A warm welcome to author Kris Ripper joining us today to talk about zir latest release “The Butch and The Beautiful”.
Welcome Kris 🙂
The Dreaded Title Search
By Kris Ripper
True story: I’m a terrible book titler. Let us not discuss the many pages of brainstorming that go into any decent title of mine. Let us really, really, never discuss the first round of titles I produced for Queers of La Vista.
So when the lovely Sarah Lyons nudged me into attempting a new round of titles with an appropriately soap opera theme I cracked open my notebook and cast my mind over an early adolescence spent watching soaps.
How themed titles are made: list everything you can think of with that particular theme (General Hospital, One Life to Live, All My Children, As the World Turns, The Bold and the Beautiful…), list a few general descriptive words for each book, mash both lists together forcefully until titles pop out.
There should be an algorithm for this. Someone who understands programming, get on that. I WOULD PAY FOR THIS APP.
In any event, although my previous efforts to be clever with titles had flamed and burnt out, I managed to hit on As La Vista Turns for the final book (which at that point existed only as a few notes and a wildly inaccurate synopsis), and then One Life to Lose for the fourth book. I desperately wanted Two Roads, One Woman for book three (because it’s based on a telenovela called Two Women, One Road and the main character’s abuela loves telenovelas), but it was pointed out to me that the phrase bears slightly too close resemblance to, ah, a phrase involving a cup and…well, let’s just say I’ve never googled it, and I never will.
This is a good example of why running ideas past a range of people is almost always a good idea. I wouldn’t have made that connection, but I’m sure glad someone else did before the mocking reviews started rolling in!
The Queer and the Restless fit book three just as well, so that was that, and Gays of Our Lives seemed to be a fitting way to start off the series.
Book two refused to cooperate with any title I tried to paste on it. One of the MCs is a teacher, and the other a lawyer—maybe I could play on their jobs? General High School? God, no. All My Students? Wrong idea entirely. Guiding Lesbian? OH GOD NO.
Sure, it’s funny and slightly appalling now, but in that moment? I was desperate for a good title. I wanted to do the ladies in book two right. They were so much fun to write. Given a straight up choice between writing another novel and coming up with a title for the one that already existed, I would have taken option one.
I moaned about this to Sarah—but with good humor, like you do when you’re secretly begging for help but you want someone to think you totally have things under control—and she came back with “What about The Butch and the Beautiful? Not that either of them is butch…”
Except Jaq is butch. Totally and completely to-her-bones butch. And Hannah is so damn beautiful sometimes Jaq has no words.
The Butch and the Beautiful is hands down the best, most fitting, most delightful title of the bunch. And I owe it all to Sarah Lyons, who sent that email in a sort of “just throwing it out there” way. Writing can be a very solitary gig, but you gotta have a team. I’ve been damn grateful for Sarah’s presence on mine!
Have you ever had someone bail you out of a work thing that seemed totally unsolvable? Did you thank them on the internet? (THANK YOU, SARAH!)
Jaq Cummings is a high school teacher who really wants a committed relationship—as long as it doesn’t keep her out late on school nights or interrupt Sunday mass with her dad. She is absolutely not about to fall for the hot-mess divorcée she hooks up with even if said hot mess pushes all her buttons. Jaq’s white knight days are over.
But one hookup with Hannah becomes two, then coffee, then more incredibly hot sex. And unlike most of Jaq’s exes, Hannah’s not looking for someone to come on strong. In fact, Hannah comes on plenty strong enough for both of them. But she’s just out of a disastrous marriage, she’s in the process of moving across the state, and Jaq can’t take a chance on yet another relationship where she defaults to being a caregiver instead of a partner.
Just when Jaq decides her relationship with Hannah is far too precarious, a crisis with a student reminds her of her priorities and makes it clear that sometimes, you have to take big risks to get what you really want.
About Kris Ripper
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.
Connect with Kris:
To celebrate the release of The Butch and the Beautiful, one lucky winner will receive their choice in ebook from Kris’s backlist. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 27, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!