Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My name is ...

I need your help O multi-headed social media hydra-type gestalt entity. I need a title for my new book. Here's the potted history of why ...

When I wrote my first book, Joined-Up Thinking (click here), my original title was The Six Degrees of Rick Wakeman. I thought it was a nice play on his famous solo album The Six Wives of Henry VIII while also hinting to the reader that this was going to be a book about connections (six degrees of separation etc.). Sadly, however, we couldn’t use it as it was felt that it might confuse the release of Rick’s first collection of memoirs, Grumpy old Rock Star – and other Wondrous Stories (Preface 2008). Both books came out at the same time you see. So I hung on and figured I’d use the title for Book Two. But Rick’s books have been so successful that Volume Three comes out soon, dammit. Probably when my next book will hit the shops. So I still can't use it. However, Rick is doing a foreword for my Book Two. What a gent.

But why Rick Wakeman in the first place, I hear you ask? Simply because the man turned up with staggering regularity when I was writing both books. He’s the British equivalent of Kevin Bacon (see here); someone who has had such a long, varied and successful career that he seems to have worked with everyone. He’s a super-hub of connections within popular culture and my books are all about unlikely connections.

Joined-Up Thinking and its as-yet unnamed sequel consist of 30 chapters or 'Rounds'. In each ‘Round’ you’ll be taken on a circular walk through a garden of interesting facts. Each fact links to the one before it and the one after and the final fact in each Round connects back to the first. Each round is a self-contained journey. You start at the beginning and end at the beginning. You can see an example Round on my blog here or the one I did for The Times to mark the last US Presidential Election is still online here.

Another gimmick of the books is an index that links all 30 Rounds to each other and, in the case of Book 2, also links back to facts in Joined-Up Thinking. Technically, if you were ever mind-sappingly bored enough, you could start at any one fact and follow a chain through every other fact in both books and come back to where you started.

But what to call Book 2? I need a title that somehow conveys interconnectedness, circularity, a love of trivia, interestingness ... see? Difficult isn't it? It's certainly taxing my brain. So I thought I'd ask you lovely people by way of a competition: What should I call Joined-Up Thinking Book Two?

You can leave a comment on this blogpost detailing your suggestion. Or you can tweet me - I'm @stevyncolgan on Twitter. Or you can email me at I don't care how you get here, get here anyway, as Oleta Adams might have said.

Now there HAS to be a prize, hasn't there? And this one will be two-fold. Firstly, I'll send you a signed and doodled-in copy of Joined-Up Thinking plus a signed and numbered set of my art prints. Secondly, upon publication of Book Two, you'll get a signed and doodled-in copy and see your name lit up in lights inside as 'XXXX, the genius of wordsmithery that provided the title for this book'. Oh yes. In print. Right there, somewhere around page four, for all eternity and in the collection of the British Library, forever immortalised.

I'll also set an arbitrary closing date of July 31st - that's over a month for you to wash, drip dry and apply your thinking caps. The winner will be picked by me, my agent and some close friends over too much beer in a pub in Soho sometime in August.

Go on then ... run around ...

I'm expecting BIG THINGS of you all. Don't let me down.


Andrew Kerr said...

I think "Jordan-up Titting!" Would be a good title......Well your agent think Celeb names sells books ((I'll try and think of a good real title for your book competition Stevyn))

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Persephone said...
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