I’m working on a fourth draft of my work in progress, a novel set in Key West when Hemingway lived there. The protagonist, Mariella Bennet, is a fictitious housekeeper for the Hemingway family who’s torn between her obsession with the writer and her relationship with a WWI vet and boxer working on the Overseas Highway. The Labor Day hurricane of 1935 occurs during the climax of the book.
Here’s where you come in. I’m back and forth on my title and I need your help.
My working title all along has been AFTER THE STORM. It’s the title of a Hemingway short story, and refers to the literal storm on the island, the figurative storm in the characters’ relationships, and what happens as a result.
Lately, however, the title HEMINGWAY’S GIRL has been nagging at me. There are many themes in the book to do with how people use one another for their own purposes; most notably, how Hemingway uses the people he knows to populate his “fiction.” From a marketing standpoint, to have Hemingway’s name in the title could also be a great way to draw in readers.
So what do you think? Which title speaks more to you? I realize with the limited information you have about the book you can’t make a truly educated guess, but I’m just looking for gut reaction as I prepare to start the query process. I’m also aware that the title is often changed by editors at publishing houses, so I’m not promising anything.
Thanks, in advance, for your input!
(*Photo credit: JFK Library & Museum Hemingway Collection)