Thursday, September 12, 2013

GYDO: Lenore Appelhans

Lenore Appelhans, Author of Memory of After/Level 2

Most authors will tell you that titles are hard. You want something that evokes the atmosphere of the book, that’s easy to remember, and is not like anything else out there. Tall order!

My debut novel is out in the world in two incarnations.  When it was published in January in hardcover, it came out with the title LEVEL 2.  When it comes out in paperback next month (September 3rd), it will be under the title THE MEMORY OF AFTER.

Why? Well, feedback from sales was that book browsers in stores overlooked LEVEL 2 because they thought the “2” meant it was a sequel. This hadn’t occurred to me (or my publisher) before publication, but in retrospect, it makes sense. Thus, the rebranding/redesign.

LEVEL 2 was my working title, and though we did have a title brainstorm before the hardcover publication, nothing seemed to fit as well as LEVEL 2, so we kept it.

When the feedback came in from sales post-publication, we all put our heads together again.

Here are some of the rejected titles:

THE MEMORY CHAMBERS (the memory chambers are central to the concept, so this was a strong possibility)
MEMORY ADDICTS OF THE AFTERLIFE UNITE AND TAKE OVER (my nod to The Smiths, but makes the book sound like a comedy, which it is not)
WHAT ELSE IS THERE? (Doesn’t really say much)
HIVELAND (speaks to setting, but doesn’t give the full picture like LEVEL 2 does)
RECAPTURE (I like the double meaning and how both are relevant to the book)
ESCAPING AFTER (was in the top 2 – I like it because of the action it promises)
NEXT (action-packed but too generic)
LIMINAL (too obscure of a word)
SANCTUARY (Makes me think of LOGAN’S RUN)

Independently of each other, the publisher and I both came up one title on the list that we loved: THE MEMORY OF AFTER, paired with CHASING BEFORE for the sequel.

While the title LEVEL 2 evoked the action/sci-fi side of the novel, THE MEMORY OF AFTER is more mysterious, which I think fits the narrative incredibly well.

So yes, coming up with titles is hard work – but finding the right one makes it all worth it!

Memory of After/Level 2 Blurb
Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow drones, Felicia passes the endless hours reliving memories of her time on Earth and mourning what she’s lost-family, friends, and Neil, the boy she loved.
Then a girl in a neighboring chamber is found dead, and nobody but Felicia recalls that she existed in the first place. When Julian-a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life-comes to offer Felicia a way out, Felicia learns the truth: If she joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angel guardians of Level 2, she can be with Neil again.
Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself at the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.

Author Bio
Lenore Appelhans has been blogging about books at Presenting Lenore ( since 2008. She is the author of the Memory Chronicles, which includes Level 2 and the forthcoming Level 3. She lives with her illustrator husband Daniel, and their first picture book together, Chick-O-Saurus Rex, is being published in 2013 by Simon & Schuster. She splits her time between Frankfurt, Germany, and Benton, Kansas.


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