Having a title problem -- a discussion with my publisher, and they suggested I go to you guys.  What does anyone think about using the word "Patpong" in the title of the fourth novel in my Bangkok series.  Yes?  No?  Makes no difference? 

And if the answer is "yes," which title is better:  "The Patpong Girl" or "Queen of Patpong"?  And, yes, the character referred to in the title does become the "queen" of Patpong.

Please let me know what you think,

Tim Hallinan

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If you can make an agent cry, you can probably do anything.
I think you've made your decision but in case you're still looking for more validation, yes, use Patpong. If you know the area, it suggests sex, money, danger. Otherwise, it's distinctive, and has a good ring to it. The Queen title sounds more powerful to me, and therefore more exciting. Having spent time there in my Pepsi days, I know that few people leave Patpong better off than when they arrived.
Thanks, Lisa. I'm still getting used to it. It looks okay to me in print, but I hesitate every time someone asks me what the title of the book is.

But the people at Morrow just sent me some cute little bound galleys about the size of a trade paperback, which they're using for publicity purposes even prior to the ARCs, and I've been picking one up from time to time and opening it at random. And I have to say that the title is probably the right one.
People buy books by the cover, the author, the 'Blurb' on the back AND THE TITLE. Every minute you spend on it is well worth every second. Why not 'Patpong' Like Shōgun. (Too much of a copy? Any other books by that name?) Or The Merchant of Patpong. (If that fits your story in anyway?) Honestly, Queen has it's own meaning. Unless again that's part of your story. I'm sure you're wrestled over this. Good Luck.
Hi, Cornelius -- Actually, there is no novel by the name THE QUEEN OF PATPONG, although I can think of half a dozen writers who could have written one. Actually, considering the notoriety of Patpong, it's surprising that there aren't any -- just nonfiction, including a rather odd sociology book by an American woman who fell in love with one of her subjects and more or less threw objectivity out the window.

The title is now set as THE QUEEN OF PATPONG -- there's an Amazon page and a release date and everything.

Everyone who chimed in on this has been helpful. I'm a bit taken aback at all your generosity.


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