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Soellner’s Dispatch #7

This ongoing series of Dispatches explores the writing process, research, and characters of my five book historical fiction series The Kalvarianhof Saga, as well as my events schedule. All of Soellner’s Dispatches are available on my blog.

The Shortest, Most Important Line in a Book

In earlier dispatches, I commented on activities related to writing, being a published author and marketing. In this dispatch I address the shortest, most important line an author writes: the title. A good title matters for two reasons: it’s an attention grabber and an encapsulation of your story. On average a book’s title and cover design have about 5 seconds to make a positive impression on a potential reader. A good title conveys the story’s essence and hints at what the reader will find.

I am searching for a title for the third in my five book historic fiction series. Book 3 is written as a standalone novel although it continues the story of the Mathais and Levi families during the first half of the twentieth century.

I have thought up over fifty different titles for this third manuscript, including the working title, “The Long Way Home”. I am not satisfied with that title it just seems too bland.  Some of the titles I’ve considered over the past few months for book three include:

Heaven Has Fallen                   Homage To My Heart (from G. Orwell)

Dearest, My Heart                   The Dying of The Light

The Last Light of Day              Return to Where It All Began

Days of Darkness                     The Time of Light And Darkness

The Longer Road                     The Last Light of Day

Dreams of Home                      Until Again We Live

Tears of Life                              Like A Gathering Storm

Heaven Has Fallen                   Memories of Home

…And the list goes on! At this point I have rejected them all. I’ve decided to use a descriptive line I especially like from a dramatic scene in Book 3. The new working title is, “A Trail of Falling Flowers”. You’ll have to wait to see if I actually use it!

From Dispatch 6:

In January 1919, the exchange rate between the German mark and the U.S dollar was 8.5 Marks to the U.S. dollar. When hyperinflation began in the 20s, what was the highest rate of exchange? Was it:

  • One hundred thirty-six thousand German marks to the U.S. dollar
  • 3 million three hundred thousand German marks to the U.S. dollar
  • 12 billion German marks to the U.S. dollar
  • 40 billion German marks to the U.S. dollar
  • 4 trillion German marks to the U.S. dollar


Hard as it is to believe, on November 6th, 1923, the official exchange rate between the Imperial German mark and the U.S. dollar was 4 trillion marks to the dollar. In Berlin, a single loaf of bread cost 140 billion marks. Inflation destroyed Germany’s poor and middle class, contributing to certain socio-political events my ongoing series.

Quiz #7:

On November 12th, 1923 Adolf Hitler of the National Socialist movement led a failed coup against the democratic Weimar Republic. He was arrested, tried and convicted and sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Question: How much of his sentence did Hitler actually serve?

  1. 2 months.
  2. 4 months.
  3. 8 months.
  4. 2 years.
  5. 4 years.
  6. 8 years.

Look forward to the answer in Dispatch #8!

Until my next Dispatch,

Walter Soellner

[email protected]         waltersoellner.com

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The books so far in my series:

  1. Kalvarianhof, The Perilous Journey
  2. The Storm That Shook the World
  3. Book three, coming in 2017.

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