Wednesday, July 14, 2010


By Santa Byrnes

That’s the title I’ve come up with for my current manuscript. Yes, friends, that’s the best I could do. I stink at coming up with titles. Ask any of my friends who’ve asked me over the years to help title their books. Clearly, it’s not one of my fortes. I have several friends who are absolute marvels at it. I keep saying I don’t want to bother them, but I’m afraid I’ve no choice in the matter.

I started out with another title that was very clever indeed. So clever, in fact, it was a catch phrase of a popular sitcom, ‘Seinfeld’. Naturally, it was the episode that centered around food. No, it wasn’t the one about the elusive marble rye; and, no, not the one with the mouthwateringly delicious chocolate baklava.

It was the soup Nazi episode and its catch phrase - No Soup For You. That was the working title of my manuscript. Catchy, right? And it fit so perfectly. My book is about a cutting edge female chef whose innovative “café” is effectively shut down by a review she assumed was penned by a no-nonsense – albeit hot - and slightly rigid food reviewer. My chef, Nola, lives her life in the kind of fancy free way which, along with her bewitching smile, drives my ordered food reviewer, Val, slightly insane. Val lived his life in an ordered, methodical kind of way, and he saw Nola as his complete opposite in every way.

They spend most of the book annoyed with one another. Wouldn’t you be if the man you are falling in love with had a hand in breaking your dreams? Never mind that you broke his leg. And just how do you stop someone who frustrates you to no end from claiming your heart? Her friends love her. Your eccentric family loves her. Even that brute of a bartender loves her.

Do you want the high concept angle? Here it is. Think Ryan O’Neill and Barbra Streisand characters from ‘What’s Up, Doc?’. Think Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn’s characters from ‘Taking Care of Baby’ or Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn’s characters in ‘The Philadelphia Story’ for that matter –except Jimmy Stewart’s character develops an unexpected sinister quality. (More on that another time.)

Still with all those high concepts, I still remain flabbergasted. I know my brilliant chapter mates can come up with better titles than I can. Just glance over at our Members on the Shelf. Clever bunch, aren’t they?

Well, gentle potential reader, given what I’ve stated here, can you come up with a better title than I did? I sure hope so. I’m about ready to let this one out of the proofing oven.♥

My name is Santa Byrnes and I am a contemporary romance writer with one completed manuscript under my belt and one that I am working on at the present. When I am not wearing my writer’s tiara, you can find me at the wheel of my car chauffeuring my children heather and yon to their various activities. I write there. I don my deli diva tiara as co-owner and manager of my family’s gourmet food store. I also write there. As an ardent foodie, I get much of my inspiration for the current series I am working on. My heroines are chefs whose passions for the culinary arts rivals the passions they share with the heroes in their lives.



  1. Biting the Hand that Feeds You?

  2. I'm stumped. Takes me as long, longer, to come up with a title as it does to write a manuscript. But, I have a suggestion. Shift the focus to what makes them have to be together in the end. Maybe somewhere there is a clue for a title.

  3. Fully Cooked? Just a Taste? What kind of food does your sassy chef character cook? (You could play around with "soul" if soul food, spicy vs sweet depending...) So many fun ways to turn food into metaphors! Sending good vibes your way for a inspiration...

  4. "Recipe for Romance", "Too Hot to Handle", "Food for Love", "Five Star Romance" (Or) "5 Star Love" "Way to a Woman's Heart" I cannot WAIT to read this book!!!