I think I’ve blogged on this before but I love a good title. Often the book or movie doesn’t live up to the title but I love them just the same. I’ve struggled with several of my own titles and looked with envy on titles others thought of and I missed.
An older Kirk Douglas movie got me thinking about titles. A few weeks ago I watched Cast a Giant Shadow. I’m a sucker for any story about the birth of modern Israel and overcoming incredible odds to establish a homeland. But the title says it all. The lead character, or the fighting citizens of Israel, both must cast a shadow more than what they thought they were to succeed.
My favorite movie right now is Kingdom Of Heaven. I’ve watched it over and over the last few months but the title kept me away for several years. I can’t even pinpoint why.
I liked the book title Redemption Street. I liked the book too, written by my friend Reed Coleman. But the title captures you. For the record my second novel’s title was also a product of Mr. Coleman. After Putnam said the original title, Chaos Theory, might be confused with another book, I called Reed who immediately came up with Shock Wave for the price of an acknowledgement in the book.
Here's Reed and me in my pool just as each of our books came out back in 2004
I had another title I liked a couple of years ago until I ran it by my friend and chief tormentor over at First Offenders, Jeff Shelby. The title was Written in Blood and he immediately said he didn’t like any reference to writing actually on a book. Good advice.
Next month our own Paul Levine has a new book out titled simply Illegal. I think it’s a great title set on a great cover and the one word could have many meanings related to the story. Paul and I have discussed the book and I know what the title refers to, making it that much better as far as I’m concerned.
And Jackie has some great titles. Unfortunately I have referred to An Incomplete Revenge as an Inconvenient Truth more than once. But this week's release of Among The Mad is a captivating title for a book, or a blog now that I think of it.
This is not a plug for my next book, but I’ll mention that my agent sold it with the title of The Second Species. I was never thrilled with the title. Then months after TOR had it and was working with it, I thought of the phrase The Human Disguise. I could tell the instant I ran it past them that they liked it. A lot. I worked that into the next book’s title, The Double Human. The funny part was coming up with a different author name so as not to confuse any crime fiction fans. Finally I realized I wasn’t smart enough to use any unusual name. I’d never answer to it at conferences or during interviews so I settled on my actual first and middle names, James O’Neal. Now I’m happy with what I settled on.
Now I'll ask a favor. Let me know what you think of the cover and the website for James O'Neal. Shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment. I'd appreciate feedback. This is a new adventure.
What about you? Any titles that really turn you on? Movies or books.