I’ve been making great progress on my Waterloo book (I actually wrote 3000 words yesterday, which for me is pretty amazing, and today I’m closing in on 2000). But I still refer to the book as “my Waterloo book” and the running head still reads simply “Waterloo.”

My editor asked me to keep a running list of title possibilities. I find titles very difficult. They have to somehow sum up the book, not just to someone who already knows the story but to someone picking up the book for the first time. I had thought it would be good to have Waterloo in the title. My editor liked the idea of starting a series theme with the tiles, so I thought Waterloo Waltz might be good. I also proposed some other Waterloo titles, including Waterloo Affair, Waterloo Gambit, and Waterloo Reckoning. My agent, however, isn’t sure having Waterloo in the title is such a good thing, though she likes the idea of keeping a series theme going.

So it was back to the drawing board. So far my running list includes:

Waltz of Intrigue
Waltz of Betrayal
The Secret Waltz
Waltz Interrupted
Imperial Waltz
The Waltz Gambit
The Secret Wife
The Waltz Affair

None of which I’m convinced is quite right, but I’m hoping if I keep brainstorming a title will occur to me. A title that sums up spies and intrigue, the hothouse glamour of Brussels on the eve of Waterloo, the chaos of Waterloo itself.

What draws you in in in a title? What books have you picked up based on the title? What are some of your favorite titles? Writers, do you struggle with titles as much as I do? How do you go about coming up with them? And if any titles occur to you for my Waterloo book, do share them!

I’ve just posted a new letter in the Fraser Correspondence in which Mélanie confides her worries about Charles to Simon.