Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Coming up with the title before writing the book: you have no idea

Okay! I’m going with SHADOW TWIN for the 3rd Black Dog book. I can think of two ways it would be appropriate for Book 3, and in fact depending on how I handle a different plot element, maybe three ways.

I expect to have this trouble with every book in the Black Dog series — except the last — because I will always need to put the title of a forthcoming book in the endmatter of the previous book. Joy.

You know what this reminds me of, though? When Orbit asked me for back cover copy for LAW OF THE BROKEN EARTH before the book was written. This happens because they need that for advertising purposes or something.

You know what I had at that point? The first couple chapters and a vague notion where the book might be going. Here’s the back cover we went with:

In Feierabiand, in the wide green Delta, far from the burning heat of the griffin’s desert, Mienthe’s peaceful life has been shaken. Tan – clever, cynical, and an experienced spy – has brought a deadly secret out of the neighboring country of Linularinum.

Now, as three countries and two species rush toward destruction, Mienthe fears that even her powerful cousin Bertaud may be neither able nor even willing to find a safe path between the secret Linularinum would kill to preserve and the desperate ferocity of the griffins. But can Mienthe?

And, in the end, will Tan help her . . . or do everything in his power to stand in her way?

See that last sentence? Remember the actual book? If you ever wondered why the two don’t seem to match up, this is why. At the time I suggested this back cover copy, I thought that last sentence might possibly be where the story was going. As it turns out, this was not really true.

Ah, well. This sort of thing shouldn’t happen again for a while, because three of the four books I have under contract are basically finished and I think I have a pretty good idea where the other one is going to end up. Not quite sure how I’ll get there, but it should be okay.

Anyway. Black Dog 3: SHADOW TWIN. I’m putting that title in the soon-to-be-loaded file right now.

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