Monday, 5 May 2008


Those of you who regularly scan my blog for the tiniest activity on my part (I hardly like to say it, but perhaps you should get out more) will have noticed that I have changed the name of the novel formerly known as Rising Fire. I've also tinkered with the covers.

I'm not saying that Torbrek...and the Dragon Variation will be the final title. But that's what it is for now. Thank you Norm, whose suggestion it was.

I'd write a little about titles, but am reluctant to quote the excellent examples I've come across of unpublished novels' titles, as I think that while one's novel is most unlikely to be stolen, an amazing title is actually quite likely to be pinched by the unscrupulous.

Raymond Chandler used to list any good titles that occurred to him in case they came in handy. Sensible man. Wish I'd done that.


  1. Most times from what I've seen, publishers will change the title of a novel anyway for marketing purposes. I love the titles I have for my books, but I've made myself not fall in love with any of them in case they must be changed (if I hate the new titles, I'll fight them tooth and nail, of course).


  2. I think a good title might attract an agent, even if it gets changed at a later date for commercial reasons.

    That's why I've been trying to find a better one.

    If I got published, I'd care a lot about the jacket image, and from what I've heard, authors get little say in that.

  3. I must admit I find coming up with titles a real struggle. I'll often have tens of suggestions before one rises to the surface.

    When I blogged about this a little while ago, the wonderful Gee Williams suggested that the title can already be in the story, that it just needs finding, which I think could really work.


  4. 'I Met a Roman Last Night, What Did You Do?' is guaranteed to make one want to open the book.

    Gee's idea is sound. Of course, you can also choose a good title, then cheatily insert it in the book...

  5. Why thank you. From what I can remember, coming up with I Met a Roman... took a couple of weeks, a few pads of Post-its and a lot of stress! I'd not had a title in mind while writing it which, I think, probably made things more difficult.

    The sneaky option sounds good. It's nice, as a reader, to happen upon the phrase that is the title, isn't it?


  6. I've sneaked in Dragon Variation (it's a variation on the Sicilian Defence in chess) - but it's still perhaps too obscure.

    Deliberations continue...