No More ‘Witch Box’: It’ll Be ‘Ocean of Time’

Overcast beach in Southern California stock photo  3277dc86-723c-48d3-b0ba-dbf5d6e5cb3e

Bell Mountain No. 15 won’t be called The Witch Box, after all. I’ve had to change the title.

Now it’s Ocean of Time. I have a double climax, so it was hard for one title to cover both of them. The Witch Box couldn’t do that. Ocean of Time can.

When I was writing horror novels, my New York publisher always changed my titles. Always for the better, I have to admit it: my titles were pretty bad. My Bell Mountain titles were a great improvement.

It’s not so easy to come up with a title! If you’ve got a good one, it can guide you in the writing of the story. Mystery writer H.R.F. Keating was so good at that. Your plot tends to be more coherent if the action reflects the title. In The Iciest Sin, Keating wrote about a blackmail scheme investigated by Inspector Ghote–and peppered it with incidents of not-quite-criminal blackmail, but blackmail nonetheless, practiced by people in their daily lives. Fantastic book.

So far everyone I’ve talked to seems to like Ocean of Time, and I’m home free. But I’ll still listen to suggestions, if anybody has any.