Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Titles, oh God

Can I be honest and admit that I HATE titling my work? So much pressure....how do you possibly capture an entire novel in three or four words, even eight or nine? Hell, I can't even capture my novel in one-page synopsis without stopping every few minutes to shop for a gun online.

I wish I could hang a blue handicap sign on the cover page of my novel, something saying "Author Title Challenged." There, free parking.

How can I have such confidence in my story and contempt for any title I come up with? Quite easy, really, especially if you have titles like these:

Horrible Novel
Insert Gun, Pull Trigger

I can scan my bookshelves and find so many genius titles. Why could't I have dreamed up these gems?

The Violent Bear it Away
Their Eyes Were Watching God
The House of Sand and Fog
To Kill a Mockingbird
Lonesome Dove
Fahrenheit 451
Catcher in the Rye
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Blood Meridian
A Prayer For Owen Meany
Cry the Beloved Country

Yes, I could go on. A writer friend of mine says your entire book should be found in your title and your first sentence. While I agree, finding the right words is another sisyphean task altogether. Roll that rock up the hill and watch it come right back at you.

I need a rock pusher!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Congratulations to John Hart

My friend John Hart texted me last night from the Edgar Awards to say his second novel has won the 2008 prize. He beat out Michael Chabon and Ken Bruen, among others, a feat we both agree is monumental. Mucho praise and adulations. This sophomore effort to The King of Lies deserves every award it gets.