Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Impending Book about Rick Perry

Blogging will be light for the next two weeks. I have a self-imposed deadline of completing a Kindle book by the end of the month. Not only am I willing to share the proposed title with you, I'm going to give you an opportunity to chime in with improvements.

I guess I should begin by describing the nature of the book. I intend to write seven chapters. Chapter 1 will be an introduction to Rick Perry and his stewardship of the death penalty in Texas. The next six (possibly seven) chapters will each deal with a specific case of someone who was certainly / probably / possibly innocent, but who was nonetheless executed (or came within a day of being executed) while Rick Perry did nothing.

I guess I should then have a thought provoking closing chapter as well.

The Skeptical Spouse and I have been wrestling with a title. For a while now, the working title has been:

America's Executioner

She thought of it, and I liked it, and that's what I've been assuming as the title for a month now. We just finished speaking of the subject again. I think Rick Perry's name needs to be in the title, so I proposed:

Rick Perry: America's Executioner
America's Executioner: Rick Perry.

She grimmaced.

One of us (it's frightening that I already can't remember which one of us) suggested we put his name in the subtitle. A bunch of poorly formulated ideas came forth, such as

America's Executioner
Six Cases of Wrongful Execution under Rick Perry's Watch

She cringed.

Neither of us could come up with anything we liked. Suddenly she suggested, as a subtitle

Rick Perry's Grave Mistakes

I don't think she consciously realized the brilliance of using the adjective "grave." Now I really, really like the sub-title, and I really, really like the title, but I don't think they work together as Title / Subtitle. So let's give it a try.

America's Executioner
Rick Perry's Grave Mistakes

See what I mean? What we have here is two good titles and no good sub-title. The title should catch your eye and the sub-title should explain what's in the book. We have two eye-catchers and no explainer.

So now I wonder about this:

Rick Perry's Grave Mistakes
Six Cases of Innocents Executed

No grimace. No cringe. No Skeptical Spouse. She left the room a bit ago. Still, I think it's the best so far. The problem is I'm not writing of six (possibly seven) executions. I'm writing of four (possibly five) executions and two people who came within one day of being executed.

But I'm getting closer, no particular thanks to me. So I now solicit input from you, my clever and insightful readership. Which of the options seem to work? How might they be improved? Should we start over?

Do you have a brilliant idea for a book title, but no book to use it on? If you do, I have a book without a title.

I understand this is how Reese's Peanut Butter Cups got started.