Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese. It isn’t what I had for dinner. It isn’t a recipe I’m cooking for next week. It’s the title of my debut book.
AH. YES! DEBUT BOOK. Like a real book with pages and an ISBN number recently released through Kingdom Winds Publishing.
Insert all the emojis, GIFs, and YouTube videos featuring old men dancing. Because it’s exciting and terrifying and often makes me feel like I’m going to pee my pants.
During the pre-launch excitement, I started sharing little sneak peeks of the content on my Instagram account in anticipation of the book release. Sometimes, there were polls or pop culture references because the content isn’t about cooking or carbs. It’s actually a book on love. Specifically, singleness-and-dating-and-hoping-for-love kind of love.
So the reasonable question, I suppose, is “Why did you name your book on romance Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese?”
“Because,” I would say, “this is all a marketing ploy to get you to buy a cookbook.”
I write “would say” because this is what I would say if I could tell a joke with a straight face. But alas. I am a part of the population that spits out saliva before someone else can crack a smile.
Titling Vs. Summarizing
When I was an English teacher, my favorite book to teach was To Kill a Mockingbird. A forever classic. The plot, the themes, the well-developed characters. But one of the best parts was the title.
If Harper Lee had chosen “A Lawsuit in the South” or “Racism in Maycomb” instead, I do believe we’d still be teaching her work. It wasn’t just the title that made her book an American classic.
But it’s a moving experience to read the novel and discover what it means to kill a mockingbird. And, more importantly, why it’s a sin to do so. The title lasts with you like an echo, telling you more than just “Oh, what’s the book about?”
When we give something a title, we don’t just give a summary. We add a heartbeat to the content, a lasting expression in six words or less. So, in choosing a title for my debut book, I wanted to do more than “describe” the book. I wanted to name it.
Waiting for a Husband or Healing and Hoping would’ve been appropriate. Singleness, Dating, and Romance would’ve sufficed. But none of them, not one, would’ve captured my heart’s posture and the footprints of each chapter.
If I wanted to explain the meaning behind Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese, I would have to launch into the intricacies of the text, the memories of my love stories, and the Lord’s goodness and redeeming hope. I would have to cheapen the manuscript into forty minutes or less. And by that point, it wouldn’t be a memorable story. It would just be an answer to satisfy someone’s curiosity.
Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese, truth be told, is a story of romance, grace, healing, and hoping. It’s about discovering Jesus as the pursuer and believing in an earthly husband to come. There are personal stories, Scripture, and even some Greek Mythology.
But the meaning behind the title is about so much more.
Featured Image by Eli Francis