Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Keep Titles Short. Really?

By Chester Campbell

When it comes to rules, I'm like my PI protagonists. I don't particularly care for them. Greg McKenzie, the main man in my first mystery series, got his Air Force career stalled out at lieutenant colonel after some of his superiors didn't like the way he played the game. He declined to be a clone of the good old boy, let's get along model investigator.

My second series features Sidney Lanier Chance, better known as Sid, who refused a desk job after a marijuana grower's gunshots interrupted his career as a National Park ranger. He took a job as a small town police chief but refused to kowtow to the local sheriff. This resulted in his being setup for a charge of bribing a drug dealer. Following a period of isolation at his hillside cabin, Sid hung out his shingle as a private investigator in Nashville's Madison suburb.

The second Sid Chance book is titled The Good, The Bad and The Murderous. Okay, it's somewhat longer than the conventional wisdom would dictate. But I've never been one to slavishly follow the conventional wisdom. I chose this title because...well, because it fit.

The "good" is a young black man named Djuan just out of prison at age twenty-five, where he had been since shooting a man during a drug deal when he was twelve. He moved in with his grandmother who vowed to help him follow his determination to make something of himself.

The "bad" is a  pair of tainted cops who accuse Djuan of committing a new murder on flimsy evidence. Sid reluctantly takes an assignment from Djuan's grandmother to try and prove he isn't guilty.

The "murderous" is a deadly hit man we don't see until the latter part of the book. But when we do, he has Sid in his sights.

I initially came  up with the title "Good, Bad and Murderous," but my colleague Beth Terrell, now  known as Jaden, said since it was obviously a parody on "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," I might as well add the rest. Which I did. And I think it's quite effective.

Today, tomorrow and Friday (Jan. 29-31) The Good, The Bad and The Murderous will be free to download as an ebook in the Kindle Store.

1 comment:

Jaden Terrell said...

I still love that title, Chester, and the book is one of my favorites.