But first! Some blatant waffle. I know that most of you are going to literally scroll straight through the next several paragraphs as if they don't exist, but I'm going to go ahead and write them anyway because it just doesn't feel like a proper post otherwise. And maybe some of you will come back and enjoy this afterwards. Just to let you know I'm serious, I'll let you in on a spoiler right now: the initials of the book are D. H. That ought to hold you for a bit.
So, when the idea for Big Secret Project aka The Katana Trilogy aka The Name of the Blade first blew into my head like a giant, flaming comet of inspiration and I thought 'Wow, this is amazing but it's like... three book's worth, oh cr*p, how do you write three books?', I instantly started worrying about titles. Just in case I haven't mentioned it before: I agonise about titles. I have to have the right title. I'm not the grown-up, logical kind of writer who can just get on with it while their manuscript is saved as UNTITLEDUF#ONE or UNCONTRACTEDBOOK or something. No. Somehow I can never quite get into my stride with a book until I know what it's going to be called. It's like that gives me a hook to hang all the themes and imagery on so I can figure out how I'm going to weave them into the plot, setting and characterisation. Which may sound a bit odd but... bear with me, because this isn't the point.
Given that I'm a giant ball of stress over titling any standalone novel, and given that Big Secret Project was already showing every sign of turning into one of those 'book of my heart' type dealies (otherwise known as a sparkly-unicorn-rainbow-angel-cupcake-baby project) and given that I now knew I had to come up with not one but THREE amazing titles, you can just imagine how many long walks I dragged Finn on while muttering under my breath, trying to figure it out. I thought this process was going to suck.
But lo! About a week after the image of tentacles of unspeakable darkness slowly unfolding against a shining night skyline of glass and steel slam-dunked me in the skull, the answer to my title questions slam-dunked me nearly as hard. Like magic. It came to me as a haiku that summed up the major theme of the story that I wanted to tell, and which I also realised would make a marvellous plot point near the end of the very last book. Each line of the haiku contained one perfect phrase that perfectly encapsulated the events of one book in the trilogy. It felt (and still feels, to this day) like the Muse got so annoyed with my internal flailings that she just wrote the haiku down for me on a scrap of paper, wrapped the paper around half a brick, and lobbed the brick directly into my brain.
You already know that the first line of the haiku contained the phrase 'The night itself' because that is the title of the first book. However, today is not the day when I shall reveal the whole haiku or its place in the story. Today is not the day when I shall reveal the title of book #3 (which is my favourite of all three, by a narrow margin). But today IS the day when I will finally tell you the title of the book I'm editing right now, the immediate follow-up to The Night Itself (which is out in just fourteen days!).
Back to those initials: D. H.
What do they stand for, my pretties?
The title of Book #2 of The Name of the Blade is...
*Crashes of Lightning* *Distant Screams* *Ominous Rattlings*
There. What do you think about this, guys? Let me know in the comments :)