Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Witty, Pithy, Memorable? by Kathleen Ernst

I need a slogan.

I have, I think, a pretty good platform for my new series. Old World Murder introduces Chloe Ellefson, Curator of Collections at a huge historic site called Old World Wisconsin. Future books will get Chloe to other historic sites (much as Nevada Barr gets protagonist Anna Pigeon to various national parks.)

Since I was once a curator at Old World Wisconsin, and know the world of historic sites well, I feel qualified to write about it.

But I want a slogan. Something I can use to promote the series, and not just a single book. Something witty. Something pithy. Something memorable.

Sisters in Crime found a good one: "SinC Into A Good Mystery." It works on buttons and bumper stickers.

Some authors choose names for their protagonists that can do double duty. Laura DiSilverio’s first book, Swift Justice, (due in October) features Charlotte Swift, a PI who runs Swift Investigations. Easy to remember.

Sandi Ault obviously planned ahead when she created her series. Her protagonist is Jamaica Wild; the books are known as the Wild Mysteries. They are largely set in wilderness areas, and each title incorporates the key word (Wild Indigo, Wild Inferno, etc.) She has a great logo to represent the series.

I had good reasons for choosing “Chloe Ellefson” as my protagonist’s name. Still, it doesn’t give me a whole lot to work with on the marketing end.

The only thing I’ve come up with so far is this: “Set your sights on the next Chloe Ellefson/Historic Sites Mystery.” Someone told me that might make people think of the National Rifle Association.

I’m not particularly clever when it comes to these things. So what do you think? What might work as a clever catchphrase for my series? I’ll be on the road on the day this is posted, and unable to access the internet and respond immediately, but I’m open to any and all suggestions!


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Oh gosh, I'd have to think on this one. Cure yourself of boredom with a curator? Bleh.

Lisa Bork said...

How about, "Living outdoor history can be murderous " or "Murderous personal encounters with the past" in the Chloe Ellefson Old Historic Site mysteries?

Or Chloe Ellefson, Custodian of Death? Custodian of History and Murder? Or Chloe Ellefson takes custody of history--and uncovers murder? Or taking custody of history can be murderous?

That's all I got.

Alan Orloff said...

An Ellefson History Mystery

(okay, it's still early)

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Something simple and to the point:

History Can Be Murder or History Can Be Murder, Just Ask Chole.

Keith Raffel said...

The Past Can't Hide Murder;
Living History Means Murder;
Death Comes from Living History;
Living History, Stalking Murder

Keith Raffel said...

Live History, Die Now

Darrell James said...

Now you've done it, Kathleen! I'll be up all night running slogans in my head! How about: "Registered for murder!" or "A History Lesson In Murder". (Really?)
Okay... what Alan said.

Jess Lourey said...

Kathleen, that is such a fantastic series idea. Your readers will get to revisit familiar characters and new sites, so you'll be able to keep the series fresh indefinitely.

Call 'em the The History Mysteries, as in, join Chloe for another history mystery!

Deborah Sharp said...

I'm awful at these pithy things (as a reporter, I always relied on the copy desk to write snappy, wonderful headlines), but I kind of like the simplicity of Jess's idea: The History Mysteries. (or, the Living History Mysteries)

Cricket McRae said...

Great concept for a series, Kathleen. I like Deb's suggestion: The Living History Mysteries. Also Keith's The Past Can't Hide Murder.

Of course, Keith gave me the title for my fifth Home Crafting Mystery, so I might be biased...
Hearth Cricket