A Rose by Any Other Name? Book Titles by Debbie Bennett
The title for my thriller Hamelin's Child was one of those that arrived fully-formed. This was more of a theme-title, in that the book is about people-trafficking and the sex-trade. I think it's a strong title and it works, especially in context with a book cover that suggests genre. Its sequel Paying The Piper continues the Pied Piper fairy tale, but also alludes to the different nature of the book as this story is more concerned with aftermath, moving on and finding your own identity. Again it's a strong title - and has been used before for thrillers as I discovered when at least one of the ebook retailers mixed us up. When you dig into the fairy tale/legend of The Pied Piper, it's interesting to note that the man can be seen to represent death, "stealing" the children who die of natural causes, although many other interpretations do have him as some kind of child recruiter/trafficker for various reasons.
There was never meant to be a third book. I think you can have too much of a good thing and I was happy to leave it there and let my main character Michael get on with his life. But so many people have wanted to know what happens next, how Michael resolves his issues and whether or not he manages to have some kind of a happy ending. Well, I don't do walk-off-into-the-sunset happy endings, but I spent some time thinking about where I could take the story that wouldn't be a re-hash of what's gone before (cheating) and yet would remain true to the storyline and believable in the context of the first two books. And off I went...
But a title? What came to mind was something with the word tune in it. And it needed to have the same rhythm. Not necessarily the same number of syllables, but the same style. Something the something or similar, if that makes sense? And the more I thought about, the more I came up with Calling The Tune. It fits the sequence of titles, ties in with the legend and also conveys the theme of this final book which is about re-taking control of your life.
But Calling The Tune isn't a strong title. Alone, it says nothing. There's no context, no obvious allusion to a legend and no genre. Does it matter? If it was a standalone novel, I think it would matter a lot and I wouldn't use it. I'm not Stephen King, who can sell a novel with a date as a title! But given that anyone who considers buying/reading it is more than likely to have read the first two books first, the connection will already be there. Add a book cover that conveys genre (and also follows the "brand" of the first two books) and I think it will work.
Now all I have to do is finish writing it. The new landlady of my local pub wants to launch it at a big event for me. No pressure, then...