Everything is in a bloody name, is what I keep coming back to — as I am trying to name my third novel, which is due out this summer. I have written the book, all 76,000 words of it, and I’m currently editing it. My lovely cover designer is hard at work creating something brilliant and beautiful. Yet when it comes to just a few short words for the actual title, I am flummoxed.
I have been thinking about it for weeks. Now I may just be slightly closer but the best thing I’ve got ends with a question mark, which I’m not necessarily keen on.
I’ve been wondering how many other books have titles with question marks. I thought of Who’s Who — but actually that’s a statement, not a question. It’s also not really in line with the book I’ve written. However, thinking through some of my favourite books, I was very relieved to realise that my writing heroine, Kate Atkinson, also has a book title with a question mark: When Will There Be Good News? This has put my mind slightly at ease and I am warming to the idea.
I like my two previous book titles. Writing the Town Read I thought was a clever pun on ‘Painting the Town Red’ but actually people tend to think it is Writing the Town Read — as in local newspaper, I guess. Which is fitting seeing as the central character, Jamie, works on a local newspaper.
Looking Past I am starting to think is perhaps too simplistic. But it’s out there, it’s done.
Now, as my current book follows the fortunes of three friends, I am concentrating on the friendship theme. So far I’ve got: Amongst Friends, and Will Friends Be Friends? (this is the question mark one — obviously — which is inspired by the mighty Queen song Friends Will Be Friends. Hmm, even as I type this I am thinking it’s rubbish. I need help.
I realise it’s hard to tell without the whole package — including the cover — and not having read the book, but if anybody has any opinions on these two titles, I’d love to hear them. The book is contemporary literary fiction and, I hope, non-gender-specific.
Don’t get me started on the blurb…