July 21st, 2010

Herbalist's Apprentice

Help me name the book!

Let's play a game. Let's call it Title Brainstorming!

Like my foreauthors before me, if you come up with THE title that pleases the publisher enough to go on the cover of the book--or at least, the title that my editor and I call it for a period of longer than five minutes, because if there's one thing I've learned, there are no guarantees on this titling thing--I will send you a copy of the book once it's published. (Signed and personalized if you like.) (And I'll probably acknowledge you in the comments, unless it's too late in the game before the title gets finalized.)

The book started life as The Herbalist's Apprentice. It has been referred to betwixt the editor and me as The Princess Curse. Those are the starting points.

If you haven't read it (and that's most of you), it's set in a made-up region of Romania that I wedged in next to Maramures and Transylvania, in 1489. Reveka, the main character, is an irreverent herbalist's apprentice who decides to break the curse on Sylvania--the curse being that Prince Vasile's 12 daughters wake up every morning exhausted and with holes in their shoes. Everyone who has attempted to break the curse ends up either cursed with death-like sleep or disappears. The local Lord of the Underworld (a zmeu) becomes an important character. To say much more would be spoilery, but suffice it to say, there's a Persephone/Hades sort of situation in the latter half of the book. Herbs, sleep, lies, vows, souls, the water of life, the water of death, the underworld, dragons (zmeu), princesses, cow-herding side-kicks, dancing, shoes, plum blossoms...

The book is Middle Grade, and the title would need to appeal to kids between the ages of, oh, 9-12ish.

Let me know if you want more information, and please play long and hard!