In search of titles.

by | Mar 12, 2022 | Newsletter

Each of my books started with a title that became a working title. One for Another was originally Cascading Wicked. It took a while, and my sister saying ‘Cascading Wicked is cool, but what does it actually mean?’to even consider changing it. (It’s easy to get attached to certain things when writing, becoming fond of particular sentences, paragraphs, even pages you finally acknowledge need deleting because of relevance issues.That is when the author must be brave and, as they say, ‘kill your darlings’). Searching for Native American quotes to put at the start of each chapter I came across “One for another”, which, basically, means an eye for an eye and thought, ‘That’s it!’ And so it became . . .

Dying Grass Moon began life as Diamond Dust.

Diamond dust, or clear-sky precipitation – you’d have to agree the former is waaay more poetic – is made up of clouds of tiny ice crystals that form close to the ground. It happens in really cold temperatures. I hoped to tie the title into the book, but came to the conclusion it wasn’t going to work.

The dying grass moon is another name for the hunter’s moon, or travel moon. It is the bright October moon. The grass is dying after summer, the animals have grown fat, and hunting for winter provisions begins – the moon so bright it’s possible to hunt at night. This I was able to refer to when Hennessey compares the moon to a changing season in her life.

And Hennessey #3?

I have a vague notion of telling the story from near, or in, a fledgling Yellowstone National Park. But that’s all I have so far. As Hennessey pretty much dictates what happens to her, during the course of this third adventure I’m sure the novel will decide on a title, then kindly let me know what that title is.

A little bit of pretty. I wondered what the chalk artists were up to down at the Orewa waterfront. This was the gorgeousness they were creating.

Did you know . . .

  • It is said the modern cuff link was born after the serial publication of The Count of Monte Cristo began in 1844. One character had large diamond studs in his shirt cuffs, which made all those he met jealous as heck. Tailors recognised this fashion statement could be an important addition to a gentleman’s attire and, I’m sure, saw a great marketing opportunity.
  • Capuchin monkeys are extremely clever. If plagued by mosquitos they’ll rub themselves with millipedes, because millipedes contain chemicals that repel mosquitos.
  • Male bison can get to 6′ (1.82 m) tall.

Take care and happy reading,

P.S. I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to send me a message.
Andrea Jacka

On my bedside table at the moment is Gone by Morning, by Michele Weinstat Miller.

A suicide bomber attacks a Times Square subway station. Ex-madam Kathleen escapes the carnage, but this catastrophic event is just the beginning of an ongoing nightmare. A close friend is murdered, her apartment building set on fire and her bank accounts emptied. As she fights for her life, and the safety of her estranged family, it becomes clear everything is connected – the bomber, Kathleen, and the man plotting her downfall.
This is a ripper of a read filled with action, skulduggery, and volatile relationships woven into a killer story.


‘To write something, you have to risk making a fool of yourself.’
Anne Rice

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