I Changed The Title of My Debut Thriller

(This post was originally published at http://eaymar.com/blog/116481.)

It’s kind of stupid, but I’m into long lofty titles that take you a minute or two to figure out what exactly they have to do with the book.RAISE HIGH THE ROOF BEAM, CARPENTERS (J.D. Salinger) or HEAR US O LORD FROM HEAVEN THY DWELLING PLACE (Malcolm Lowry) or YOU BRIGHT AND RISEN ANGELS (William T. Vollman). They don’t have to be long; evocative and not clichéd are generally fine as well: LADDER OF YEARS (Anne Tyler) or THE WILD PALMS (William Faulkner). When it came to naming my book, I took the title from one of its chapters (I named the chapters); it embodied an important lost aspect of one of the characters and sounded like it could be the title of a 1930s jazz song. Unfortunately, GOODBYE, BEAUTIFUL isn’t that great a fit with thriller titles, which I should have known but I’m kind of stupid, so I’ve decided to change it.

Plus, everybody keeps asking me if the book is going to be a romance. And, as a friend suggested, you want a title that fits within and represents the genre. A thriller title should convey a sense of immediacy and action. GOODBYE, BEAUTIFUL conveys longing, which is important in my book, but doesn’t really bring to mind paid hit men and a revenge quest, which are also important to the story.

So, after much consideration and input, I’ve decided to go with the title I first had in mind: I’LL SLEEP WHEN YOU’RE DEAD.

Awesome, right? I mean, isn’t that the bad-assiest title you’ve ever seen?

That title was actually my first choice, but I was hesitant about using it because I discovered that one of my favorite rapper/producers (El-P) used that same title for his 2006 album. I felt a little guilty using the same title someone else had, even if that’s not uncommon in literature. But this also means that I have to come up with new cover artwork. Again, the cover my artist designed is exactly what I wanted and exactly what’snot typical in thrillers. So we’re working on something new, and I’ll probably be able to unveil the actual book cover in July.

I love you.


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