Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Name this book!

Nobody it seems is that happy with the working title of 'Digging for Gold' for the next McEvoy novel. It kind of works as a placeholder, but I think I need something else. Unfortunately, I seem to be having a bit of a mental block devising an alternative title. Perhaps it's not that important, but it's bugging me. So far the book has had these working titles:

'In the Bog' (in reference to where it takes place - part of the boglands of the country and a play on where the country is heading)

'Land and Honey' (a play on land of milk and honey, and land and gold digging through sexual charms)

'Digging for Gold' (in reference to the two main murders - both women were gold diggers, using their charms to leverage what they wanted - and the Irish property boom and its pursuit of wealth that led to the landscape being scarred with unneeded development).

These are my present alternatives:

'All That Glitters' (as in 'all that glitters is not gold', in reference to the pursuit of wealth through reckless means does not always end well)

'Ghostland' (refers both to the continued 'presence' of the two dead women, and the legacy of ghost estates across the landscape as a result of the fallout from the property crash in which one of them played an important local role).

I should probably point out that the two women were murdered in different eras. One in the early 1960s when rural Ireland was very conservative and repressive; the other in the here and now as Ireland transitions from boom to bust. In that sense the book does kind of deal with the overlapping legacies of three eras (conservative Ireland, permissive and booming Ireland, sobering aftershock of the collapse). The theme of socio-sexual relations runs throughout the story as well given the gold digging elements and McEvoy's personal life becoming more complex.

You can hopefully see the kinds of ideas I'm trying to play around with in the story and the various working titles - gold digging, property development, boom-and-bust, haunting, etc. and the present version of the backcover blurb is below.

What do people think of these titles? Can you come up with a better alternative? I am leaning towards one, but I'd really welcome some suggestions.

The working backcover blurb:
"The Irish economy has imploded leaving the country littered with shattered dreams and the ghostly remains of the Celtic Tiger property boom. Whilst dealing with the fallout, Detective Superintendent Colm McEvoy has got himself ensnared in a tangle of work and women. Marianne Haas, a Dutch national and estate agent, is found hanging in a client’s house. Nearby, the remains of a young woman are discovered in a bog. Along the Irish border, rivalry between fuel smuggling gangs has led to murder and collaboration with a fiery superintendent. None of the three cases are straightforward and are little helped by the attention of an ambitious journalist and the resistance of local officers to outside help. To add spice to the mix, McEvoy finds himself flirting with one of his subordinates whilst relying on his lodger to look after his increasingly distant daughter. Undertaking one case is stressful, managing three and an ever more complex personal life is a potential nightmare. Rural Ireland is proving to be anything but an idyll."

7 comments:

Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

I don´t have enough imagiation to come with a better alternative. 'All That Glitters' is my favourite.

Margot Kinberg said...

Rob - I vote for All That Glitters, too. I think it's got shades of meaning that are themes in your book. From what you have mentioned about it, it seems a good match.

Bernadette in Australia said...

Honestly I can't think of anything right now (it's early and I haven't had my coffee yet) but I would caution against All That Glitters - I have a friend who reads lots of romance/family saga type novels and I swear every second one of them is called that

Paul D. Brazill said...

I was going to say All That Glitters but after reading Bernadette's comment .. . yes, Catherine Cookson... I've changed the title of my WiP pretty much every week...

kathy d. said...

I think "Ghostland" is good, but it isn't catchy. It is a good word for the housing bust, with too many houses and unoccupied.

What about "Boom and Bust"? Or something with the concept of the housing boom, then the bust.
Or "The Bubble Burst"? Or
"Boom Town"?
"Bog Town"?

Anyway, trying to get in the economic/land concepts with a nuance of the personal booms and busts.

pattinase (abbott) said...

A glittering truth.

Rob Kitchin said...

Thanks, everyone. I'm going with Ghostland for now. It's of its time and it does the job. Life might be easier if I started with a title and wrote a book to it.