Friday, 21 March 2014

Two Words

Writing can be tough. You’ve got to find a great concept, plot out the story, then carefully unfold the whole thing across several hundred pages. Some days it goes well, some days it doesn’t, but you press on towards that exhilarating point where the book takes on a life of its own, where it starts to feel real, and the chapters fuse together into a whole…

And then comes the really gruelling bit: thinking of a title.

Strictly speaking, it’s not just thinking of a title, it’s thinking of a good title that hasn’t been used recently. I got lucky with my first book – “Eye Contact” had the right feel, and it had been a few years since anyone else had used the name. For the sequel it took longer, with a large number of emails going back and forth before my editor suggested “Knife Edge”, which fitted the story perfectly.

And so to Book Three, whose name has been an ongoing source of debate and head-scratching for months. There have been email exchanges, word-lists, and phone-calls. Every time I thought we had something, a quick check on Amazon would reveal a recent book with the same title, and my hopes were cruelly dashed. Were all the good titles taken?

In the midst of such despair, it was a truly great moment when, over cookies and coffee at Hodder, my agent Eve White came up with two words that everyone agreed on: “Cut Out”. It’s certainly a huge relief to me, and the book feels more complete, now it has its own identity.

So there you have it – writing really can be tough. The first ninety thousand words might be straightforward enough*, but the last two can be a right pain.

CUT OUT will be published in August 2014, with paperback the following January.

 *Actually, not straightforward at all.    

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