The title “Isolation Play” was not revealed until very late. This is not because I was being cagey about it (as is more the case for the current upcoming book, where I’m waiting on the cover to reveal the title). This is because I wrote the whole book and went through a bunch of editing passes and still had a working title that was so terrible I can’t even remember now what it was. I think it was something like “Double Coverage.” Which, okay, is not the worst title ever. But it is heavy and clunky and it doesn’t really flow and it kind of fits the book but … blah. It would’ve been fine. It wasn’t great.
It was in August while I was visiting Blotch around a Rocky Mountain Fur Con that I was desperately brainstorming other titles, as Blotch and Kit had all told me in no uncertain terms that “Double Coverage” sucked. I came up with “Power Play,” which I quite liked, and which is a football term, but it is much more famous as a hockey term, and I would have gotten irritated with explaining that after a very short time.
And then I was just looking through Wikipedia for football terms and plays and sets and I found “isolation play,” and I thought, that works. It was a month or two before the book had to go to the printer, and I felt very much like someone who’d just caught a Hail Mary pass to win a game in the last moments. Because it had been over a year I’d been working on this book and I had no idea if I was ever going to find a title that worked as well as “Out of Position” had worked for the first one.
Hard work, research, and time. They usually pay off.