Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A rose by any other name…

I’m trying to come up with a good name for my novel, and maybe you can help me. It’s a futile task as the editor/publisher will probably choose a different title in the end. However, agents always want to know the title when I make a submission, and since this is a subject which I avoided thinking about during the 4 ½ years I spent writing the book, I’m now stuck. 
Book titles are important. My middle son says that the all-time, best-ever title for a book is To Kill A Mockingbird.  And I have read very good books with bad titles, like I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith. This is a delightful book and yet I almost did not even pick it up based on its unfortunate name. And the opposite can also be true. Who hasn’t been lured into reading a book, based on its title, (or cover), and then regretted it?
So back to my book: as you’ve no doubt figured out from the other information on this blog, it is about the lives of the teachers and administrators in an American International School, set in Cantabria, Spain, concretely, Santander. As with any group of people, there is gossip, adventure, secrets and interesting food. Some become friends, others become sworn enemies. There are love intrigues and there are some trouble makers who can be rather nasty people. You’ll have to read it when it comes out, it’s really quite good. 
 At the moment I’m using Bueno, but I’m still not sure it’s right. Here are some other ideas (in no particular order):
1.       We’ll Fall Off That Bridge When We Get There  (on the plus side,  it’s original and it’s something a character says toward the end of the book, but on the negative side, it tells you nothing about the book.)
2.       Mr. Harvey Jones, Headmaster
3.       What We Didn’t Learn in Kindergarten
4.       A Tenure in Spain
5.       That’s Not How Things Are Done In Spain (this is something the main character runs into a lot in the story)
6.       Teaching in Spain
7.       There Are Brujas In This School (apt, but perhaps suggests fantasy and that is not what this book is about)
8.       After the Students Have Left (since the book has relatively little to do with the students, though it does involve them a little bit)
9.       The Cantabria American School (this is the name of my fictitious school. I had thought of naming it The American School of Santander, but the acronym wouldn’t work)
10.   Bueno (short and sweet and conveys the Spanish part. It’s actually an apt title, which you’ll see once you read the book, though it doesn’t give much away.)
So, what shall I call this little novel? I welcome your comments!