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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What about "Patpong Queen"?
Oh, thank you -- from one fan to another. :) Much good luck to you! Your books are also terrific.
I see no problem with Patpong. It's an exotic name to American's, and your books use an exotic location. People scared away by Patpong probably weren't going to read your book, anyway.

I'm with what appears to be the evolving consensus: The Queen of Patpong. I actually like the rhythm better, with a long e preceding the rhythmic Patpong. "Queen" also sounds like there's more of a potential rise and/or fall involved.

Great to hear from you, and thanks for defending the rhythm. I kind of like it, too. And Rose's "rise," or, if you prefer, "fall," from village girl to number one attraction at one of Bangkok's most notorious bars (the King's Castle, for anyone who's been) is a big part of the book -- actually, the longest of its three sections.

I'll be very interested to see what people think when they read it, since I essentially screw up everything I know about thriller structure. The book takes off fast with the sudden re-emergence of the nightmare character from Rose's past, rises to a point at which the family is on the brink of falling apart because of all the secrets Rose has kept, and then goes back in time to follow her from the village to the city -- and it stays there for about 40,000 words; Then it's back to the present day and the resolution of the thriller situation. Scared me silly when I wrote it, but so far everyone seems to like it.

We shall see.
Sounds like a great structure -- and story. Nice!
I just want to say 'wow' to Tim's publisher sending him here for title help. Are we nationwide, or what?
Yeah, they're smart people. And this was the right bunch to ask. Thanks, Minerva.
Anybody else notice Tim is so polite, he comes back on every time someone posts to thank us?

Good luck with this one, TH, and everything to follow.
Well, at the risk of prolonging this indefinitely, you all were enormously helpful. Seriously -- I had very deep misgivings about using Patpong in the title. I've done everything I can with this series to keep it away from the Me-Love-You-Long-Time school of wish-fulfillment, sexual imperialism Bangkok writing in which beautiful young brown girls fall inexplicably in love with fat, uninteresting, middle-aged white guys, and the use of Patpong in the title really made my hair stand on end. The people at William Morrow, who are tremendously cooperative, were actually willing to use my title, THE ROCKS, but felt strongly that it was a mistake. They suggested asking a bunch of smart people what they thought, and you were the first smart people I thought of.

And here I am with a book called THE QUEEN OF PATPONG. And getting used to it. So thanks again to all.
You're welcome, and if it helps, THE ROCKS doesn't turn me on at all. :)
Well, you're in good company, IJ. And in case I didn't make myself clear earlier, I not only loved THE CONVICT'S SWORD, but thought it was the best and most deeply felt of all your books thus far, and I've loved every one of them.
Oh, gosh! I'm speechless. :) (Yes, it's the best -- my agent cried)


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