Posted in Artists, author, Bookaholic, Books, Camp NaNoWriMo, H. S. Contino, motivation, NaNoWriMo, Reading, Writing, Writing Advice

“A Rose by Any Other Name…”

 Good morning,

As Shakespeare famously said “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” For today’s post, I would like to get our little community involved in my current writing project. In particular, I could use some help coming up with a better title for the novel.

The working title for this project is “This Forgotten Life.” I wrote the initial draft immediately after I completed the rough draft of what eventually became “Alternatives.” but the novels are very different. There are a few common themes including families and overcoming past hurts, but the novels are very different. “Alternatives” is a soft science-fiction story with a strong romantic story line.”This Forgotten Life” is a little harder to classify. It’s more mainstream fiction with a strong dramatic flare. It could also be described as “Women’s Lit” since a big part of the story is about the main character trying to find herself after a traumatic event.

“This Forgotten Life” is an accurate title for the novel, and I have been experimenting with some cover options using this title. The following are a few of my favorites so far:

The current title could work for the book, but… it’s kind-of a boring name. I’d like something with more oomph! For example, I’d love to work the word “shattered” into the title. The word accurately describes what happens to main the character in the 1st scene in the book. A single event destroys everything, and she’s left to pick up the pieces. And the image of a broken mirror or shattered glass on the cover would be powerful and carries a lot of emotional weight.

 I also love the concept of Kintsugi, which, according to Wikipedia, “is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum…” It also involves accepting (and embracing) imperfections.

Kintsugi provides the perfect metaphor for what the main character experiences throughout the course of the book. In the beginning, she’s shattered and broken, but with work she slowly puts the pieces back together again. She becomes a better person through her journey of self-discovery. Unfortunately, there is no English translation/equivalent. And I’m worried that if i tried to use the Japanese term then I’ll be constantly having to explain it to people. It’s a great concept, but as the title of a novel it may be too abstract.

The problem is that every time I come up with a more exciting title, I discover that it’s already in use by another author (through a title search on Amazon or GoodReads). While technically, I could still use those titles, I would prefer to come up with something unique.

That’s where all of you come in. Suggestions, please! Feel free to leave a comment on this blog post or send me an email.

I’m still working on the back cover text for the book, the following should give you a general idea about what the book is about:

In an instant, her life changed forever…

Thirty-seven year old, Ellie-Mae Rossi was happily married with three children and another on the way when, in an instant, her life was changed forever. Waking up in the hospital, the doctors realize that she’s lost twenty years of memories.

Reverting to her 17-year-old self, Ellie-Mae is forced to confront the hopes for her future that never realized and past betrayals that had long been forgotten.

With her sense of self shattered, Ellie Mae struggles to put the pieces of her life back together.

Possible titles:

This Forgotten Life (working title)

Finding Ellie-Mae

Finding Kintsugi (to abstract?)

Shattered Sense of Self (too much alliteration??)

Your suggestion here!

Themes: journey of self discovery, picking up the pieces, overcoming challenging, betrayal, broken dreams, disillusionment, past hurts, overcoming amnesia/memory loss, rebuilding relationships, forgiveness

So, what do you think? All feedback welcome!

Okay, I better get back to work. I’m currently working on the 3rd draft of the novel. It’s been slow going, but I’m slowly making progress. More updates soon!

Happy reading (and writing) everyone!

~ H. S. Contino 📚


I'm a combination writer and crafter. My books include "Shipwrecks of Coos County" (Arcadia Publishing, 2011), “Shipwrecks of Curry County” (Arcadia Publishing, 2017), and "Paw Prints" (Create Space, 2013). I'm also the owner of "Reprieve's Corner: Handmade Crafts" ( I live on the southern Oregon coast.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s