Scott McCormick

What's in a name? You don't want to know

    I don't usually have trouble coming up with titles for my books or stories. They just come to me as I'm writing, and, I have to say, they're usually pretty good. That is, until they're not.

Case in point: Mr. Pants book one. The original title was “Mr. Pants’ Frenzy of Fun.” Good title, right? Short, sweet, memorable… it sums up the book nicely. Or at least it did until the book changed.

Originally the book was about Mr. Pants trying to have as much fun as possible on the last day of summer, so “Frenzy of

Fun” was great. But then the book became about him trying to play laser tag and suddenly the title didn’t quite seem right. After a lot of thought and multiple misfires, we settled on “Last Chance, Mr. Pants.” And that was fine and dandy. Until it wasn’t.

My publisher decided it would be best for the series for all the titles to start with “Mr. Pants.” OK, no problem, but “Mr. Pants: Last Chance” didn’t work. So, more thought, more misfires and we settled on “Mr. Pants: Game On.” Good? Good. Until “Big Nate: Game On” came out. Curse you, Big Nate!

Back to the drawing board. And when I say “back to the drawing board” what that really means is weeks of emailing titles back and forth between my editor and myself.

Here are some titles that were in the running—if only briefly (and if only in my head)—during some of those various brainstorming sessions:

-Mr. Pants’ Summer Finale
-Make Way for Mr. Pants
-Well Played, Mr. Pants
-For the Love of Pickles! It’s Mr. Pants!
-Walloping Wombats! It’s Mr. Pants!
-Jumpin’ Jahosafeet! It’s Mr. Pants!
-Mr. Pants: Loopy for Laser Tag
-Mr. Pants: Mortal Wombat

Yeah. The less said about most of those, the better.

At any rate, after weeks of trial and error, we eventually settled on “Mr. Pants: It’s Go Time.” We’re all happy with this title, and… knock on wood… barring unforeseen, last-minute problems, that seems to be the title we’re going to print with.


But then….

My editor emailed me and said, “Hey, we’re probably going to have to rethink the title for book two…”

So… Book Two. Originally it was “Pants! Camera! Action!” Following the new title convention it would be changed to “Mr. Pants: Pants! Camera! Action!” And apparently my publisher’s not too jazzed about the whole “Pants: Pants!” bit. Frankly that doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the thought that we’re going to have to do this all over again.

But maybe you can help!

Here’s the plot: Pants enters a contest. He’s got one day to make a movie. Now if he can just get everyone else on board...

Title suggestions? Fire away!



I like the new title you came up with: Slacks, Camera, Action. The kids thought of "it's showtime" but I thought it was too close to "it's go time."
Thanks for the nice comment about the book. Glad you liked it! I like your suggestions, especially It's Show Time, which I suggested myself. But to no avail. Anyway, we finally settled on a title for book 2: Slacks, Camera, Action. A bit of a compromise, but I'm just glad to not be thinking of new titles.
Funny that you mention that. I wasn't a fan of the book title but a huge fan of the book (my daughter received an advanced galley to write a review). We can't wait for the rest in the series. Here are our suggestions: Mr. Pants: It's Show Time! Mr. Pants: Break a Leg! Mr. Pants: Frenzy on Film! Mr. Pants: Quiet on the Set! Mr. Pants: Hooray for Hollywood!
Nice. Bah! Kids with their complete ignorance of the films of Billy Wilder.
Mr. Pants: Ready for His Close Up Of course, young kids will not get the reference, but meh, what do they know anyhow? Young whippersnappers.

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