Today on #IrishWritersWed I am very excited to be joined by Ann O’ Loughlin, whose writing I really do love.
Ann has written a fascinating post about the many faces of a book cover and the importance of a name across countries and continents.
I’ll hand you over to the lovely Ann now to tell you more…
What is in a name?
by Ann O’ Loughlin
What is in a name?
A lot apparently.
When my debut novel, ‘The Ballroom Cafe’, hit the bookshelves, I had no idea it would become a bestseller with rights sold across the world.
Neither did I know the title I adored would get lost in translation.
The title of a novel is so important. To the reader, it is the promise of what is to come. To the writer it encapsulates the story, the feel of the novel. Sometimes the name comes easily and sticks with the novel right to the end; other times it changes as the book evolves, so what you end up with when you type the magic words ‘The End’, is very different to what you had when you wrote those first words opening chapter one.
It is the title that keeps you going as you wrestle with the words. In the slump midway through, it is the dream of title sitting among books by fine authors that gives you the strength to go on.
The title I start out with at chapter one very rarely survives the actually writing. With every plot twist and turn another new and interesting name for the book comes to mind.
In my house, the name of the book changes so much during the process of writing, we simply call it “the book”.
Just as well not to have too much of an emotional attachment to that title either. A good title and a great cover are the essentials to best represent the story inside. While every publisher has its own idea of what is best,one thing is certain you have to get it right.
The title and cover are the first things to draw in the reader.
Get one of these components wrong and it might just be curtains before anybody has had a chance to critique the work.
I was lucky when Black and White Publishing, Scotland decided to take on my debut novel, they loved the title ‘The Ballroom Cafe’ as much as I did.
The Ballroom Cafe struck a chord across the world, but as the foreign rights were snapped up, thanks to the hard work of B&W Rights Manager, Janne Moller, it soon became obvious the title I adored was not going to work.
Translators shook their heads and giggled explaining the word ‘ballroom’ brought very different connotations to Ella and Roberta O’Callaghan’s lives than the sedate cafe at Roscarbury Hall where gossip was served with tea and cake.
Even in the US, where I thought ‘The Ballroom Cafe,’ as a name may stay, it was changed to ‘The Secrets of Roscarbury Hall’.
Purchase Link ~ The Ballroom Cafe
In Italy, the UK cover remained, but the title was changed. loosely translated to mean the ‘The Cafe of The Women.” Both Germany and Norway also went for ‘The Cafe at Roscarbury Hall”, which funnily enough was one of the names I had once picked for the
The Ballroom Cafe still has to be published in Estonia and Hungary .My second novel The Judge’s Wife (Read my review HERE) is to be translated and published in Germany, Italy, Norway, the US and Holland.
As time has gone on, I have become less caught up in the title of a book; it is the story between the cover that matters. I have also been delighted with contact from readers all over the world including Japan and Australia, which for any writer is what it is all about.
It is the story at the heart of the novel and the issue of forced illegal adoption that has resonated with readers. I am so grateful to the foreign publishers who have taken on the novel and had the work translated,
My third novel ‘The Ludlow Ladies’ Society’ is to be published in Ireland and the UK in July and is available on pre-order now.
It remains to be seen how far that book travels across the world and how it will look in translation.
It will be fun to see how the shenanigans of the The Ludlow Ladies’ Society translate in different languages and how the story of loss and forgiveness resonates with women in other countries.
Thank you Ann so much for joining me today. How very interesting it is to see the many transformations that a book title/cover can have in it’s lifetime. Fascinating stuff!!
You can find all the information relating to Ann and her next book in the details below.
SUMMARY OF THE LUDLOW LADIES’ SOCIETY
American Connie Carter has lost everybody and everything dear to her. She moves to Ludlow Hall, Wicklow, Ireland to nurse her grieving heart and find answers. There, she meets Eve and Hetty and is introduced to The Ludlow Ladies Society. Can her hurt be healed? Can she ever understand or forgive? As the women stitch patchwork memory quilts to remember those they have lost, the secrets of the past emerge. With the Ludlow Ladies Society behind her, Connie has to face those secrets and the memories sweet and sour, but can she let go of the past?
A story of friendship, resilience and compassion, and of how women hold each other up through the most difficult times, this is a tale which will have you crying one minute and laughing the next.
Purchase Link ~ The Ludlow Ladies’ Society (Pre-Order)
BIOGRAPHY ~ Ann O’ Loughlin
A leading journalist in Ireland , Ann O’Loughlin has covered all major news events of the last three decades. Ann spent most of her career with Independent Newspapers where she was Security Correspondent at the height of The Troubles, and a senior journalist on the Irish Independent and Evening Herald. She is currently a senior journalist with the Irish Examiner newspaper. Ann has also lived in India. Originally from the west of Ireland she now lives on the east coast with her husband and two children.
The Ballroom Cafe sold over 300,000 on kindle and was an Irish bestseller for several weeks.
The Judge’s Wife was in the Irish besteller charts for seven weeks and was shortlisted in the Epic Romantic Novel category of the 2017 RoNAawards.
Ann’s third novel The Ludlow Ladies’ Society will be published inIreland and the UK on July 4 and is available to pre order now.
Find Ann on FACEBOOK @annoloughlinbooks