Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Unlikely book Titles

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I’m terrible at picking titles for my books. I can’t honestly say that I have named one of my ten books. What started with what I thought might be a good working title, instantly changed to something better in the hands of editors, publishers, and even, in one case, my daughter!

The best example was my second book, Clara’s War. This book is set during the Second World War in the Terezin Ghetto of what was once Czechoslovakia. It’s the story of Clara’s struggle to survive the harsh conditions of this brutal place while at the same time experiencing some of the art and theatre that remarkably thrived in Terezin. The title was perfect, though I have to thank my editor, Sarah Silberstein Swartz for coming up with it. It represented Clara’s internal struggles set against the harsh reality of the war around her. The title I had come up with was, Hope in the Darkest Place. Yuck! Terrible! Pedantic!

My other attempts at naming books were no better. I realize now that if naming a book had been the factor that determined whether or not a book would be picked up, I would never have been published! But recently, my friend and writer, Loris Lesinski, sent me a list of titles for children’s books that will never, under any circumstances, make it to publication. At the top of the list is, Daddy Drinks Because You Cry. That cracked me up. And I thought my titles were bad!

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Kathy Kacer

Kathy Kacer is an award-winning children's author whose focus is historical fiction and true stories about the Holocaust. Her many books include The Secret of Gabi's Dresser, Clara's War, The Underground Reporters, Hiding Edith and The Diary of Laura's Twin.

Go to Kathy Kacer’s Author Page