East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Seven the hard way


I had it all planned. A new collection of my short stories, six of them, six different genres – a ghost story, a fantasy story, a science fiction story, a western, a mystery/caper story and a historical swashbuckler – and sharing a common theme.
My first new book for 2020, it should come out in both English and Italian.
Nice and smooth.

I only needed a title, and I needed it because it’s complicated pitching a book without a title.
Titles are complicated. You need something short, easy to remember, original, that hints at the contents but does not give away the twists and turns…

So I made a list of what would be in the book – themes, characters, setting, recurring tropes.
I checked the usual sources – Shakespeare’s Complete Works, the Bible, Oscar Wilde, John Donne, Lao Tsu, Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, Steely Dan…

But of course there was the common, underlying theme, and it was there from the start, part of the pitch itself for the project.
And it pointed straight at an obvious title.

And titles can be obvious – nothing wrong with that.
Obvious, simple and straightforward.
The collection will be called Seven Lives.

Which of course means that it can’t be a six-stories collection.
I’ll have to write another one.
And I’m thinking about what other genre I could add to the list.
Any ideas or suggestions?
Write in the comments.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

13 thoughts on “Seven the hard way

  1. What an interesting question. Love the title by the way. The obvious popular genre would be romance, but how about something a little more out there like survivalist (man lost in those forests of yours and encounters a cougar, or kid falls off a sailboat and no one notices)? Hmm, a creature feature?


    • I love the idea of an old, ’50s style creature feature horror.
      I like this idea a lot.
      I would be curious about trying to tackle romance – that I never wrote, and it would be a challenge. But it would probably be TOO MUCH of a challenge 😀


  2. Superhero?


  3. A sea story?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A science fantasy story? It can be fun ^^


  5. I don’t know about the common theme, but a spy story could be nice.


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