I'm super excited to be the first stop on Nova Ren Suma's blog tour to celebrate the release of her YA debut, Imaginary Girls, which came out last Tuesday! Her tour will consist of a series of secrets about the book, so without further ado...
Secret #1: Imaginary Girls wasn’t supposed to be the title. I changed it at the last second when querying agents… and decided to keep it.
The original title of the book was Mythical Creatures, which came from a short story I wrote about two sisters named Ruby and Chloe, the same two sisters who’d go on to take over the novel and, with it, my life for a few years. I never meant the title Mythical Creatures literally—there were no actual unicorns or werewolves in the story—but I wanted to play with the idea of what made something, or someone, into a legend in a small town. There’s actually a line in the first chapter of the book that’s a lot like one from the old short story, too, and it speaks to the title:
“If anyone was a mythical creature here, it was Ruby, the one we all looked to and listened for, the one the boys loved and fought to be with, who couldn’t be captured or caged.”
I was pretty attached to that title. So why’d I go and change it? When I was putting together my email queries for literary agents and typing “Mythical Creatures – YA novel query” into the subject line, I had a sudden wave of doubt. Agents might see that and think this was a fantasy novel, and it’s not. What if they rejected me based on title alone? So, at the very last second, I changed the title to one of the top contenders on my list of other possibles: Imaginary Girls. Even so, I messed up some of the queries and a couple agents got an email from me saying “Mythical Creatures – YA novel query,” and when they replied asking for pages I sent back a manuscript with the new title in place.
(I should add: Soon after those queries, I saw the beyond-gorgeous cover for a book called Beautiful Creatures—and felt a rush of relief that I’d changed my title when I did.)
So that’s how I happened upon my title Imaginary Girls, in a panic, and at the last second, and yet now I can’t imagine this book being called anything else.
Definitely check out Nova's website and follow her on Twitter to learn more about this awesome book!
Also, here is the really cool trailer:
And if you are curious about the book, read an except!
Thanks to the generosity of Penguin, I have one signed copy of Imaginary Girls to give away! Just comment below and tell me why you want to read this book, and I'll enter you to win! This contest will end July 6th, and is open to US residents!