**Giveaway is now closed**
"Sophie’s Turn" is the exciting chick-lit debut by UK-based author Nicky Wells. It is an honest, funny and occasionally bitter-sweet story of one young woman’s entanglement with a rock star. Watch out for the upcoming review of "Sophie’s Turn" right here on Chick Lit Central! (Courtesy of Melissa A., who is reading it now and enjoying it so far.) Meanwhile, Nicky, who lives in Bristol (UK) with her husband and two little boys, is telling us how "Sophie’s Turn" started out with quite a different title when it was first conceived over six years ago… and what incisive event changed Nicky’s views regarding the perfect title for her first novel.
Nicky has two e-books of "Sophie's Turn" to give to some lucky readers anywhere!
You can find Nicky on Facebook and Twitter, as well as at her blog.
"Sophie’s Turn" is available as an e-book from Amazon.com and Amazon UK. Readers don’t need a Kindle. E-books can be downloaded using free Kindle Reading Apps for iPads, Smartphones and PCs/Macs.
Turning the Title
Finding the right title for your book can be a tricky business—especially when you’re convinced that you’ve already got it!Here’s what happened to me and my debut novel.
December 2004: I sit at my desk at home, terribly excited. My goal: to write my all-time favourite romantic novel before my baby gets born. I’ve got my characters lined up and the climax and denouement of my plot sorted out in my head. But I like to be organised (over-organised, some say), and so this thing needs a title.The first page is staring at me from the computer screen, white and virginal. The cursor is blinking expectantly: blink, blink, blink. Time ticks by and I’m frozen. I can’t start writing without a title.
Utterly unable to work owing to woeful absence of catchy title, I compile a detailed outline instead. Now a chapter-by-chapter flowchart graces my wall. But that first page is still white and the cursor is still blinking.I let my mind wander. What happens in my novel? I talk to myself; that usually helps. Suddenly, something sticks:
Sophie, my heroine, comes full circle at the end.
I like that.
I like that a lot!
The curse of the blinking cursor is defeated. I type, confidently and in big bold letters: FULL CIRCLE. After that, the writing flows. I have a complete draft within three months. My debut masterpiece becomes known as "Full Circle."
April 2005: My first baby is born and "Full Circle" sits on the shelf, where it remains for… six whole years. I re-read it a few times and, on several occasions and make some sweeping changes. But then "Full Circle" continues to languish on the shelf.
June 2011: My husband casually mentions having heard on the radio that it is now quite easy to self-publish one’s work via Amazon/Kindle. I don’t latch onto that notion until a few days later. But the seed sown, I am suddenly determined to publish my long-neglected novel. In fact, I am totally energised: "Full Circle" is to see the light of day, at last! I re-read, edit, reformat the entire manuscript ready for conversion to e-book. I check out legalities. I am thoroughly over-excited. And then it’s all done… except I need a cover!
July 2011: I need a cover for "Full Circle," and have set aside an evening to make one, somehow. I’ve gathered rings, a pearl necklace, a champagne flute, a backstage pass I managed to blag a few months back. I’m working the symbolism. But I’m not getting anywhere at all. I’m taking some photos but it all looks very amateurish. And it doesn’t do what I want it to do. Somehow, the title is letting me down. It’s not workable.
I collapse on the sofa next to my husband, only barely holding back tears of frustration. So close and yet so far! After six whole years, I suddenly recognise that "Full Circle" isn’t actually the catchy, memorable, meaningful title I thought it was.What now?
My husband comes to the rescue. He pushes me to think clearly about what I want the cover to say. I doodle on a page: a girl, faced with two options. What options are those, my husband nags. Easy: to marry a rock star, or an accountant. Suddenly, inspiration strikes: a picture of a signpost pointing two ways. Pink background, some grass, maybe a butterfly. My husband illustrates as I speak. We like it—a lot. In fact, it’s brilliant. The problem is that the image doesn’t at all work with the title. I take a radical decision: "Full Circle" needs to go. I need something else.
Sophie’s… Sophie’s what? The image shows a ‘choice’ but “Sophie’s Choice” already exists. Fetch the thesaurus. Think. Think laterally. Try out various combinations. And finally: "Sophie’s Turn."
"Sophie’s Turn." That works on many levels. Sophie’s turn at pursuing happiness. Sophie’s turn—which way will she turn? How will she turn her situation around? And suddenly I know that’s it. Never mind six years of knowing my masterpiece by a different title, "Sophie’s Turn" is what it is meant to be called. And so I publish.
Special thanks to Nicky for sharing her methods behind picking a title, and a clever one at that, as well as for sharing her e-books with our readers.
How to win "Sophie's Turn":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
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Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What was the biggest decision you've had to make? Did you feel comfortable with your choice in the end or would you do things differently if you had another chance at the same decision?
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Giveaway ends September 25th at midnight EST.