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In search of a title for DI Andy Horton number fourteen

Pauline RowsonIt's time to find a title for Inspector Andy Horton no 14 now that I have finished writing it.  It has to have a sea theme and fit with a crime novel, not always easy. I've had some intriguing suggestions from readers who follow me on Twitter and Facebook and I think I'm nearly there.  I have narrowed it down to a couple of options. I'll either choose one myself or run both past my publisher to see which they prefer.  I often say that choosing a title is harder than writing the novel!

Some titles are like pregnancy, they take months to develop and even when the novel is finished, as in this case with the Inspector Andy Horton crime novel number fourteen, I still have no idea what to call it.  Other titles can come instantly, almost the moment the novel hits the page although that is very rare. Dead Man's Wharf was one such case, mainly because it is set around a wharf where a dead man is found.

The location and scene of the murder in the novel can often prompt the title as in A Killing Coast when a body is found floating in the sea off Portsmouth harbour but the action also takes place around the stunning coastal bays of the Isle of Wight, hence the ‘coast’ in the title.

Death Lies Beneath, an Inspector Andy Horton crime noveThen there is Death Lies Beneath, the eighth in the Horton series, when a woman's body is found beneath the sea on a sunken barge just off a disused quayside in Portsmouth. The title of DI Horton number twelve, Fatal Catch, comes from the opening incident when fishermen discover they have hauled up a human hand.

The main character's actions can also prompt a title. For example in my thriller novel, In For The Kill, the hero, Alex Albury, newly released from prison after serving a sentence for a crime he didn't commit, is out to find the man who framed him and seek revenge. He is in for the kill.

And in Silent Running the first in the Art Marvik Silent Running an Art Marvik Marine Mysterymystery series the title describes how Marvik is trying to come to terms with his new career after leaving the Royal Marines, working undercover as a marine investigator for the UK’s National Intelligence Marine Squad.

The second in the series is called, Dangerous Cargo and is inspired by the fact the novel involves, well you’ve guessed it... I won't say anymore for fear of giving away the plot.

And in Art Marvik number three, Lost Voyage, the story is about a salvage tug, the Mary Jo, which is lost in the Arctic until someone claims to have found it and triggers a slaying spree in order to keep the secret of the Mary Jo from ever being exposed.

But are titles remembered? The majority are not. If the book is memorable, or becomes famous or controversial, or is the name of a film/TVseries, or is treasured by the reader then it will stick, hopefully along with the name of the author but not always.

Characters though have far greater staying power in a reader’s mind and generate loyalty over a much longer time frame sometimes even after the author has long been gone, therefore much better to concentrate on creating a memorable character rather than getting hung up a title. I hope I have done that with both Inspector Andy Horton (13 crime novels) and more recently with  Art Marvik (3 crime novels). 

At the time of writing this I am not sure when Inspector Andy Horton number fourteen will be published but meanwhile I'd better crack on and get the title sorted then I can whiz the completed manuscript over to my publisher.

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SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2017 @ 8:40:26 BST


RE: In search of a title for DI Andy Horton number fourteen

I agree Pauline, sometimes titles just fit or with a novice like me you change it as you are writing it. My first draft is coming along and it is woodland based unlike coastal like yours. Do you think it is good to change as you go along or wait until the end?

I do not have an agent or publisher yet so have a long way to go.

Andy Horton series is great and I have not started Art Marvik yet.




RE: In search of a title for DI Andy Horton number fourteen

Hi Tony, thanks for leaving the comment. If you mean changing titles as you go along then fine to do so, just make a note of the ones you`ve discarded in case they appeal to you more at a later date and as the novel progresses. If you mean editing as you go, a certain amount is fine and necessary but not too much, otherwise you end up editing and never continuing with the writing. Good luck. Glad you enjoy the Andy Horton series. Regards, Pauline


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