Your Title Is Your Hook

Many people ask me about the title of my book, Standing On A Whale. The title is a metaphor and it was not my original title for this novel.  The title changed three times while I was working on it. The first title was The Crystal Mystic and the second was Stage Whisper. As with everything else I have experienced in the writing process, things change frequently and usually when we are not looking.

By accident, if you believe in such a thing, I stumbled upon this quote, “Standing on a Whale, Fishing for Minnows.” I liked the sound of it and researched it further. I found it to be a metaphor for a Polynesian philosophy that captured every element of my novel. I adore metaphors, so I changed my title immediately. My editor agreed. She said it was the perfect title for the book.

According to this philosophy, most people are looking in the wrong direction in their search for truth and wholeness. For the Polynesians, the whale represents the inner ground of our being or the deep unconscious mind. They believe this is where we live and where we need to look to find answers to our deepest questions about life. Most of us are constantly looking in the outer world—for diversions, hobbies, pastimes, relationships and entertainment. These are the distractions or the minnows that we believe will find us happiness, prosperity and fame. According to the Polynesians, it is the inner, the center of our being that makes life worth living and the sooner we find our center and ground ourselves in it, the happier we become. When we fish for the minnows and forget to check out the whale right beneath our feet, we are not at peace. I chose this metaphor because it clearly represents the life and transformation of my protagonist, Lance Stavros.

In this vapid world of fast-food, disposable products and corporate greed, young and old alike are searching for meaning in their lives. It is this audience that I had in mind when I wrote my novel and I hope to reach as many as I can. Anyone who lives with or has experienced emotional pain, destructive tendencies, or addictions will find Standing On A Whale familiar, engaging, and at its heart—inspirational

So, whatever title you choose for your book, remember that it is a hook. Your title needs to snag your readers and make them curious enough to want to fall into your pages. Sometimes you may have to change your title several times before you find the one that fits.

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