One of the more obscure movies Alan Rickman was in was a movie called Blow Dry. Not just Alan Rickman, either. It had Josh Hartnett, Natasha Richardson, Bill Nighy, Rachel Griffiths, Warren Clark and others.
It was a nice little comedy about a hairdressing competition. Funny in parts, moving in others. I still stop and watch it every time it comes up on the television.
I almost didn’t watch it at all because of the title. I mean. Blow Dry. What sort of movie does a name like Blow Dry evoke? Not one that I want to see.
Names are important.
Before we sold Linesman we’d heard so much about how writers had no control over the name the publisher chose for your book. Linesman was the working title, and it stayed the title all the way through. I don’t even remember anyone suggesting anything different.
The working title for Alliance was Kari Wang. We couldn’t think if anything that suited it, and by now we knew we wanted one-word titles for all the Linesman series books. I can’t recall now if we sent it away with that name, or if we changed it just before we sent it away to Linesman#2. We were asked if we had any ideas for names. We suggested a few, but it was someone at the publishing house who suggested Alliance.
The working title for Confluence was also named for the secondary point-of-view character. Again the publishing house asked for some suggested names. We supplied a list of six. One of those was Confluence.
Right now, we’re thinking about names for the next book we are working on. I’m not even going to name the working title, because it (and I quote)
Sounds too much like a women’s fiction novel about hairdressers and manicurists set in the 1950s.
Maybe that’s what made me think of Blow Dry in the first place.