Today, we speak to author, Sue Fortin, who writes romance, mystery and suspense for Harper Collins’ imprint, Harper Impulse.
2015 saw a real spike in the word ‘Girl’ being used and, for me, I
always think of Stig Larsen books as the forerunner for the trend, with
Gillian Flynn following up closely behind. So,
when my publishers said they
wanted to call my new novel The Girl Who
, my knee-jerk reaction was Really? Hasn’t it been overdone? There are
so many ‘Girl’ books out there, did the publishing world really need another
My initial reaction was fueled by a debate I had followed on social
media where some people positively hated the word ‘girl’ used when clearly the
book was about a woman. For some, girl could only refer to a child or, at a
push, young adult.
After the email suggesting The
Girl Who Lied
, I spent the next seven days bombarding my editor with every
alternative I could think of. I was like some mad woman possessed, hounding my
friends and family for different suggestions. My agent wasn’t spared either and
it was, in fact, her reassurance that began to sway me. Indeed, there had even
been a recent article about ‘The Girl’ titles, see HERE.
Broadly speaking, when readers see ‘The Girl …’ in the title, it is a clear
indication of what to expect. (i) A strong female character (ii) an ordinary
woman in an extraordinary situation (iii) a darker read (iii) mystery and
Slowly, I began to have a change of heart as my book ticked all of the
above. It is full of lies, the characters all tell lies, even though they
believe it’s for the right reasons. My main character, Erin, was a teenager
when she first lied, so perhaps the title was even more suitable than I first

I was finally convinced when I spoke to several other authors, who,
without exception, said to run with it and trust the marketing team’s experience.
So, that’s exactly what I’ve done and am now totally on-board with the title.
Just as an aside, I’ve seen ‘The Woman
…’ being used a lot, so perhaps that’s the next trend on the horizon.
About Sue:

Sue Fortin’s originally published debut novel was awarded the INDIE Brag medallion and later when published by HarperImpulse was short-listed for the Joan Hessayon Award (2014). Sue was also short-listed for the Festival of Romance, New Talent Award (2013). Her second novel, Closing In, reached number one in the Romantic Suspense Kobo chart at the end of 2014. Sue blogs regularly with the online writing group, The Romaniacs
Lover of cake, dragonflies and France, hater of calories, maths and snakes, Sue was born in Hertfordshire, but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex.
Sue is married with four children, all of whom patiently give her time to write, but, when not behind the keyboard, she likes to spend her time with them, enjoying both the coast and the South Downs, between which they are nestled.

Twitter @suefortin1
Website & Blog
Thanks you, Sue, and good luck with your book. 

This blog piece is brought to you by Louisa Heaton on behalf of ‘The RNA Blogging Team’ 
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  1. Author
    Rosemary Gemmell 2 years ago

    Great piece, Sue – fascinating about using 'Girl' in titles! Going to start your book soon as it's jumping the queue on my kindle.

  2. Author
    Sue Fortin 2 years ago

    Thank you, Rosemary, glad you found the post interesting and hope you enjoy the book. Much appreciated.

  3. Author
    Sophie Weston 2 years ago

    Matt Bates at the London Chapter a couple of months ago was saying how well "Girl" titles were going. I suppose my feeling about the word is much like Sue's. But it's certainly true that I do now associate it with School of Gillian Flynn.

    Oddly, I hadn't thought about Stig Larson. I think the Millennium Trilogy is pretty much sui generis and doesn't really overlap Flynn and followers, though.

  4. Author
    Sheryl Browne 2 years ago

    The first thing it suggested to me, Sue, was intrigue. I had no idea you'd agonised over it. Think you were right to stick with it though. Good luck with The Girl Who Lied, Sue. You know I love your writing and this one is on my Kindle. 🙂 xx

  5. Author
    Jan Brigden 2 years ago

    Really interesting post, Sue. Made me think about titles in a different way. I'm glad you came full circle with this title – it's intriguing. I'm so looking forward to reading the book. 🙂 Xx

  6. Author
    Rae Cowie 2 years ago

    I think 'The Girl Who Lied' is a really memorable title, which is fantastic when trying to stick out from the crowd. I don't have strong feelings either way about the use of the word 'girl'. If it conveys what the novel is about rather than being chosen to follow a trend, then that's fine. : )

  7. Author
    Isabella Connor 2 years ago

    It's a perfect title and the cover is really evocative. Think you're onto a winner here, Sue.

    Liv x

  8. Author
    Elaine Everest 2 years ago

    Good luck with your book, Sue. I've just started reading and I'm hooked!

  9. Author
    Sue Fortin 2 years ago

    Hi Elaine, thank you! So glad/relieved you're enjoying it. Hope it continues that way.

  10. Author
    Wendy's Writing 2 years ago

    I think you have to trust the marketing team. The title to me shouts 'suspense'. In my humble opinion you've got it right.

  11. Author
    Sue Fortin 2 years ago

    Thanks, Wendy, appreciate that.

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