That moment when…. you discover that the title you’ve taken ages to decide on is already in use. You get the idea for a story, mould it in your mind, plot out the structure, then a title. It needs a title, even if it’s just a working title. A flash of inspiration, maybe a path along a number of different title avenues and then you have it: The Title.
Yes! You start using it. It sounds good, it flows, it describes your story, it’s already in use. Wait! What? It’s a sad fact that nothing is original now, only the approach to it, and as time goes on the order of words will soon run out.
I’ve just discovered that the series title (rather than the story title) of my next work is already in use. I can honestly say that I’ve never heard of the series, or games that the title is in use with, and I did wrack my brain when coming up with it. My next book was titled ‘Dead Reign: Lament for the Living’. ‘Dead Reign’ being the series title, ‘Lament for the Living’ the first book. I had ‘Lament for the Living’ first (actually, the working title was ‘Sackcloth Versus the Undead’) and then went in search of the series title.
Zombie film titles are very familiar to me, and I know quite a lot of book titles too (despite not reading most of them) and so I was thinking of something that was different to them. I wanted to avoid the use of Zombie, or Z, or ‘of the’ in there, so I got to thinking about what the story was about. Set about three years after the zombie apocalypse when zombies rule the earth. Rule. Rulers. Kings. Queens. What do they do? Reign. They’re dead. Dead Reign! YES! I’d done it. Never heard of it, and it’s fairly cool.
Now today I idly Googled ‘Dead Reign’ which is something that I’d never done before as I was so convinced that it was mine, all mine. And there it was: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Reign Dead Reign by Palladium Books, but not a book, an RPG. But not any RPG, a zombie survival RPG add-on for something called Rifter.
I considered my options at this point. The story is still in development and the last thing I want is to release it and then have copyright or trade mark issues rearing their ugly heads should it do well. So there really is no option, I’m going to have to drop the ‘Dead Reign’ suffix. Now for another round of series title brain storming combined with a more judicious use of google.
Interestingly, ‘The Deluge of Elias’ was going to be called ‘Deluge’, or ‘The Deluge’ until I searched those titles on Amazon and so decided to base the title on the name of the main character. Meanwhile, ‘Hannibal House’ was so called because of the association with a strong, single-minded leader and it’s only one letter away from ‘cannibal’ (although there are no cannibals in the story, that was part of my naming convention). After I wrote it I discovered a building in London that I’d seen many times while living there is also called Hannibal House.
Long after a cataclysm that destroyed humanity had been forgotten, the descendants of the original survivors live in a protected Dome governed by a set of rules known as ‘The Orders’.
The rigid enforcement of The Orders now threatens the people they were designed to protect. Elias has a solution, except it puts him on a course of action that is at odds with the rules that he has been charged to rigorously uphold. On top of every thing else, the solution came to him in the form of a dream; in a time and place where no one dreams.
Can he save the last vestiges of humanity, or even himself?
‘Sometimes you don’t choose the house, the house chooses you’.
The supernatural story of a house that attracts lost souls. Set in South West Wales, Hannibal House tells the story of Troy who leaves Seattle in search of his roots.
Unsure of what he’s really looking for, Troy comes across Hannibal House. Immediately infatuated with the building he sets out to possess it, or is the house aiming to possess him…