they are from my husbands grandfathers photo album, but I expect there could be the same images about , maybe on the harefield site..But these are originals from album, so we would be honoured if you used them in your book, I will give you my e-mail address in case, hope I’m not to late, so sorry for holding you up with anything..my e-mail is cskoutbacknq@live.com.au We are in Mount Isa Queensland..

    All sounds very exciting your books Dianne,

    Kind Regards

    Caroline Kemp

    Thanks Dianne, hopeing we aren’t to late..


    1. Dianne Wolfer Post author

      Hi Caroline, I’ve just discovered this message and no I’m afraid I didn’t receive/see the message on 16th September. Thank you so much for replying. Was my query about the wonderful cricketer photograph? The book has now gone to print and if it was that image, I was able to include the photograph with permission from Harefield History Society. Or was it a different photograph? I’ll also send a message to your email address… The book is due out in April and I hope to visit schools across Australia (and some in Harefield). No plans for NT yet, but you never know! Very best wishes, Dianne

  2. Taylor Braslin

    hi i am a student and need some information for my author profile on you and i was wonder what the main thing you are recognised for are? please respond!

    1. Dianne Wolfer Post author

      Hi Taylor, Thanks for your email. The books I’m best known for are the ‘Light series and The Dog with Seven names, both are historical fiction, so that could be one thing. My stories also often told from different perspectives, and I love anthropomorphism and animal stories. Which of my books do you know? That could help me be more specific 😉


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