[Guest Post] The Epic Journey to a Title: Prophecy Girl

Prophecy Girl by Faith McKay – YA Urban Fantasy

Publication date: November 20th, 2012

Ever since Samantha Winthrop’s mother moved them to Lacuna Valley, supposedly in search of better weather, the list of strange questions she has no answers for has been growing out of control.

Does her little sister, Violet, have the ability to make things happen just by “praying” for them? Are Sam’s dreams really predicting the future? Is she destined to marry the boy she just met, and what is the mysterious orb that he’s guarding? Why does she get the impression that there are dangerous creatures watching from the woods?

While Sam should be focusing on answering those questions, there is one other that makes them seem almost irrelevant: Is her mother planning on killing her and Violet?


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Author Bio

Faith McKay writes stories about characters with real world struggles in otherworldly settings. She is the author of PROPHECY GIRL, a story where characters struggle with the idea of having a destiny. In comparison, she feels really lucky that her destiny was to struggle with comma placement and be that awkward lady who points out puns at parties.

Other things to know about Faith… She wears two different colored shoes. She is a survivor of child abuse. She has lived with chronic illness for over a decade. A lot of people don’t like her because she laughs too much. It’s also the reason a lot of other people do like her, so go figure. She listens to more music than people are probably supposed to. She’s a nomad. The word sounds really cool, so a lot of people say it, but she actually lives in an RV with her husband and their pet bunny rabbit, Dorian Gray.

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The Epic Journey to a Title: Prophecy Girl

You wouldn’t think it would be so hard, really, but it was. I wrote a book, I should be able to give it something as simple as a title, right?

Well, the title of this blog post changed at least five times, probably more. If I can’t title a blog post, how can I be expected to title a novel? I wrote a 90,000 word story, and I’m supposed to come up with just a couple words that conveys the feeling of the story? Come on! That’s just too much.

I spent weeks stressed out while I tried to title Prophecy Girl. I mean, really, I spent years trying to title the story, but I figured that once I was done it would just come to me. Magically.

Magic’s such a selfish jerk.

I had completely finished Prophecy Girl. It was edited. I needed a cover, that was all. But you know what covers have? Titles.

The working title for many years was Next Services, because of a sign we see in Chapter Fourteen that reads Next Services: 74 Miles. It was one of the first scenes I wrote, so it just sort of stuck. It’s not a very pretty title though, and it definitely doesn’t make you think, “Oh, that’s a Young Adult Urban Fantasy novel!” (In fact, I think it sounds like a travel book, maybe?).

So I needed a title that said young adult, urban fantasy! How was I going to make that happen? Well, what should I do as a person in the twenty first century who didn’t know how to do something? That’s right, I googled it! “How to title a novel” …I don’t think I’ve ever felt more incompetent in my life. It was a humbling moment.

Google suggested I make keyword lists, thesaurus those words, which would create more lists, and then combine all these words to find something that fit. Excellent, I love lists! I really thought this was going to lead to great places.

Once all of the paper was spread out over my home, full of words and all of their synonyms, and the synonyms of those words, it kind of made me look like the unabomber. Just a little. The crazed look in my eyes due to being completely overwhelmed didn’t help either.

My husband would be trying to have a perfectly nice meal with me, and I would turn to him and say things like “Destiny on Ice! No, really, I think it’s the one!” ….it’s so embarrassing to tell you that I really did say that. I blame the delirium caused by thesaurus reading. My sweet husband just stared at me for a second and then moved onto making other suggestions without commenting.

And then one day during lunch my husband just said, “Prophecy Girl” and the world got quiet for a minute. “I don’t know,” I told him. “I just… I don’t know.” It rolled over and over in mind. I wrote it down on paper, and I stared at it. For days. I put it on the top of my manuscript, and then I stared at that. Obviously, it ended up sticking, and now I’m very happy with it. I’m also very, very relieved to not be staring at the thesaurus anymore.

Now I have to title the sequel, of course. Gulp. This is no way near final, but the working title right now is “Staring Contests”, and I definitely don’t have the clarity to tell you if that’s a ridiculous title or not. I mean, it can’t be worse than Destiny on Ice, can it? Let’s blame the thesaurus again if it is.


Faith McKay is kindly offering to give away an ebook of Prophecy Girl in formats PDF, epub, and mobi, as such this is an international giveaway! Good luck. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I look forward to reading this and more of her work to come. Having met Faith at a Chili picnic potluck called Chilinic, I have come to the conclusion she is a terrific lady and if I had the power I’d give her a never ending supply of spoons. Congratulations on her first book!!


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