It’s one thing having an idea for a book, it’s quite another finding an appropriate title.
Romeo and Juliet would have lost a certain je ne sais quoi had it been called Freddy and Mabel. And would the Zafon bestseller Shadow of the Wind have hit such dizzy heights if its title was Boy looks after book? Not to mention the Catcher in the Rye, of course. Was there ever a plan to call it Holden Caulfield goes to New York? I doubt it.
So finding an evocative, intriguing title for a story is not always easy. When I was looking for a title for my debut novel, I discovered that many authors start with a title and branch out from there. That didn’t do it for me unfortunately, when I started writing I didn’t even know the full plot, let alone the title!
For weeks, I wrestled with words, trying somehow to encapsulate the mood and plot of the novel in a few, short words. But with no success. It was becoming more and more of an issue, too. The fourth version of the book was now ready to print out and read, and yet the title As yet un-named taunted me from the front cover, reminding me of what I had so far failed to find.
And then one day, it came to me. On a walk around the Docklands in Melbourne on a warm, Spring day. I sat on a bench and stared out to sea, breathing in the fresh ocean air. The waves began to mesmerise me with their pulse, their determination. I thought of their start, so many thousands of kilometres away in the distance, where they were set off on their course, one by one. They had no choice, they weren’t free. Their job was to perform the task that they had been set: to tear towards a distant beach and martyr themselves on the shore. And they did it, each of them. Safe in the knowledge that their lives were not in vain; that they were part of something much, much bigger. Each wave was fleeting and powerful, yet as a collective tide, they were unstoppable.
Those waves were just like the lovers in my story. Each with their own tale to tell, each tasked with carrying out fate’s mission. They too had no choice, and they too were part of something so much bigger than them as individuals. The love. Eight centuries old. Desperate to continue. Sending its foot soldiers in to do it’s bidding in the hope that one day they would break through.
Just like the Tide. The Ancient Tide.
The story of a love so strong it refuses to die