The editor working with What Did You Do Before Dying? suggested I change the title. Titles these days are short and sweet, and definitely not questions. I said no, that was the only title that would work for this book but she was free to make suggestions for the second one, whose working title was April's Fool. Nothing satisfied me, however, until I had a brainstorm -- an absolutely unique idea. ALL my titles in this series would be questions and they would follow the journalistic who, what, why, where, and when. The title for book two became Why Did You Die In the Park? Clever, huh?
I thought so, until a slow book signing day at Clues Unlimited in Tucson. I wandered over to the new arrivals section and found a book whose title was a question: What Are You Wearing to Die? Not only a question, but a clever one that tickled me. And it was also written by a woman whose first name was Patricia. So, what if someone read that book and didn't like it? Would they ever pick up one of mine? They might not remember last names and think it was the same person. I'd better buy it and read it and find out how much trouble I was in. (Does anyone else have the problem of spending more than they make at book signings?)
Horrors! This book was good. In fact, it was the kind of book that made me start writing traditional mysteries -- I couldn't find enough of them to read. I liked it so much that when I found one in my local Horizon's Bookstore in Traverse City, MI, I bought it, too. How can you resist titles like Guess Who's Coming to Die?, Did You Declare the Corpse? and MORE. AND I discovered with a little reasearch that Patricia Sprinkle had been a successful author for some time and I just hadn't yet discovered her and devoured her every word. Who was I to think I could compete with her?
And now that's the problem. What if someone picks up one of my books because they remember reading a good book with a question for a title and an author whose first name is Patricia. Will they be disappointed?