I wish I could say that the road leading to the title of IN TOO DEEP was smooth and effortless, but that’s not exactly the way it went down. Since one of the main characters in the series, Casey McCloy, loves all things 80’s from films to music, I wanted each volume of THE ELITE series to be titled after an 80’s song. My editor, Kate Seaver and I made list after list of song titles. I would come up with what I thought was an AMAZING title, only to have Kate take it over to the marketing department for them to veto (yes, they do have a say in such things, unfortunately). I really wanted the book to be named after an 80’s song that I actually liked—and that I thought Casey would like as well. OUR LIPS ARE SEALED (who doesn’t love the Go-Go’s?) was my absolute favorite title for a few weeks, but marketing thought it was too close to THE CLIQUE novel that was out at the time entitled SEALED WITH A DISS. BIZZARE LOVE TRIANGLE, DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT ME? and LOVE WILL TEAR US APART were also considered briefly before being consigned to the dustbin of history. IN TOO DEEP was on the shortlist of titles, and had never been my first choice, but when marketing saw it, they immediately gravitated toward it. I have to confess, when the title was chosen I felt decidedly meh about it. I had already fought my battle for the cover I wanted, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to have both without a real fight. But after a while, the IN TOO DEEP began to grow on me, and now I actually love it! Maybe marketing knew something I didn’t . . .
One thing that almost nobody knows about the title is that it refers to a song by the band Dead or Alive—they had a huge hit back in the day with “You Spin Me Round’ Like a Record,” and “In Too Deep” is a song off their bestselling CD YOUTHQUAKE. One of my fondest memories is seeing Dead or Alive in concert in London when I was just a teenager, dancing around like a lunatic on top of an enormous speaker, so in that way, the title really is fitting and special to me. Most people think that the title comes from the Phil Collins song by the same name, which is unfortunate, because I really, really can’t stand that track! (I couldn’t even abide it IN the 80’s LOL!)
So, what YA titles do YOU really like, and why?
Jennifer also generously offered to host a contest, to win a copy of THE ELITE, IN TOO DEEP, and also Alexa Young's new novel which is also released today, FAKETASTIC and a CD that inspired IN TOO DEEP comment below by January 13th midnight central time. This contest is International! Everybody who commented already, sorry, you have to comment again to enter the contest! Sorry!
If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!