What’s in a Name

Last weekend, I received an interesting reaction to the title of my new novel: Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome. It was primarily a facial expression, but it stuck with me.

Two years ago, I was struggling with titles for my books. The first version of my first novel was called A Fool’s JourneyTo me, the title was perfect. The Major Arcana of the Tarot is called The Journey of the Fool, since the Fool is the start. My story illustrated the whole deck, and was thus a fool’s journey, as in one example.

Unfortunately, most people didn’t seem to get it. They think of fool as an idiot, rather than one who proceeds without caution or concern.

When I finally arrived at Journey to the Temple of Ra, I was VERY happy. That moment in the book is a significant turning point for John. Thus the majority of his journeying is about getting to that temple.

When I chose the title for the second book, I wanted something that was congruent.

  • Journey…to the…Temple…of Ra
  • Scribe…to the…Pantheon…of Rome

The Pantheon is another temple after all.

I didn’t choose Journey to the Pantheon of Rome, because Rome (and the Pantheon temple) are not so much a destination…merely an unexpected stop on the way.

To me, the title chosen is pertinent and cleaver, but unfortunately might be beyond what most will understand.

For example, scribe is a verb as much as it is a noun. [“To scribe” means to write.] “Pantheon” is the name of a temple in Rome, but it is also the term used to describe the entire collection of Roman Gods. So the title of my 2nd book has two distinct and pertinent meanings. John writes his way along a journey to the temple in Rome called the Pantheon (and beyond). John is also a writer for a collection of “gods”. So you see, the title is significant either way you look at it.

Not that you asked, but now you know.

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