Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Current Dilemma

Before I turn in Robin's synopsis, Robin's story needs a title. Problem is, a lot of writers have written novels about Robin of Locksley, aka the Prince of Thieves, Outlaw of Sherwood Forest, Nemesis of Nottingham, etc. All the really cool titles are already been taken.

However, if I don't come up with a resounding title, I'll get stuck with something they think will sell more books, like Brother Hood. Since I really don't want my head to explode, maybe I should title it:

A. Rob Forever -- that's my working title. I originally saw it in a heart tattoo on a girl's shoulder at a RenFaire. I like the play on words: Rob as a noun, Rob as a verb. And the internal editor likes it, kinda sorta, except like always she thinks I can do better.

B. Enemy, Beloved -- words from a line in a great Emily Dickinson poem. I can already hear New York whining about the comma and how it doesn't sound paranormal enough, etc.

C. Prince of Outlaws -- hasn't been used for a vamp story, probably because it sounds like a western romance title.

C1. Same goes for Prince of Renegades.

C2. Would be cool to write Robin of Locksley in like a Silverado setting, though.

C3. "Take it from the rich ranchers, give it to the poor settlers, and bite a few saloon gals along the way. Yee-haw."

C4. And then we could like totally stage a Wild West Vampire Show at RT!

C5. All right, that was mean.

D. Thieves Magic -- has that whole apostrophe issue. Is it possessive? Is it like that thing you put a quarter in at cheap hotels and it shakes the bed? One S? Two S's? What?

E. Robin -- it seems presumptuous to use the one-word one-name title. I feel like Patricia Cornwell should write it instead of me, with a subtitle line of Case Closed.

F. Everlasting -- sounds too much like Evermore and then I think of that totally annoying Drew Barrymore film with the Picasso ball costume and they tear her wings off and hey, who wrote that screenplay? I still want to kick the guy.

G. Dark Thief -- there's an obituary title (i.e., over my dead body.)

H. She Came Back To The Blog Too Soon

I. Hmmmm.

J. Plague of Titles -- I wish.

K. Lady Rothchilds's Naughty Satin and Eyelet Lace Garter Belt, or How I Assume That This Long-Ass and Completely Irrelevant Title Will Make You Believe That I'm Artistic, Clever And Important -- too subtle.

L. My Author Has Title Block -- I could at least get the sympathy market with that one.

M. Stay the Night -- title of a lovely old Chicago song that sooooooo dates me.

N. Geez. This is hard. I should let them title it.

N1. I should clean out my ears with knitting needles, too.

O. Stealing Eternity -- a longer version of Rob Forever. Maybe a little shorter . . . Stolen Eternity. Steal Eternity. Steal Anything. Steal a Title, for God's Sake.

P. My Author Has Title Issues, but She's Working on Them.

Q. Stick with Rob Forever for now and stop obsessing before the facial twitch becomes permanent.

What do you guys think?

67 comments:

  1. I've been a Robin Hood fan since childhood - every story version, movie version, etc. I like Rob Forever, but Stealing Eternity has a good ring to it.

    Better to have the problem of book that needs a title, than the one that many wanna-be authors have -- a title that that needs a book!

    Doesn't really matter what you call. I'll buy it.

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  2. Sorry, no help on the titling front from here. Instead, I shall sit and wonder how you can be so hilarious even when recovering.

    Welcome back, by the way!


    Wolverine

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  3. "Eternal" is a good word too...

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  4. I just would never associate Rob Forever with Robin Hood (sorry - this is not what you want to hear, right?)

    Thief of Hearts?
    Robin Forever?
    The Green Man?

    Ok, I admit. I have problems with titles too, lol. But I think I'd want the title to tell me right away it's about Robin Hood.

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  5. Rob Forever works, but my favorite is the one with apostrophe issues - Thieves Magic. Just something wicked and interesting about it.

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  6. Honestly? The one that jumps out at me is STAY THE NIGHT. But I have no idea if that was a serious suggestion. My sarcasm meter generally clicks on at sunrise, but the time change is totally boning me.

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  7. I like Enemy, Beloved and Rob Forever but to be fair you could call it A Book and I'd still read it.

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  8. How about reversing it - Forever Rob

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  9. I kind of like Enemy, Beloved. I get the comma deal, but I think it works without it.

    Also like Stay the Night... and that does have a paranormal twist to it.

    The prince themed titles bring to mind the Costner movie, Prince of Thieves.

    And please don't mention RT. I'm going this year and I'm trying hard not to think about it.

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  10. I like "Stay the Night", but then I'm an old Chicago fan and don't care if I'm dated or not. :) (Actually, I'd kinda like to be dated - but by men, not songs, and - nevermind...)

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  11. All I can think of is Rob Anybody. Too much Terry Pratchett.

    Night Thief, maybe?

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  12. Pandababy wrote: Better to have the problem of book that needs a title, than the one that many wanna-be authors have -- a title that that needs a book!

    Too true. It's like whining about going on tour or having to attend a conference in Godforsaken places like Hawaii. Lightning bolts should come out of the sky and strike the whiner (although that's not a hint, God, okay?)

    Wolverine wrote: Instead, I shall sit and wonder how you can be so hilarious even when recovering.

    If I don't poke fun at myself, I will never get the rest of the way out of this pit. The abyss of depression hates laughter.

    Bernita wrote: "Eternal" is a good word too...

    Good one -- although every time I see it now I think "Lover Eternal."

    Sam wrote: I just would never associate Rob Forever with Robin Hood (sorry - this is not what you want to hear, right?)

    No, all joking aside, it's exactly what I want to hear.

    Thief of Hearts? -- you're probably not old enough to remember a very hot movie of the same title with a very young Steven Bauer. But I am. :)

    Robin Forever? -- NY will say it's not paranormal enough, I think.

    The Green Man? -- that was Gabriel in book four. ;)

    Ok, I admit. I have problems with titles too, lol.

    We should have a group for it. Titles Anonymous. "Hi, my name is PBW, and I admit that I am powerless over titles...."

    But I think I'd want the title to tell me right away it's about Robin Hood.

    Me, too. If possible, I'd like a browser to see the title and instantly think: "Robin Hood." Without the title actually being "Robin Hood."

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  13. Simon wrote: Hood.

    Alas, Stephen R. Lawhead and Noire have already used it.

    Nalini wrote: Rob Forever works, but my favorite is the one with apostrophe issues - Thieves Magic. Just something wicked and interesting about it.

    No one has used the latter, but my main concern (apart from the apostrophe issue) is the fantasyish sound of "magic" -- no magic or wizards in my books. :)

    Selah wrote: Honestly? The one that jumps out at me is STAY THE NIGHT.

    I was serious. :) That one is probably my #1 on the alternative list, as part of Robin's backstory is that he never stays the night with his human lovers, remembers their names, etc. (you'll get a glimpse of this problem in Evermore, btw.)

    I don't know why I'm hesitant to use it. I don't care if it dates me, but maybe it's because there's no Robin-association in it. I could be too focused on the whole Robin Hood theme, too, and it's making me pass over perfectly good titles like this one.

    Darlene wrote: I like Enemy, Beloved and Rob Forever but to be fair you could call it A Book and I'd still read it.

    Darlene, could I get you to call my editor later? Lol.

    Sandra wrote: How about reversing it - Forever Rob

    Hmmm. Something to think about. Thanks, Sandra.

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  14. You could call it "PBW's Grocery List" and I'd gobble it too.

    I think Enemy, Beloved is my favorite, but I've got a thing for Emily Dickinson.

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  15. Anonymous8:32 AM

    I think other than having "Interview with Robin Hood" you're going to have a had time finding any title that will associate the story in the reader's mind, because it's a very unusual idea, and Robin Hood isn't near the top of pop culture right now. And it doesn't scream paranormal for me either. I think you'd have to cross your fingers and hope/pray for a good cover designer.
    I think "Rob Forever" is a good title though because it will be easily remembered by people hearing about it by word-of-mouth.
    I also agree with Pandababy, "Stealing Eternity " and it's varients caught my eye.

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  16. Um, how bout,

    Hood Winked, Under the Hood, Sure Wood Between The Trunks, Hand It Over, Tight Pants, Sir Loins, Rain of Gray, I Got a Rock, Quiver of Tricks, Make me Quiver, Quiver me Timbers, Night Quivers, Dark Quiver, Quiver, Quiver and Bow, Twilight Bow, Bow Before Me, Midnight Bow, Obsidian Bow, Bow Quiver and Hood, Rock Paper Scissors, Bow before my Quivering Hood, Green Slaves, Stumped, . . .

    Okay, I'll stop now. Did you laugh - at least once?

    I hope so.

    Please feel better soon.

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  17. What about:

    Locksley's Thieves
    Night's Robin
    Eternally Robin
    Robin Eternal
    Dark Robin

    Hmm... I am really crap at this. Ah well, take it or leave it!

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  18. Right now, I'm going to say Q. Stick with Rob Forever and quit obsessing.

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  19. The novel I sold to Kensington was called Redeeming Will Scarlet, and Robin plays a part in the third act. But my editor made me rename it, so I came up with What a Scoundrel Wants (Dec '08)--not my first choice, obviously, but not as bad as it could have been. The catch was that she didn't want ANY marker of Robin Hood lore in the title, which is annoying. How's a body gonna know???

    I love that the Robin Hood stuff is coming back. With the Russell Crows/Ridley Scott pic Nottingham coming out in summer '09, it's only gonna get bigger.

    Good luck with the titles. I found the whole process thoroughly sucky.

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  20. Stealing Eternity gets my vote.

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  21. Dark Hood
    Dark Thief
    Blood Thief
    Thief in the Night

    It's hard for me to come up with titles as well. I like the idea of using either Robin, Rob, Hood or Loxley in the title

    Amanda

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  22. I believe option K is already the title of a Fall Out Boy song.

    How about...?

    A Novel: A Novel

    But seriously, Stay the Night is sticking with me the most of the choices provided. Sadly, if you flash the word "Robin" in my face, the first thing that comes to my mind is "Batman and."

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  23. Whatever it is called, the most important line is, by Lynn Viehl. As long as I see that, I'm going to buy it.

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  24. The League of Reluctant Adults did a series of posts about titles at the end of October/beginning of November, one of which linked to this site:

    http://www.fictionalley.org/primer/title.html

    It's a title generator. Rather like a Mad Lib, you fill in adjectives and verbs ending in -ing and so forth, and it will spit out 10 titles for you.

    Even trying to be serious in my word choice, my results were the most ludicrous groupings of words ever beheld.

    If it doesn't produce The Perfect Title for you, at least it should give you a giggle.

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  25. How about Steal the Night? Stay the Night and Stealing Eternity were my favorite alternates, so let's just combine them! :)

    I'd join Titlers Anonymous - I have the problem of whenever I actually write a book I can't name it, but I can come up with titles all the time that don't get books. Why can't the titles and the books ever coincide? Ugh.

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  26. Anonymous9:50 AM

    I really liked Stealing Eternity and Stolen Eternity, though I would not immediately asscoiate them with Robin Hood.

    Robbin' the hood, however, would make for an urban tale.

    Rob Forever just makes me think of Rob and Amber, and is NOT what you had in mind. I see what you're going for with the double meaning, but I never would have thought of that without having you say it.

    Blood Thief
    Blood of Brothers
    Stolen Blood

    sorry - vampires = blood to me.

    Hood's Legend

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  27. Thieves Magic, isn't that a Robert Aspirin title? I'm probably wrong.

    How about something with the word 'arrow' in it? Hmmm, or maybe not.

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  28. Anonymous10:52 AM

    Is "Steal the Night" already taken?

    The only thing sort-of overtly Robin Hood I can think of that might suit your concept is "Green Hood, Night Eyes", which sounds totally bogus.

    -tia

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  29. Stolen Eternity

    that's my pick!

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  30. I like the sound of Rob Eternal, partly because it fits the feel of the rest of the series.

    (Though "Eat the Rich" does have its humor value...)

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  31. I'm pretty useless to ya. I've got my own title block going. My current working title is Throwaway Lives but that doesn't exactly scream romance, does it?

    On the list you gave, I like Enemy, Beloved. I don't much like the one's w/ Robin in the name because I think of Batman and Robin, and that's probably not a good thing ;-)
    Good luck!

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  32. Zolah1:05 PM

    Enemy Beloved (without the comma) really, really works for me. If you don't use it - can I, please? Seriously, if I saw that on a book spine, I'd definitely pick the book up. It's beautiful. And I'm no more obsessed with Emily Dickinson than the average bear...

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  33. While I admit to liking *Rob Forever*, I have to toss out *Hood's Law*, and an expanded, subtitled version: *Hood's Law: Bloodlines*.

    Of course, you wrote "Stay the night" and I thought Jane Oliver before Chicago.

    Yikes.

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  34. The ones that stick out at me are "Stay the Night," "Stealing Eternity," and "Enemy, Beloved." (You could probably reverse to "Beloved Enemy" if the comma is a problem?)

    "Thieves' Magic" sounds more -- high fantasyish to me.

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  35. Melissa B.2:32 PM

    Ooo, I really like Amanda's idea of "Blood Theif".

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  36. Bibliophile4:06 PM

    my vote is for "Stealing Eternity" or "Stolen eternity" ie: he steals and his mortal life was stolen.. i dont know...

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  37. None of the titles you came up with are any worse than the title of an actual published book I saw in Hastings this week:

    Fangs For the Memories

    Oh. My. God.

    How about Thief of Darkness?

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  38. Go with "Robin." Simple. Perhaps with a subtitle, perhaps not.

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  39. I like Stay the Night. It would leave the reader wondering what the title meant. In Evermore, you didn't explain what the title meant until well into the book. It was an "aha" moment and part of pulling everything together.

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  40. My favorite of the ones you posted is Enemy, Beloved, because it's the most intriguing. I'm also fond of Stealing Eternity.

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  41. Um... Rob Forever doesn't work for me because of the hard 'b'. Takes the flow out of the title.

    Enemy : Beloved has a nice juxtaposition but doesn't fit in with the series titles.

    How about Notts Landing? You know, Notts being short for Nottingham? No? Hmm, sounds familiar for some reason...

    Night Hood?
    Quivers of Lurve?
    Green Arrow? Locksley's Luck? Night Watch?

    I'm thinking you might have ask yourself what Robin's prime directive is, how it's going to be messed up and join the two into a title.

    I like Night Hood, heh, heh...

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  42. No help from me on titles, sorry. But I wanted to welcome you back, since I'm back home and had a minute to check and see. Like everyone else, I missed you, too.

    Linda

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  43. Glad you're back!!

    I like your original title the best, though I really dislike male characters named "Robin." LOL

    I did date a guy from Germany named Robin. We were Robin & Robin.

    Yep, "Rob Forever" is the best.

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  44. Anonymous7:27 PM

    I really like Stealing Eternity or Stolen Eternity.

    Stay the Night is cool too.

    I suck with titles.

    Cheers,
    Erin K.

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  45. How about 'Locksley'?

    (goes off to procrastinate over his obscenely overdue manuscript)


    *waves* welcome back, PBW!

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  46. Step away from the knitting needles. Rob Forever has a nice ring to it -- I like your rationale.

    I like K, but, really, catchy as it is, it's a touch longer than is easy to remember for the masses.

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  47. "(A)THIEF IN THE NIGHT" maybe...sheesh, i have literally had this "project" in my head all day. maybe if i make my own original contribution iwill be able to exorcise it, hrrmm???

    i also like BLOOD THIEF...and *giggle* QUIVERS OF LURVE....*gigglechortlegiggle*

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  48. My first choice would be Enemy, Beloved and my second would be Stay the Night.
    And I wouldn't gobble down your grocery list...too many carbs. :)

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  49. I like Rob Forever, and the numerous meanings for it... and no, I wouldn't associate it with Robin Hood, so that would end up being a pleasant surprise for me. (I'm fond of twisted tales, or whatever the current catchphrase is for alternate myths & fairytales.)

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  50. Anonymous9:01 PM

    For my two cents, I would focus on what makes the book different from all the other Robin Hoods out there. I read all the titles you posted, but none of them really tell me anything about what the book is about. Dig deeper.

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  51. Hoodwinked. :)

    Ok,it's 5 am and I had the better part of a bottle of good Rioja wine. And I feel like killing all the characters in my Nano right here and now.

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  52. Anonymous5:08 AM

    Have you ever used the title generator ;) if you don't find a title I can still be fun :)

    http://www.fictionalley.org/primer/title.html


    Chiara

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  53. Anonymous10:03 AM

    I'm back after thinking about it. "Rob Forever" is OK, but I think overall it sounds a bit YA.
    I like "Stay the Night" the best, especially knowing what you wrote now about the plot.
    "Rob Forever" might be good for word of mouth, but I think "Stay the Night" is better from the get-go. The word of mouth will follow.
    JulieB

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  54. Shiloh wrote: And please don't mention RT. I'm going this year and I'm trying hard not to think about it.

    Masochist. But don't worry, honey, we'll light candles for you. Just be sure to pack enough aspirin and pepper spray. You want to borrow my taser? Ha.

    fiona wrote: I like "Stay the Night", but then I'm an old Chicago fan and don't care if I'm dated or not. :) (Actually, I'd kinda like to be dated - but by men, not songs, and - nevermind...)

    These youngsters don't know what they missed. Remember all the great album covers they had? *Sigh*

    Charlene wrote: All I can think of is Rob Anybody. Too much Terry Pratchett.

    He had a Thieves title, let me look . . . yep, Thief of Time. Another good one.

    Night Thief, maybe?

    I've already got Night Lost, and I'm trying not to repeat title words so I don't end trapped up in title-monotony (i.e. Ward's "Lover" and Feehan's "Dark".)

    Joely wrote: You could call it "PBW's Grocery List" and I'd gobble it too.

    Lol. Can you imagine the look on my editor's face if I sent it in with that?

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  55. Anonymous wrote: ...Robin Hood isn't near the top of pop culture right now. And it doesn't scream paranormal for me either. I think you'd have to cross your fingers and hope/pray for a good cover designer.

    Very astute observation. I've been outrageously fortunate with the designs for the covers in this series, though, and while I might get a clunker at any time, it's something I try not to worry about too much with these books.

    Paul wrote: ...Bow before my Quivering Hood...

    Oh, God, I love it. The whole list is wonderful. Thank you for making me laugh myself into hiccups. :)

    Kate wrote: Hmm... I am really crap at this.

    Join the club, pal. I have permanent dents on my forehead from slamming it into the monitor.

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  56. Well, I've spent three days and two nights thinking about this on your behalf but I think I've got a result.

    Bob of Sherwood.

    Amazingly, I don't think anyone else has used it either, which is an unexpected bonus.

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  57. Enemy, Beloved. I love it. It has a feel to it.

    How about:

    Once and Again
    Eternal Hunger
    Of the Hood - meh, sounds urban.
    Heartbreaker - ugh, meh.
    Rain of Arrows - nope, worse.

    Maybe I should stick to goofy titles. Nope, can't think of any of those, either. I'm so fried.

    Guh.

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  58. Blood Hood
    Hoodwinked

    Good to see you! {{HUGS}}

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  59. B.E. wrote: Right now, I'm going to say Q. Stick with Rob Forever and quit obsessing.

    But . . . but . . . I have fifty other people obsessing with me now! Lol.

    Carrie wrote: The novel I sold to Kensington was called Redeeming Will Scarlet, and Robin plays a part in the third act. But my editor made me rename it, so I came up with What a Scoundrel Wants (Dec '08)--not my first choice, obviously, but not as bad as it could have been.

    Good attitude. Years ago I had one I titled Melting the Iceman that they made me change to The Deepest Edge, a title which to this day I still cannot fathom, but ce la vie.

    The catch was that she didn't want ANY marker of Robin Hood lore in the title, which is annoying. How's a body gonna know???

    Sadly, they're not, unless you have Robin Hood cover art or it's mentioned in the copy. At the rate they're homogenizing titles these days, the readers really need to develop psychic powers, or at least x-ray vision.

    Krista wrote: Stealing Eternity gets my vote.

    My guy and our daughter like that one, too.

    Amanda wrote: Blood Thief

    You nailed part of the plot with that one, Amanda. Okay, so how much do I weigh? :)

    Kerry wrote: Sadly, if you flash the word "Robin" in my face, the first thing that comes to my mind is "Batman and."

    Something else to think about -- thanks for mentioning it, Kerry.

    Edie wrote: Whatever it is called, the most important line is, by Lynn Viehl. As long as I see that, I'm going to buy it.

    You are too good to me, you know. Thank you.

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  60. I had some thoughts then read the comments and forgot them, but hey, here's a try...

    Of your list, Thieves Magic caught my eye the most, but maybe A Thief's Magic to kill the apostrophe issue. But then there's still the double meaning of magic (i.e. fantasy vs. just darn good at the job ;)).

    Someone suggested Steal the Night as an alternative and I liked that one too.

    What came to mind (you decide if I'm joking or not) was To Catch a Thief, but alas that too has been used.

    One thought is that all these focus on the theft part of Robin when his focus was on the gift. Maybe something that either ties the two or focuses on the other?

    Here's my lame attempts:

    A Thief's Gift
    Gift of Stolen Coin
    Blood Debt (okay stretching, but he is a vamp right?)

    And my mind just dried up, but maybe something is useful?

    Good luck. I'm with the "It's MINE!" crowd too, but I know titles are important to snag the yet unknowing.

    Margaret

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  61. I had an internet hiccup with my comment LOL. So here's try 2.

    I really like stay the night. Rob Forever doesn't tell me anything about the book. So far your titles, with the exception of the title you mentioned above in the comments, have given us insight into the running struggle within the novel. Rob Forever, really doesn't, in MHO. Stay the Night brings to mind adventures and danger, possible passion and love...the night that never ends or holding back the night. Keep in mind I have a vivid imagination. *huge grin*

    I hope this helps some.

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  62. Hubby says, how about Will Scarlett, and how did he get *scarlett* anyway? So...Scarlett Hood?

    Or Goblin Hood.

    Or I should go find something useful to do?

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  63. Aww, I've missed you! I hope everything's chugging along all right with work and with home life in general. Just a random note: looks like my 'fan-art' probably won't be available this December. I meant to work out the details with my friend this summer, kinda got distracted by four months of freedom, lol, and you will most likely see it next December! ^_~ But I will send you an image of it when it's done and it's totally going to involve several of your SF heroines striking comic-hero poses with 'Got Viehl?' in big letters above them. LOL. I thought you would enjoy that. And then when people do a Google Image Search for your name--they will find that poster--hehehe...

    So, I really love your first title. It's short, sweet, apt, and very you. And now I just sound stalkerish, haha. But the book does sound fascinating, Robin sounds fascinating, and I can't wait to hear more about him! :)

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  64. dawn4370410:18 PM

    I agree that Rob Forever is mmm not good.

    What about

    Sherwood's Dark Thief
    Sherwood's Dark Prince

    That gives you Sherwood as a pointer to Robin of Locksley and skips the whole "batman and ..." thing that someone else mentioned Or you could do like Jennifer Roberson (Lady of the Forest, Lady of Sherwood) and try

    Dark Thief of Sherwood
    Dark Prince of Sherwood

    Then of course there is

    Darkyn of Sherwood

    but that removes all the mystery about the character Robin maybe? Hmm. Good Luck!

    FYI - I'm coming to PBW by way of your science fiction novels...never knew you were such a prolific writer that's awesome!

    Worthy/Willing/Wanted were great freebies I look forward to reading the Darkyn series.

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