If you think we writers just throw a bunch of words down on a screen and then send them off and get them printed that's...sometimes not true. Sometimes there is editing. Sometimes there is agony. And sometimes there is obsessive devotion to detail.
My next book is called Brain Thief. It almost wasn't. It was almost called The Brain Thief (it was originally titled Remembering Muriel, but that was a lot of drafts ago, so forget about that).
The title The Brain Thief was a suggestion of my editor at Tor, David Hartwell. I liked it. Then, at a reading, my friend and workshop member Brett Cox suggested, delicately, that the rhythm would be better without the definite article. The three thudding monosyllables seemed wrong to him. In addition to being a fiction writer and critic, Brett is also a poet and songwriter (and this does not exhaust his descriptors). I realized he was right.
But, for some reason, the title change never got noted in the right place, until I noticed that blurbs were coming back with the old title. I asked David. And then there was much discussion at Tor. I have no idea how many people had to spend time on this.
In the end the title change was approved. Brain Thief it is. I love my family, but there is no way anyone here would understand why I fret about things like this. Fortunately, my editor does.
Whenever you read anyone's prose, feel glad that you can't actually see the little droplets of blood all over it.