Saturday, January 07, 2006

Coming up with titles

I need some titles for my next few books. Sounds easy? Not to me.
Here's what I want my title to do: Sound like a romance, preferably a medieval romance. Be memorable. Be interesting. Be unique.

Not so easy. And so many good ones have already been used.

But ya gotta do what ya gotta do, so I started to make a list, and I asked my family if they have any suggestions. And this is when I learn, yet again, that I live with a bunch of comedians who really aren't a lot of help when it comes to certain aspects of my work.

My daughter had just started to watch "Fiddler on the Roof," so she immediately suggested, "Minstrel on the Roof." (Which actually might work for one of my stories, come to think of it.) To cut her some slack, she was home sick from work and couldn't speak above a whisper. I'll, ask her again today. She does, after all, want to work in publishing.

One suggestion I came up with was "Castle Keep." I'm going to age myself here, but this is also the title of a World War II movie released in 1969. I vividly remember seeing the trailer for it when my sister and I went to see...oh, the embarrassment....The Maltese Bippy. For those of you unfamiliar with Laugh-In and Rowan and Martin, I cannot explain what a "bippy" is. (Anybody? I remember a punch line for the show was "You bet your bippy." Was it ever explained?)

Anyway, we trekked downtown to see this in a run-down theater that later became a porn palace, then was renovated back to its earlier glory. (Want to know more? Click here.)

So I was telling the hubby about Castle Keep and The Maltese Bippy, and he suggested the following titles: The Maltese Bippy (titles are not covered by copyright), The Maltese Bappy, The Maltese Beppy and finally, The Maltese Bubbe. Not helpful, but the laughter certainly reduced my stress level.

This morning, I went to the Internet Movie Database and yes, Castle Keep did indeed come out the same year as The Maltese Bippy.

So here I am, nearly forty years (!!) later, and I still think it's a cool title. Also, nobody's used it for a romance...have they? I look it up on Amazon and YARGH!!!! Jennifer Greene wrote a Silhouette with that title! I hie myself to her website. Yep, there it is, except on her site its' "The Castle Keep." Also, it was out in 1988. What to do? Well, I'm going to suggest it anyway and see what happens, noting when and where it was used before. I'm also going to see if I can get the novel the movie was based on, written by William Eastlake, from the library. It was reissued in paperback in 1999. All these years, and I may finally find out just what happens in that castle....

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