A Shiny New Title!

As of today, MOBIUS has a new title!

As excited as I am to share the new one, I want to start by paying homage to the old one. Because for a long time, I was pretty attached to the title, MOBIUS. I didn’t know anything about a Möbius Strip until I started writing this novel, and I’m certainly not physicist nor a mathematician with the capacity to truly understand how its mathematical properties really work. Thinking about it makes my brain hurt, but still… I’m completely fascinated by it.

I think the symbol is beautiful and the concept behind it intriguing. It’s a geometric shape with only one side and one edge. How cool is that? The Möbius Strip is an integral part of mathematics, magic, engineering and science, but also found in art, literature and music. It’s often used as a metaphor for change, like in the recycling symbol, where it stands for rejuvenation and transformation.

I’m especially fascinated by the idea that some physicists who study time travel have used the Möbius Strip to consider how time could be twisted, each side representing a parallel universe.

But guess what? None of this makes it a great title for a book.

I’ve been lucky enough to find myself surrounded by people who are a lot wiser about publishing and marketing and selling books than I am. So when every publisher who read this book and considered working with me said something like, “I think this could use a new title. Are you okay with that?”, I knew it was bound to happen. Later, when several of the international publishers said, “This is going to need a new title”, I started to really understand. But when your book is named after a German mathematician, and your German publisher says, “This is getting a new title, right?”, it all becomes pretty darn clear.

Even though I went in, all fired up and ready to find a killer title, it was hard. Really hard. I hadn’t even thought about alternatives. My editor and I started from scratch, brainstorming until we had a long list of possibilities. We eliminated those that were already taken or too close to something else. Then we eliminated a bunch that just weren’t… it. We spent hours on the phone, more hours going back and forth over email, and even more time on our own, looking for inspiration in everything from a hard-bound Thesaurus to iTunes. We got a lot of ideas from my family, my agent (and the entire agency), friends, other writers, and most importantly, a handful of teenagers (thank you so much, everyone!). And from there, we built another list and narrowed it down again. Until we had six. And then, until we had one:

TIME BETWEEN US

It’s such a fitting title for this book. We wanted something that worked on multiple levels, and all along, we both just loved the beautiful word “between”. The novel is about two people who meet in a year that happens to be the exact middle of their combined lifetimes, and the story takes place in this “between”. They spend time together. And the reality that “time” is the one thing they don’t share threatens to pull them apart.

TIME BETWEEN US

I love it. And I can’t wait to see what the talented Hyperion team creates for a cover.

And now that all the research and testing and fretting is over, I’m off to do the most important thing: finish writing it (while wearing my good luck charm: a Möbius Strip pendant, of course).

What do you think?

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26 Responses to “A Shiny New Title!”

  1. liz norris says:

    Congratulations on the new title! I love it. 🙂

  2. Anne Nesbet says:

    Tamara, it’s a great title! I agree with you totally on the loveliness of the word “between.” *sigh* How long do I have to wait before I can read this book?

    ….and do you really have a Möbius pendant???? How cool is that? 🙂

    Anne

  3. Brodi Ashton says:

    I love it so much! I think it says so much too.

  4. tamara says:

    Anne, yes I do. I’m actually wearing it in the photo on this page. My husband bought it for me as a gift when I landed my agent 🙂

  5. Karen Strong says:

    I love hearing the background of this book. I was hooked when I first heard it! 🙂

    Love this new title! This is so exciting. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This book sounds more and more romantic every time I hear about it…and now the title matches that perfectly!

  7. Kate Coursey says:

    Hahaha! I know I don’t know you personally, but I met your editor earlier this summer and we spent a good half hour brainstorming titles for your book (obviously I haven’t read it, but she gave the basic premise). I’m glad you finally came up with the perfect title!

    Also, my editor and I are currently in the process of trying to come up with a new title for my first novel, so this post really gives me hope. Yay for good titles and smart editors!

  8. Laura Ellen says:

    Tamara- After ALL that brainstorming and stress – TIME BETWEEN US is PERFECT! I love when that happens 🙂

  9. Marissa says:

    Congrats on the new title! I’m excited to see what the cover looks like! Woo-hoo!

  10. Oh, I love the new title! It’s so romantic. Thanks for sharing the process your new title went through. 🙂

  11. Love the new title and can’t wait to read this book!!!!!

  12. tamara says:

    That is so funny, Kate! I’m not at all surprised to hear that Lisa pulled you in on the brainstorming effort. She’s been so enthusiastic, and dedicated to finding the perfect title from the very beginning. Thanks so much for being part of the process and sharing your ideas with her! That’s just so cool.

    Good luck with your new book and your new title! Don’t worry… it will be fun!

  13. Lenore says:

    I love happy endings to title searches! Congrats – can’t wait to get my grabby hands on your book!

  14. Zoraida says:

    I love the new title!

  15. Nicole Maggi says:

    Tamara, it’s a great title! It’s lyrical and evocative. And it MEANS something. So many titles nowadays just don’t have anything to do with the book but yours obviously does! Congrats!

  16. lynne says:

    I love the Mobius pendant!

    It must have been hard to part with your title, but I’m so glad they came up with an awesome one! So excited to read this one.

  17. Congrats, Tamara! Time Between Us is a fantastic title and I can’t wait to read it!

  18. YAY!!! Love the title and can not wait to see it on the cover someday soon!

  19. Hooray for a brilliant new title! I’m sure the cover will be equally gorgeous and I can’t wait to see it!

  20. It’s a wonderful title, Tamara – poetic, and full of longing.

    I can’t wait to read it! Congrats!

  21. Oh! I love the new title (but I loved the old title, too!)–and I can’t wait to read the book. Your description of how this title fits is SO intriguing. 🙂

  22. I love the title. I can’t wait to see your cover – and really can’t wait to read the book! Congratulations!

  23. Kathy Hawkes says:

    Perfect title. Congratulations! Can’t wait to read it!

  24. Love the new title, Tamara. Very evocative, easy-to-remember, and just a little melancholy. Perfect!

  25. Your book sounds wonderful, Tamara! Your website is also impressive. Congra’s to you on your successes!

    Lynda
    (a writer who also wears a mobius pendant!)

  26. Cara Lewis says:

    I think you rock! I worked for a nonprofit in Seattle dedicated to helping elementary kids succeed in math (Explorations in Math) and fell in love with many concepts. Didn’t know about the Mobius Strip and will definitely investigate.

    The new title is very provocative. I look forward to reading the book and seeing the film too.

    Hearty congrats from North Carolina!
    Cara