By Claire Booth
Since this is my last blog post before my novel hits bookstores, I thought I’d talk a little bit about the first words you’ll see.
Another Man’s Ground
It wasn’t my original title. The one I initially proposed didn’t gel with the art department – it was apparently difficult to illustrate. Fair enough. I did want a good cover, for obvious reasons, so I gladly went back to square one on the title.
That involved a lot of brainstorming single words that reflected some aspect of the plot. Once I had a decently sized list, I went to one of my favorite things in all the world and started the hunt.
|A quote a day keeps the writer's block away.|
There are lots of quotes about trees in the book. None of them fit. No luck with “woods” or “forest,” either. Then I moved on to “land.” “Soil.” “Dirt?” Ugh. No one had anything sufficiently relevant to say about dirt. Go figure. Then I tried “ground.”
Like a fair house built on another man’s ground; so that I have lost my edifice by mistaking the place where I erected it. –Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 2, Scene 2.
Oh, yes. My writerly heart started having happy little palpitations. I dug in. Turns out, that phrase has also been attached throughout the centuries to legal definitions of trespassing.
Trespass lies for an injury done by one private man to another; as entering on another man’s ground without a lawful authority, and doing some damage however inconsiderable to his real property. – The New Instructor Clericalis: Stating the Authority, Jurisdiction, and Modern Practice of the Court of King's Bench (1785)
TRES'PASS (v. int. from the French trespasser) To enter unlawfully on another man’s ground; – The New and Complete Dictionary of the English Language, by John Ash, LL.D. (1775)
It could not be more perfect. Definitely better than my original title. I sent the suggestion to my editor, who loved it. And then word came back that the art department approved. And when the art department approves, you get something like this – a work of art masquerading as a book cover.
Another Man’s Ground, circa 2017, comes out this Tuesday, July 11. It’s available through Indiebound, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or anywhere books are sold.