The original title was Unnatural Selection. Why was that perfect? The main character, Katrien, adores Charles Darwin. Her primary goal in life is to prove his theory of natural selection. But then Krakatoa erupts with disastrous results. Hence the title Unnatural Selection. Perfect, right?
Not so much.
I first learned of the need for a new title not long before I went to the Texas Library Association Annual Conference in April. Of course, Holiday House had a booth at the conference, and I stopped by and spoke with their marketing representative. I told her I had just signed a contract with Holiday House, and she asked me what the title was.
Me: "Well, apparently it needs to be changed, but it was called Unnatural Selection."
Her: "Oh, is it nonfiction?"
Me: "Umm ... no."
Her: "That's why it needs to be changed."
Point taken, ma'am. Knowing now why I needed to change the title, I set about throwing out suggestions. After a couple of emails, a phone call with my editor and some suggestions from the Holiday House marketing team, we came up with the perfect title.
AFTER THE ASHES