I can finally reveal that the title of the novel once known as Ghosts, then as The Secrets of Hawton Mere, is now called The Dead of Winter. As I have already said, the title of a book is sometimes obvious and sometimes not. The changes in title for this one reflect to some degree how the novel itself developed as I wrote it.
I hadn't wanted to say this before I had confirmation from Bloomsbury that they were OK with that title - that they didn't have another book in the pipeline with the same one or whatever. But there doesn't seem to be a problem and everyone appears to really like it.
So The Dead of Winter it is.
As I have mentioned before I keep lots of pages torn from magazines - a habit I picked up as an illustrator. I still use them for reference on the odd occasion anyone asks me to illustrate, but more and more I use them in my writing - to give some authenticity to a description or to suggest a location or the look a character. Sometimes the atmosphere in a photograph or a painting is suggestive in itself.
I have a feeling that this photo - something I took from a colour supplement years ago - maybe twenty or more years ago - may have planted the seed for this novel. The Dead of Winter will be published early in 2010.
Helen has just returned the second draft of the manuscript to me with her thoughts. My next job is to go through those and take them on board and look at what needs to be done to resolve any problems or anomalies. But so far - if I say so myself - it's looking good.