When King of Bad was an early work-in-progress, I actually called it Super Villain Academy. People responded really well to that title, but I decided it would make a good series name instead, and I personally don’t like when the first book in a series has the same name as a series. So, I had to think up another name, but it needed to get as good a response as SVA had.
It was during one of the editing sweeps that the name jumped out at me. The main character, Jeff, recently learned he’s a super villain and the academy that wants to recruit him set up a family visit at a bogus school (you can’t ask regular old moms and dads to visit a school of super villains after all!). Jeff and his sister Sandra are on a plane returning from the visit when it hits Jeff that he might not be the only super villain in the family.
“Sandra, do you…um…can you…” Jeff gnawed the inside of his cheek. If he asked her and she didn’t know what he was talking about she’d really think he was crazy. But could he handle not asking? No. “Sandra, can you do anything that other kids can’t do? Like run really fast or hear super well. Anything unusual?”
Jeff could already tell that her answer was no by the screwed up expression on her face as she examined him.
“Jeff, what are you talking about?”
“Nothing, I guess. Never mind. I’m just saying that sometimes I feel like I’m better than anyone at being bad.” Jeff shrugged, hoping to bring the conversation back to somewhat normal.
“You’re like king of bad,” Sandra said. She shifted into the middle of her seat. “Remember the rotting cat you left under the school bleachers during the playoffs? That was genius.”
Jeff chuckled. “Yeah, the maggots were pure bonus. I bet the teacher who found it still has nightmares.”
“What do you suppose they’ll teach you at that school?” Sandra asked.
“I don’t know, standard stuff, I guess. It didn’t seem that bad. Maybe you’ll end up there with me one day.”
“Dope, it’s a boys’ school.”
So I guess Sandra really named the book for me. Since King of Bad was as well received as the series name, it was a keeper.
Obviously, it’s my personal opinion that the first book in a series should have a separate title from the series, but I’m curious how you feel about it. Is there a familiarity, or name recognition when you can spout the title/series name? Or do you – like me – like to know a little more about what that individual book is about separate from the overall series? Or does it not matter one bit?
Special thanks to Paty for hosting me. It is so very cool being hosted by people you know in the real world. You are gracious and sweet to give me a spot on your blog!
Kai will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC plus a signed book mark to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (International).
When the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died, the end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for younger children Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Visit Kai’s website, www.kaistrand.com, to browse her books, download companion materials or to find all her online haunts.
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