When I was a kid, The Smiths released a song called Shoplifters of the World Unite.
I was blown away by the title. To give you some perspective, the top 10 selling singles in the UK that year - 1987 in case you're wondering - included songs called Jack Your Body, Is This Love, Heartache, Big Fun and You Sexy Thing. I thought shiny-happy empty-pop was pretty much all there was. Then... Shoplifters of the World Unite. Whoa.
There was more to come from Morrissey. You're the One for Me, Fatty. The World is Full of Crashing Bores. I Have Forgiven Jesus. More recently: Jacky's Only Happy When She's Up on the Stage, Who Will Protect Us From the Police... titles are important, right? I wouldn't have loved The Smiths' best (in my opinion...) album quite so much if it hadn't been called Strangeways Here We Come, and opened with a track called A Rush And a Push And The Land is Ours.
So when my publishers called to discuss what to call my third book, I took it seriously. Titles, man. Titles.
This one hasn't been easy. There's the working title - that's always been Takeback, the name of the politically supercharged heist-meisters at the heart of the story. Then there's proxy-titles like Outlaws, Stealers, Crooks - fast and punchy, snappy as a caffeineated terrier. Then there's Rob the Rich, Stitch the Rich, Swag or Loot. Or pairs; Breaking and Entering, Smash and Grab. Or acronyms: B.P.M. (Bad People's Money) Then there's puns that patently don't work but are fatally attractive anyway - my current fave being Grand Theft Autumn. Then there's the Shakespeare quote approach; the Brave New World or Infinite Jest or The Fault in Our Stars approach. Through the lens of the Shakespeare reference, Takeback would be Our Wild Faction.
Some favourites are emerging for sure, but it's harder than it looks. Takeback is due Spring 2018. Who knows what might be plastered across the cover when it finally arrives...