Titles are a strange beast in this business. On some level, they’re immaterial to the book, in and of itself. The title is there for marketing purposes, a quick and easy way to set the tone of your book. The shortest version of your elevator pitch.
But on the other hand, I think about them for a long time.
Almost every one of my books had some working title that didn’t survive contact with reality. The Thorn of Dentonhill was just “Tools of the Trade” in draft. The Holver Alley Crew was “The Fire Gig”. An Import of Intrigue was “The Little East”. And many times that working title is definitively and only a working title, one that I knew even then was not for public consumption. Imposters of Aventil was merely “Wingclipper”, as the original one-paragraph concept focused more on one of the antagonists.
About the only one that lasted all the way through: Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe. For some reason I always knew that was the title of the second Asti & Verci story.
I’ve mentioned that the books up to People of the City (original working title… is a spoiler) marks the end of Phase I of Maradaine things, and if you know me, you know I’m a planner, and yes, I do have a plan for Phase II and Phase III.
And those Phase II books have tentative titles. They still may change between now and when they are written and released, but that’s the plan for now.
So, how about a little contest? Below I’m going to put eight hints for eight prospective Phase II Maradaine Novels. And so we’re on the same page, these titles each would represent Book Four and Five of the four respective series, but I’ve mixed up the order so it’s not completely obvious what’s what.
Email your guesses to me before AUGUST 1st, 2018. The entry that is the most correct (or, barring that, most entertaining in incorrectness) will win an ARC of THE WAY OF THE SHIELD, limited to mailing in US and Canada. Sound good? Here goes:
The Q_____ G_____
The A_____ of C_____
The S_____ of the C_____
An U_____ of U_____ M_____
The C_____ of the C_____
A P_____ of P_____
The N_____ K_____ of R_____ S_____
A_____ and D_____