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The Spiritwalker Trilogy: Series Titles and Book Titles
kateelliott
A hiatus ends with a post. That is how it always goes, unless of course there is no more posting, which would be a different issue.

Cold Magic has an utterly fabulous cover which I'm waiting for Orbit Books to announce before I show it off here. Also, Orbit likes to have a "series title" for each group of books it publishes. If you check out the serieses being published by Orbit, you'll see things like "The Inheritance Trilogy" "The Parasol Protectorate" "The Moorehawke Trilogy" and "The Griffen Mage Trilogy," to mention some that are just coming out. A series title offers a chance for readers to identify related books, together with similar cover art and design and titles that use some form of parallelism or repeated words.

For my own, the ultimate series title chosen is: The Spiritwalker Trilogy. (Previous series titles of my works are The Crossroads Trilogy, Crown of Stars, The Highroad Trilogy, and The Novels of the Jaran.)

I'm currently writing book two of The Spiritwalker Trilogy, whose title will be Cold Steel.

A title for book three is not yet confirmed. I wanted Cold War, but for obvious geopolitical and historical reasons it is not really acceptable. Other possibilities include Cold Blood which would work but alas will make everyone think of Truman Capote (dang you, Capote, for so branding that phrase); Cold Fire which sounds good but is not really apropos; Cold Heart which is apropos BUT sounds like a country music song title. There are less serious options as well.

In fact, the entire question of how one chooses titles if one does not already have a clear and present title is an interesting one.

What are some of your favorite titles, either as a reader or as a writer? And if as a writer, how did you and your editor/s or agent/s or others come up with it?

Oh. Yeah. Publication date in both USA and UK for Cold Magic is Sept 9, 2010.

Someone once told me that the ideal book title is a three-stress phrase ('Gone with the Wind', 'The Name of the Rose') but I tend to like the quirky titles best (most of which, now I think of it, are short story collections), like Zelazny's 'The Doors of his face, the lamps of his mouth' and Liz Williams' 'The Banquet of the Lords of Night'. Oh, and Rumer Godden has a great one: 'Cromartie vs. the God Shiva acting through the government of India'.

Would 'Cold Front' work for 'Cold War', maybe?

Interesting. These days I think shorter, sharper titles, or longer more poetic titles, have more impact than the three stress phrase like Gone with the Wind. But I don't really know. Maybe it's just that those are books I asssociate with Days Gone By.

Would Cold Battle work for Cold War? One presumes that Cold Water is not in the running.

I thought about battle, but it has to be war. I love Cold Water. My daughter said that if there were zombies we could call it Cold Brains.

My favorite titles?

A selection:
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul - Douglas Adams
Dance of the Voodoo Handbag - Robert Rankin
Soldier of the Mist - Gene Wolfe
Ringworld - Larry Niven

Apparently for me it is either a single word, or [the] something [of the] something else.

Which unfortunately doesn't include your current series' titles....
Maybe that means I shouldn't buy them ;)

The 9-9-10 date is for the hardcover, I take?
That would means an early 2011 release for the mass-market edition, I guess.

I believe Cold Magic is coming out as a trade paperback, not as a hardcover, on 9-9-10. But mass market will be 9 - 12 months later, yes.

Cold War - would any of Cold Combat, Cold Conflict, or Cold Clash do?
(oops, that was just my alliterative addiction slipping its noose)

I don't think I have a favorite title, in general.

I keep coming up with things like Cold Cash.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms -- it was in the book, but I'd given the book a completely different title, and the series too. The folks at Orbit suggested this one, and I was like, "Whoa. That's good." That was kind of it. =)

It's a great title, indeed. Orbit has been very much involved in thinking through this pesky title thing.

Oh -- can't WAIT to see the cover art!!

Oh boy I can hardly wait for this series to hit readers . . .

and book two!

Re titles (which give me hives) Here's my worthless advice: if you don't have a truly hot title for book three, then get away from the colds now, and just have a two word title for book two.

Sounds like the voice of experience. Did you ever end up regretting a series titling theme (is that what it would be called?)

Neuromancer ... one of the best titles of all time. It was perfect for what it titled. Perfectly perfect.

Love, c.

That is indeed a great title.

I like long titles, like the ones Harlan uses so often: "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman", "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream", "The City on the Edge of Forever".

I like long titles when they're done well, like the ones you mention. I wonder if long titles are more common in short stories.

Whilst there's nothing stopping it being used again I suppose, Cold Fire (or Coldfire) is already the name of a noted SF-fantasy trilogy by Celia Friedman. That's an interesting point of discussion, actually, about when you use a book title that already exists and when you want something totally new (particularly thinking of THE GATHERING STORM here, which was used by Winston Churchill before you and Brandon Sanderson later on, and probably by a few hundred books inbetween).

Would Cold Spirit be appropriate? I was thinking of Cold Fear, but that might be more appropriate to a horror novel. Or if you can move away from the 'Cold' thing, something like the Winter War?

JV Jones seems to have run out of things to bring out of multi-coloured ice in her series and is using more varied titles from now on, although I suppose it's more symmetrical to have two titling schemes of three books each in a six-book series rather than having two books in one format and just one in another. Although George RR Martin seems to be happy to have six books with the title "A Something Of/With/For Something" and then just one with "The Something of Something," so who knows?

Or Cold Winter? Although that might land you an entry in TVTropes' Redundant Department of Redundancy list ;-)

Or how about Cold Commands? Richard Morgan was using it for his next book and had to change it (to The Dark Commands) due to the lack of anything 'cold' being in the book. I'm sure he'd let you use it :-)

How about The Gathering Cold Fire Storm?

I was happy to have the Churchill resonance with The Gathering Storm. And as for the Jordan/Sanderson volume, I keep hoping people looking for that book will accidentally pick up mine instead.

Cold Spirit might work but does have a hint of horror about it. It may yet be possible just to have a two word title for the third book that does not have cold in it.

I have always wanted to land in TVTropes Redundant Department of Redundancy.

Book Title

(Anonymous)

2010-03-23 10:33 pm (UTC)

I personally love the double entendre. And although the title really should be left for after the book is done; the best titles are usually what you started out with. If you make sure series title is huge and the book title is small Cold War should work, i would think.
.............. The SpiritWalker Trilogy ................
..............................a Cold War..............................

The "a" makes a big difference but then again I still kind of think its slightly implying its like THE COLD WAR.



Cold Hail
Cold Storm


If its the end to the series you could just go the opposite aka Hot

Hot War
Burning War


or my favorite " The Thaw "

ps- I love when you ask for impute, even when I know you don't really need help it makes my day better :)
-plucky

The Thaw. I love it.

I actually really love hearing people's thoughts. Their thoughts are always so much more interesting than mine because I've gone over the same territory for so long that I've fallen into a rut thinking about it.

Most of the titles I've liked recently have been memoir and nonfiction titles for some reason. I really like Jen Lancaster's, for example, even though they're incredibly long (her first book is called Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office). It's really cumbersome, but it fits the tone of the book perfectly.

As a writer, I'm terrible at titles. I've come up with a single title in all my years of writing that I actually like, and that's for a book that is so complicated and emotional to write that I have serious doubts about ever finishing it (or wanting to submit it for publication if I do finish it). If I ever get an agent I'll be happily looking forward to any suggestions that my agent or editor comes up with because they're definitely not my strong point.

So, now that I've talked about how terrible I am at coming up with titles, I'm going to suggest "Cold Fight" or "Cold Struggle" for the third book.

That is an awesome title.

Very rarely I will come up with a title that I like only no story to go with it. The title languishes. That's why I don't mind asking for help with the titles as, in the end, I would rather have the book and not the title. But - yeah - I know what you mean about having doubts about the writing of challenging books. Good luck with it. Remember: what you write in the privacy of your home can stay there, so . . . Be Bold.

How about something like:

Cold Havoc
Cold Intent
Cold Warfare
Cold Divide

My favorite title ever: My Father Was A Pistol And I'm A Son Of A Gun.

Book three title Cold Soul?

(Anonymous)

2010-04-13 06:45 am (UTC)

How about Cold Soul to kinda go along with the series title of Spiritwalker? Wish I knew more about the books. Absolutely can't wait for Cold Magic to be published. Love that after the three you're heading back to the Crossroads too. Haven't read Jarran yet but love the Crown series. Anyways, thought I'd throw my two cents in while gushing over your books. I own all the Crossroads in hardback but would love to win the signed editions. Total Awesomeness. Thanks. :)

Have you considered Cold Storms? Cold Torments? Cold Craft? Cold Spirit? Cold Walker?

Wild guessing here.

I am perhaps a bit too eager to read your not-yet-out/finished second part.

The title of book two is to be COLD FIRE.

Re: Title? (Anonymous) Expand
Hi. Have just read Cold fire. Was wondering if the third book is out yet or being written. I can't wait to read what happens next. I haven't been this excited about a next book since I first started reading Raymond E Feist and Robin Hobb.

Thank you -- I'm thrilled to hear you're eager to read the next book.

I have been working on Cold Steel since March 2011 and I'm not actually done with a complete draft yet. It's been slow going partly because of family reasons and mostly because it's a complex book to write and I want it to be the best book I can possibly deliver.

However, I'm getting closer to the end, and as soon as I have a definite publication date both Orbit and I will be announcing it.

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