Search Amazon for books with "wife" and you get over 50,000 results. Search for "husband" and it's less than half that. From this math arises such titles as "The Soldier's Wife," "The Thug's Wife" and "The Nazi Officer's Wife."
Rather than novels, "husband" titles tend to be self-help gems like "The Good Husband Guide" and "How To Be The Almost Perfect Husband."
These sell beautifully as well-meaning, horrific Christmas presents. No man has ever read one of those, but that crack in the garage wall isn't going to fill itself now, is it?
In contrast, who can resist "The Traitor's Wife" or "The Shape-Changer's Wife" or "The Millionaire's Pregnant Wife"? This last is not to be confused with "The Millionaire's Wife," who is evidently using birth control and probably selling fewer copies.
I am only using actual titles today, people.
They sell a book called "The Pastor's Wife," sure, but the wife-obsessed public today requires more sizzle for real sales. "The Runaway Pastor's Wife" exists to fill that need. Unfortunately, due to the poorly placed adjective, I am not sure if it is the pastor who has run away or his wife.
It is, frankly, killing me.
You can't just have a wife any more. Her spouse has to have a cool trade. Thus, "The Saddlemaker's Wife," "The Shoe-maker's Wife," "The Map-maker's Wife" and "The Chocolatier's Wife."
Because this is not a perfect world, these books do not comprise a quartet known as "The Real Housewives of the 16th Century."
This spousal requirement seems a bit old-fashioned. We don't get a woman CEO, we get "The CEO's Pregnant Wife." What can we suppose this pregnant wife is going to do? Maybe she is meeting the runaway pastor at the bus station. Maybe she is in cahoots with "The Earl's Inconvenient Wife." Maybe she is, in actuality, "The Rancher's Secret Wife."
I wonder what kind of conversation "The Donkey-driver's Wife" might have with "The Viscount's Counterfeit Wife." Probably nothing that the "The Duke's Willful Wife" hasn't heard before.
I do not yet know the plot of my first novel, but I do have the title. It will do gangbusters: "The Caramel Apple Salesman's Sticky Wife."
This baby is going to write itself.
. . .