Lord of the reads: +5409
I like to think that the content of a book, and whether it’s well written and entertaining, are what really matters, but it’s a fact of life that the title and cover are crucial in attracting the reader in the first place. I knew before I even wrote a word that I wanted to call my memoir ‘A Year of Living Musically’, in a sort of ‘does-what-it-says-on-the-tin’ moment, plus the use of ‘A Year …’ never did any harm to authors like Peter Mayle! The classical styling of the cover photography reinforces the type of music readers can expect to encounter within.
In a similar way, I’m already visualising the cover of my current project, a novel entitled ‘Blue Shutters’. Again I found this title came to me quite readily; the novel is set in Provence (there goes Peter Mayle again!) so it evokes a characteristic of the vernacular architecture but more importantly is a metaphor for the book’s theme, which deals with human intimacy or lack of it.
Katherine – I really like the title ‘Blue Shutters’. It sounds like you have a knack for coming up with titles that suit your books really well.
It would be nice if a book could be judged by the quality of the writing alone sometimes, but you’re right, it does come down to how you attract readers in the first place!
The Poison of a Smile:
Many of Poison’s chapter titles were inspired by the work of the surrealist René Magritte. I love the chosen titles of his paintings…I find them enigmatic and interesting. Sometimes I’ve used these titles directly – The Scars of Memory, The Light-breaker, The Enchanted Domain, The Treachery of Images, for example – and, on occasion, I’ve invented my own or combined Magritte’s titles: The Poison of a Smile is one such combination.
The book’s title suggests deception, a lure to snare the unwary, a contradiction and a fractured persona; all these things are the soul of The Poison of a Smile.