The title for my upcoming book, First We Were IV, came to me almost as soon as the first impulse of “I want to write a book about four best friends who start a secret society to play vigilante-pranks, but it ratchets way out of control and twists into a weapon of revenge, costing all of them something, and one of them everything” did. A chaotic initial spark, I know.
This title was with me from the beginning and I never considered another because “First We Were IV” cuts right to the bone of what the story is. The title helped to shape the book as I wrote. It evokes the book’s twisty, mysterious atmosphere. It’s also the first thing people ask about the book—what’s up with the title? What does it mean? Why use a Roman numeral?
The title hints at one of the book’s core mysteries. Four best friends—Izzie, Viv, Graham, and Harry—invent a secret society. Only three survive it. FWWIV begins with the end of their story. The aftermath. It begins with broken hearts and broken rules. It begins with a dead body.
I chose to use the Roman numeral IV for the same reason Viv, one of our heroines, tells the group they should name their secret society the Order of IV rather than the Order of Four—way more badass.
A group of friends start a secret society in this out-of-control thriller from the author of The Telling and The Creeping that examines the all-consuming love of lifelong friendship—and what someone is capable of when they’re afraid of losing it.
Izzie loves nothing more than her three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry, and the bond the four of them share. And she’s terrified of their friendship falling apart next year when they go off to college. To bind them together, she decides to create that will belong only to them, a special thing that they’ll always share between the four of them. And so they dream up the Order of IV, a secret society devoted to mischief that rights wrongs and pays back debts. At first, it works like a charm—but when the Order of IV’s escapades get recognition beyond their wildest expectations, other people start wanting in. And soon, what started as a game of friendship is spiraling into something dangerous and beyond their control—and before it’s over, they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.