Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Guest Post by Jyoti Arora - Author of "Lemon Girl"




In her guest post, author Jyoti Arora talks about her book “Lemon Girl,” the reason she chose the title and why she decided to self-publish her second novel. Read on to know more…

What’s in a name?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” said William Shakespeare.

And yet, are names really so inconsequential? If they were, parents wouldn’t worry their minds for months to find a perfect name for their child and authors wouldn’t worry for as long and just as hard to find the perfect title for their book.

As my first novel Dream’s Sake was traditionally published, I had little control over its title, but as I decided to self-publish my second book, choosing a perfect name was entirely my responsibility. And I chose to call it LEMON GIRL….

And since Lemon Girl released, I have been asked often about how I came to decide such a weird sounding name for such a serious book. But the good thing is that many readers have written to me saying that they understood the relevance of the title upon reading the book. Some have even said that there couldn’t have been a better title for this book. At the same time, some people have called it a funny name, but such comments have so far come from only those who had not yet read the book. One such person actually told me that Lemon Girl was a title more fit for a comic book than a book based on such a serious issue.

Not that I minded this comment. In my on-going love affair with books, comics decidedly occupy the pride of place of being my first love. And even though I may have grown over that first crush, I can’t in good faith accept that I still don’t secretly adore them!
But I digress. So, getting back to the title of the book, do I regret having selected Lemon Girl as the title of my second novel?
The answer is, not at all!
I won’t say that there couldn’t have been a better title for my book. After all, there’s no limit to imagination and possibilities, but I love the title Lemon Girl. I love its uniqueness and its catchy sound and the curiosity that it generates in the readers’ mind. As whimsical as Lemon Girl might sound, I did not select it because of a whim or fancy. I am well aware of the importance of a good title for a book.

Yes, a good title is as important for a book as a good cover. Of course, traditionally published authors can’t have a total control on the covers and titles of their books. Publishers often have more say in naming a book. And I have heard of publishers who actually name their books based on numerological consideration rather than relevance to the story! But not being familiar with the precepts of numerology, here’s what I personally think are important considerations for choosing a book title.
First of all, the title should sound good and intriguing. A reader should feel curious about the book just by hearing its title. The world of books is too full of competition now. And if my Facebook friend list is any indication, then India has far more writers now than readers! And if that’s true, you can well imagine the competition we writers are facing. Well, the book’s title can serve as a very useful tool to make the book stand out from the rest.
However, interest value of the title must not be allowed to compromise its relevance to the book. Even the best sounding title will lose its value if the reader is left wondering at its relevance to the story of the book. My novel’s title Lemon Girl may sound unusual, but it has a very marked and symbolic relevance in the book and actually plays a major role in the story. And that is why several readers have told me that there couldn’t have been a more apt title for the book.

These days, I’m seeing many books that bear titles that sound more like sentences. I won’t say they are wrong. People have different choices and some may perhaps like them better than smaller titles, but I find them very cumbersome. If the author or the reader has to use an acronym for the title of the book; than that’s a sure sign that the title is too long for comfort. It is ironical that at a time when the readers prefer shorter books, the titles of the books are getting longer and longer.
Titles of the books can’t be copyrighted. That means more than one book can have similar titles. However, if a writer takes the liberty to copy an already famous title like Harry Potter or Da Vinci Code, it will do more harm than good and might even affect the writer’s reputation adversely. So, while it is not always possible for writers to be sure that their book’s title is unique, one must resist the temptation of using an already famous title or one that sounds too blatantly similar to it.
Similar blatant and unjustified use of celebrity names must also be avoided. One can name a book Madhuri Dixit – the Diva if the book is about Madhuri Dixit. But it will certainly be wrong if a writer names a book Madhuri Dixit’s Style Tips when the tips in the book come from the Madhuri Dixit of the writer’s neighbourhood beauty salon rather than the Bollywood star.


That said, let me tell you how I decided the title Lemon Girl.
Well, I had not yet started writing my book at that time. I was only mentally weighing various ideas about it and trying to plan out its story. In short, procrastinating and pushing the task of writing to another and another day. Just as I’m busy doing with my third novel!

But anyway, I was also wondering what I should call the book. I was thinking of listing out possible names and then using whichever would seem most suitable once the book was complete. I knew that I wanted a short name; one that would draw attention. And I wanted it to reflect the real character of the heroine. Well, the heroine Nirvi in my book is a girl full of spirit and laughter. She’s fresh and innocent, full of tangy retorts. At least till she is made to face the bitter realities of the world! These bitter realities then make her discard her real self and turn into a voiceless and submissive doll. But her real and honest self is not quite so easy to put down or forget. I somehow ended up thinking of lemons when I thought more about Nirvi’s real personality - Her freshness, her spirit, her tangy wit. Some of that made the words Lemon Girl to light up in my mind. And I decided then and there that Lemon Girl was going to be the title of my next book. I did not bother to think of any other name after that. Instead, I concentrated on weaving the title into the fabric of the story till it became an integral part of the book.

The theme of Lemon Girl is very current. So I decided to self-publish it instead of waiting for months and years to get a positive nod from a publisher. And so, I was able to use the name that I had selected. And thankfully, responses from the readers and reviewers are giving me sufficient proof that it was a fortunate and delicious choice.

About the Author

Jyoti Arora is a Post Graduate in English Literature and Applied Psychology. Her writing achievements include two novels, three blogs, several wins in national and international level blog competitions, over five years of freelance writing experience, developing books for kids and abridging 24 famous English novels like Jane Eyre, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn etc.

Jyoti's first novel, Dream's Sake, was published in 2011 by V&S Publishers. It received great reviews and much appreciation from readers. Her second novel Lemon Girl released in November, 2015 and has been winning much love from all readers and reviewers.

Books have always been Jyoti’s best friends. In fact, books so fascinated her from early childhood that she learnt reading, by herself, even before she started going to school. And she considers herself most fortunate that she is able to pursue her dream of being a novelist and work at what she loves best.

However, if books are Jyoti’s first love, and she’s still very devoted to them, the thrilling and steadily advancing world of technology also fascinates her. As a result, one of Jyoti’s blog is a technological blog called Techn0Treats. In 2011, a post in this blog won her the title of Samsung Mobiler when Samsung made her a part of the team of twenty bloggers chosen from all over India through a blogging competition. In this team of twenty bloggers, she was the only woman and perhaps the only one who had studied literature instead of science. As a Samsung Mobiler, Jyoti acted as the promoter and ambassador of Samsung on her blog.

Jyoti is a patient of Thalassemia Major which forced her to stop going to school after class seventh. After that, she continued her studies on her own through correspondence courses. Her zest to overcome her medical problems and zeal to achieve success keeps her striving on to make her dreams come true.

Links -

Twitter: Jy0tiAr0ra
Free download of first 12 chapters of Lemon Girl: http://www.jyotiarora.com/lemon-girl

Contact me at myriadhues14@gmail.com if you want to be featured on my blog or would like me to review your book!





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