I made the final decision to call my novel Piggy Monk Square, in 2005. At that time the decision was made after discussions with the publisher. The title was my choice but it was an influenced choice. Now, years later, the rights have reverted back to me and I am now getting set to republish. If you are interested in the reaction to the original book there are some reviews here.
The process of republishing wasn’t as easy as simply uploading the file to Amazon etc., but then I didn’t really think it would be. I did hope it wouldn’t be too difficult and until how it hasn’t been.
I had a new cover designed and held a contest on 99 designs to get the best design I could and I have been really happy with the outcome.
However, (and there’s always a however for writers) something occurred to me yesterday evening and this something kept me awake all night.
A PICTURE OF INSPIRATION
What happened was somebody posted an image on Facebook of one of the real places that inspired the story. I had not been near this place for some forty odd years and when I saw the image my mind froze. I couldn’t stop staring.
My memory had made the houses bigger and more vivid. In placing a story there I had added some fictional elements and changed some real ones but the original place was still with me, deep in my mind.
MY FICTION BECAME REAL
It had hidden from my thinking mind for a long time. Meanwhile in my thinking mind the fictional place I had created had supplanted the original place. My fiction had become real to me.
I had done something else too. I had changed the name of the place. Staring at this image after all this time I was reminded that as kids we called this place Piggy Muck Square not Piggy Monk Square – the book title.
Back when I went to school there in the late 1960s and early 1970s Piggy Muck Square was the reality back then. It was the colloquial name given to the area around the school I attended and through common usage it eventually became the name of the school as well.
At the time of the original publication there were many reasons to go with the original title, Piggy Monk Square, and yet now something has stirred in my mind and I can’t stop thinking about it. I have the opportunity to change the title and I am beginning to feel I should.
I won’t do anything for now though. Changing a book title is a huge decision and will involve changes to the cover and marketing images. Although these are not major obstacles and the designer, Pintado, has kindly agreed to provide me with two versions – one with Piggy Monk Square and one with Piggy Muck Square. This will give me something I need more of at the moment – time to think.
Time has always been a compelling factor in my decisions – things can and do always change, so I’m going to let time influence this decision but as always, I will keep you posted and I’d love to hear about your own experiences with titles.
With a very big thanks to Edward Todd for letting me use his wonderful photographs of ‘Piggy Muck Square.’