Discovering that the title you chose for your current book has already been used…multiple times…can be a downer. Trust me, not as much as having criticism regarding the name of your principal character. Yes, you can randomly choose a name which could be, and probably is, the name of some really notorious person. It can’t be helped. Ever try to invent a name for a .com address? If you have, you quickly discovered how many people had the same idea first.
The Green Scarf didn’t start out to be a book. After writing several serious books, at least with serious subjects, I elected to write a light, even humorous, one. Fifty pages later, I had the makings of a story about a naive college student who was drooling over a classmate who didn’t even recognize his existence. Parts of it were funny, and it did recall my own experiences in college. It could have been submitted as a short story as it stood. Instead, I gave it to a couple of trusted friends to read and give comment. As an afterthought, I asked them if I should continue or quit with fifty pages. Three of my friends encouraged me to continue, but none of them knew that I would darken the mood and take the book in a different direction than they expected.
I realized that humor would only go so far and that I could contrast the remainder of The Green Scarf with its beginnings: a carefree college boy pursuing a lovely female who discovers not only love but a darker side of the world, an evil that he hadn’t known existed.
Those same friends, after reading the complete novel, were all surprised at the ending. Not at all what they expected. However, after a period of contemplation, they all agree that the ending of The Green Scarf is the correct one.
Don’t worry. I’m not about to divulge the plot or the ending and ruin your reading experience, though I still defend the name of my principal…Rick James. No, I don’t need you to also tell me that there are negative connotations to that particular name. By the way, I did a bit of research and found that there are thousands of people in the U.S. with the same name, so I’m sticking with Rick, because I created him in utter innocence.
One thing for sure, you will agree after reaching the end of The Green Scarf that the title was well chosen. Guaranteed.