MuseTrack’s Guest Eliza Knight – Creating Meaningful Book Titles

MuseTracks is delighted to feature award-winning historical and erotica romance author Eliza Knight. Eliza is not only an awesome writer, workshop presenter, moon-lighting editor, popular blogger, wife, and  super-mom, she’s also a great friend to get into trouble with . Welcome Eliza!

Creating Meaningful Book Titles

I would first like to thank Jennifer Bray-Weber for allowing me to post with you today.  She is a darling after my heart!

I am super excited to share with you the process of choosing the title for my newest Highland time-travel erotic novella release: HIGHLAND STEAM. Just released 2/22/12! Isn’t the cover hot?

Here is the back-cover copy:

Tragedy strikes in the Highlands, making Drostan the laird of the Comyn clan and in need of a wife to placate his people. His only choice is to trust in magic and travel to the sacred circle of stones…where he must passionately lay claim to the woman Fate brings him.

Briana is lost and alone when magic lights up the night. She meets the man of her dreams, a man who rocks her to her very core with orgasm after orgasm and somehow manages to steal her heart. The problem? The man of her dreams lives eight hundred years in the past.

Creating meaningful titles for my stories is important to me. I want it to signify something, have a part of the book. I want the reader to read the title—then while reading the story think, “Oh hey, that’s how she got the title,” but not in a way that is overwhelming. For example I wouldn’t use the word steam a thousand times in this novella, so much so that you got annoyed with me. In fact, I just checked and I only used “steam” three times in the whole 14,227 words!

Originally the title for this story was, UNTITLED SHORT TIME-TRAVEL. I’m not kidding…it was like that until I was nearly halfway done. But that’s not sexy…at all. After I got sick of opening up the UNTITLED SHORT TIME-TRAVEL a few times, I decided it was time to come up with a new exciting, sexy title that encompassed everything this story had to offer. I wanted my readers to know exactly what their getting into.

For my Highlander tales, I like to have the words Highland, Highlander or Warrior appear. (See, Take it Off, Warrior & The Highland Jewel Series) This tells the reader right away what they’re going to get—a hot Scot in a kilt—and who doesn’t love a hot Scot?! Beyond that, it really depends on the story.

HIGHLAND STEAM opens with our heroine lost on top of a Highland mountain, alone. As night rolls in, so does mist near an ancient ruins. Naturally, I thought, hmm, HIGHLAND MIST. But mist itself seemed a little tame for what I was looking for—but I still liked it. So I put that as the new title. And I kept on writing, and then it hit me as I typed this passage—a quick bit of background, they’ve made love upon a large flat sacred stone.

With their bodies sated, she collapsed on top of him.

Steam rose from the rock and even appeared to waft off their flesh.

“That was hot,” she muttered against the warm, salty skin of his shoulder.

“Aye, hot and damn good.”

Oh, Aye, HIGHLAND STEAM is hot, hot, HOT!!! And then, I knew I had it. I changed the title again, and I absolutely fell in love with it.

To read a very steamy excerpt from HIGHLAND STEAM, please click here.

I would love to give an e-copy of HIGHLAND STEAM to one commenter today! Answer me this… How much do you pay attention to titles?


Eliza Knight is the multi-published, award-winning author of sizzling historical romance and erotic romance. While not reading, writing or researching for her latest book, she chases after her three children. In her spare time (if there is such a thing…) she likes daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, staring at the stars, watching movies, shopping and visiting with family and friends. She lives atop a small mountain, and enjoys cold winter nights when she can curl up in front of a roaring fire with her own knight in shining armor. Visit Eliza at or her historical blog, History Undressed, which was recently mentioned in a feature article in The Wall Street Journal.

And the winner of the e-copy of Highland Steam is…

Victoria Zumbrum. Congrats, Victoria!


19 Responses to MuseTrack’s Guest Eliza Knight – Creating Meaningful Book Titles

  1. Victoria Zumbrum says:

    I don’t pay a whole alot attention to the title most of the time. Usually the cover catches my attention but sometimes a title does as well. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good.


  2. jbrayweber says:

    Hi Victoria! Consider yourself entered!
    Like you, the cover catches my eye first. Especially yummy ones! LOL. But, for me, a clever title can be just as powerful. Thanks for popping in!


  3. As a reader, Titles are super important. I know, and I am hard at work trying to come up with a great title for the manuscript I am working on. Thanks for the insight!
    Nancy Lee Badger


  4. jbrayweber says:

    Southern Fried Dragon…now that is a great title, Nancy!
    Sometimes I spend far too much time trying to come up with a great title. Such is the job of an author… 🙂


  5. Tess says:


    Hi Eliza! I’m so happy for all your success!

    In case others don’t know…Eliza is one of the hardest working writers I know! And a sweetie!


  6. jbrayweber says:

    I don’t know how she does it! Eliza is a machine!!
    Thanks for showing your support, Tess!


  7. elizaknight says:

    @Jenn–I can’t wait to get into trouble with you again!!! 🙂

    @Victoria–thank you for visiting! Oh, yes, covers catch me too!

    @Nancy–Thanks for visiting 🙂 I wish you luck!

    @Tess–*waves back* thank you!! You are sweet too 🙂


  8. jbrayweber says:

    I’m still bummed I won’t see you this summer, Eliza. Just think of the California trouble we could get into!
    Thanks again, for joining us today.


  9. Hi Eliza! Welcome to Muse Tracks
    . I loved your article and continually struggle with my titles. I write romantic thrillers and the title is paramount. My first novel’s working title is The Devil’s Obsession and on good days, I really like it. On bad days, it sounds cheesy and not at all what I want to convey. The second novel definitely needs work as I don’t think NaNo Novel will cut it!!


  10. jbrayweber says:

    I’m betting there are hundreds of books titled NaNo Novel, too, Stacey. You’ll have to be more original than that. Ha!
    I like The Devil’s Obsession, especially since I’ve rest some of it before you shelved it. And knowing the premise of the WIP you are working on now, I have a great feeling about the title.


  11. elizaknight says:

    @Jenn–I am seriously considering a 30 day blog of my life just so you all can see the machine at work, lol–today I even played catch with the littlest princess!


  12. elizaknight says:

    @Jenn–sigh, I know! I’m sad I won’t be at Nationals, but I will be at RT, and I’ll be missing you there! We’ll catch up soon 🙂


  13. elizaknight says:

    @Stacey-lol!!! I had one titled Nano Novel too!! Hilarious! I liked The Devil’s Obsession, but I guess if it doesn’t convey what you mean, you may reconsider.


  14. denissea says:

    I always love your books. I just got it and reading it. 🙂 Congrats!


  15. jbrayweber says:

    I love reading Eliza’s books, too! I’m looking forward to reading Highland Steam.
    Thanks for popping in, Denise!


  16. Highland Steam is a great title. I’m among those who don’t pay much attention to titles, although now I’m thinking about the subject, my subconscious must, because I dislike bland titles that don’t say anything about the story.

    It’s very difficult to come up with a great title and then have to change it at a later date. I hate that!


  17. jbrayweber says:

    I know what you mean, Shelley. I had this awesome title (everyone said so! HAHA!), but my publisher decided it wasn’t marketable and we had to change it. *sigh*
    Thanks for stopping by!


  18. Tonya Kinzer says:

    Hi Eliza! A great cover will pull me in but if the title isn’t just as strong – I may not click to read more. Another side to titles is whether they have appeal instead of being disgusting and some erotic titles out there are. I’m not a prude by any means, but a title that says ‘Come F*%k Me’ just isn’t going to do it for me. Entice your reader with something that will make them wonder what’s inside! Enough said….Thanks for a great article! Good luck with your books!


  19. jbrayweber says:

    LOL! I agree, Tonya. Some titles in certain genres aren’t very original. I’d prefer a clever play on words rather than an obvious overdone erotica title.
    Thanks for stopping by!


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