OPINIONS WANTED! Win free books!

Hile, inklings!

If you were paying attention last fall and winter (and I know that you were, because that’s just the attentive sort of darlings you are), you might recall that my novel for NaNoWriMo 2011 was a low sci-fi story workingly entitled Elevator People.

Should you require a reminder, do please click here for relevant blog posts.

Unfinished Business

By my calculations, when pregnancy-related woes brought my post-NaNo work on Elevator People to a screeching halt back in January, I had about 20,000 words left before finishing the story.

Since then, I’ve published two more novels:

Stains of Grace, the third book in my paranormal fantasy trilogy Demons of Saltmarch


Rethana’s Surrender, the first book in my epic fantasy series Legends of the Light-Walkers.

In spite of the work and focus that went into producing those two books, and in spite of the work and focus that has gone and is going into producing a baby, the somewhat-abandoned Elevator People has never been far from my thoughts.

Finishing the Business

I am under no illusions that I will have time or energy for writing during the first few months of my child’s life. I anticipate having the attention span of a hamster.


It would be really cramazingly cool — it would flip my bangerang switch — it would really swing my verge if I could write the final 20,000 words of Elevator People‘s first draft before the end of 2012.

Seriously. All I’ve got left is the final approach to the climax, the climax itself, and the denouement.

That’s not a lot, y’all.

Delegating the Business


Here’s where you and your opinions come in.


As a title, Elevator People is not sufficient. Several fellow writers have told me it sparks nothing in them. Other fellow writers have said it makes them think I’m writing about elevator technicians. Or maybe office workers.

This will not do. After all, this story is sci-fi. And the title should invoke something to that effect.


I want your opinions, people. I want you to re-title my novel. And I shall reward you for doing so.

Why do I ask this of you? Well, mostly because I can’t think of anything myself. ; ) But also, if I know others are already invested in this project, then I am more likely to complete it. It’s like working out: I can rarely stick to an exercise regimen if I’m just working out at home by myself. But give me a yoga class or an aerobics class in which I can see others invested in the “project,” and I’ll step up my game.

Aerobics. Step up. Get it? GET IT???

I crack me up.

Anyway. I hereby formally request that you, my dear inklings, ponder title possibilities for my novel and share them with me in the comments below. Here are a few things about the book that you should consider whilst pondering:

Genre: low sci-fi with steampunk undertones
There’s not a huge amount of science in this story. It’s set in the main character’s present (but our future?). It’s set on multiple worlds, possibly in multiple dimensions. The main character is not tech-savvy but is familiar with Industrial-Revolution-style trappings.

Main character: Wentworth “Went” Banning, male, mid-20s, not from Earth, traveling the galaxy via elevator

MC’s goal: use elevator find his real father, whom he knows only as “Mr. Banjoman”

Elevator: runs on magic in the sense that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from “magic”; one myth about elevator says it was created from music

Supporting characters: 2 Earthling urchins, Jop and Skee; 1 tech-savvy non-Earthling woman, Risk

Main antagonist: galaxy-traveling sociopathic pedophile slave-owner

Other antagonists: 1 wanna-be female slave owner, 1 vampire

ROUGH STORY QUESTION: Will Went Banning find his real father while protecting Jop, Skee, and Risk from their enemies?

If you need more information than that as you ponder your titular ponderings, let me know. I’ll endeavor to answer without spoilers. ; )

Rewarding Business

Okay! Now for the really fun part:

You ponder a title.

You share it with me in the comments below by end-of-day, September 30, 2012. (No more than one title each, please.) Don’t forget to leave a valid email address.*

As my future hamster-like attention span allows, I will pick my favorite and one runner-up.

Whether or not my indie publisher chooses to adopt your title, I will reward you as follows:

If I pick your title as my favorite, I will give you a free e-copy and a free paperback copy of the novel once it comes out.

If I pick your title as runner-up, I will give you a free e-copy of the novel once it comes out.



*I promise to use your email address for contest-contacting purposes only.

11 thoughts on “OPINIONS WANTED! Win free books!

  1. Anna Gilliland says:

    I love thinking up titles. Taking into account of how you like making up words, I’ve come up with this:


  2. My first thought was Lift Rider because Went’s name sounds British (not that he is, obviously) and the British call elevators lifts… but my witty husband and I are thinking of more.

    • Mary, you’re not far off. Went is not British, true…but his character definitely reads like a Brit, and I’m modeling his homeworld on a semi-Victorian England. I have him using the word “elevator” throughout the story, but maybe I should drop in a “lift” or two. Thanks!

  3. Aunty E says:

    I like the “Lift” idea, but am thinking of something more like “Star Lift” or maybe as one word “Starlift”. I, too, will continue to think on this. Thanks for the challenge, dear.

    • You’re welcome, Auntie E. And thank you for the suggestions! Maybe Lift to the Stars could be another option. Hmmm…I’m getting all these ideas and have nothing to do with them yet, since the story’s not finished. ; ) Thanks for visiting and commenting! Means a lot to me.

  4. Patricia says:

    LOVE the hero’s name. How about…”Going Up”?

  5. I’m going to fail to heed your rule of only submitting one suggestion, so you can disqualify me from the contest. I don’t need to win the ebook anyway. 🙂 But I like thinking up titles, especially with the freedom to be as crazy or silly as I want. I like Lift Rider and Starlift, but here are some additional ideas. Maybe one of these will spark something in your mind. 🙂

    Adventures in a Magic Elevator

    Realms of the Lift

    Elevator Gypsies (or Elevator Travelers)

    Went and the Enchanted Elevator

    Lift Went with Magic (or Lift Went Up with Magic)

    Space Travels in the Magic Lift

    • Hmmm…I like Elevator Gypsies — it definitely fits the style of the two urchins and the non-Earthling woman. I also like Went and the Enchanted Elevator, although that sounds a bit too light-hearted for this particular story.

      Bex, you are always welcome to be as silly or as crazy as you want to be, especially on my blog! : )

  6. […] working title of my next book is Elevator People. (A few months ago, I challenged readers to come up with a better title. The jury’s still out on who won, by the way. I’ll work it out soon though. […]

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