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SPECIAL SHOW... The Magic of a Good Title for Your Book!


Capo Famiglia
Staff member
Instead of today's regular show, please join me, at the usual time of 5pm UK, for a one-off special... The Magic of a Good Title for Your Book!

The chat room will be open for the usual vociferous discussion, but if you miss the event itself, don't worry - you can comment and discuss in this thread, and I'll catch up with you when I'm back.

Pop-Ups will resume as normal next week.

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RK Capps

Full Member
I used a 'stand-in' title until I thought of my current title. I'll be watching to test its strength.


Full Member
We've just finished reading When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (and the sequel, Bombs on Aunt Dainty: not as engaging as WHSPR, and there was some "inappropriate content" which necessitated me doing a quick mental then verbal edit as I read!! We have the third one of the trilogy but I want to read it first before I embark into it with the children. Just in case...).

Great show, thank you :)


Thanks, @AgentPete, that was really helpful. I couldn’t really think of titles that sucked me in - I’m terrible at remembering book titles, names of songs, films, etc. But had a look through my bookcases and found some good ones:

  • The Blind Assassin - the dissonance mentioned by Pete
  • Female Chauvinist Pigs - same
  • Titus Groan - evocative name, who is he?
  • Gormenghast - again, evocative and weird
  • The Kindly Ones - about a former SS officer; who are the kindly ones (Eumenides?) and what’s the connection to WW2 horrors?
  • The Hero With A Thousand Faces - what does this mean? Who or what is the ‘hero’?
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist - more dissonance
  • If Beale Street Could Talk - who lives there? What are their stories?
  • Interesting Times - ‘interesting times’ is so tepid a description that it’s got to be a funny book
  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull - what??? Who or what is this?
I’m going to stop here! This is quite addictive.

RK Capps

Full Member
I found it interesting when Agent Pete said, 'keep a notebook by your bed'.

It's true, the bed is a wondrous place for writers. But I can't sit up to write (not that I can write well with my non-dominant hand anyway- more like a 5-year-old if I'm at a table and someone holds the paper still). So, I've trained myself to remember good ideas. I repeat them over and over. If there is more than 1, I'll also make myself remember how many, so when I wake I know if I've forgotten something. So far, it's worked :)


Nikky Lee
Oo, this looks like it will be an interesting discussion. Here are a few standout titles that come to mind. Some I've read, some I've not, some are in my to-read pile from their titles alone.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Book of M
City of Ember
The Girl with Seven Names
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
All Systems Red
The Left Hand of Darkness
Tomorrow, When the War Began
The Knife of Never Letting Go
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
A Clockwork Orange

RK Capps

Full Member
I liked that each of the below 'promised the premise':

Spinning Silver
Mortal Engines
The Da Vinci Code
The Colour of Magic
The Way of Kings
Anna Karenina
Wizard's First Rule
Pride and Prejudice
Pillars of the Earth
How to Train a Dragon
Good Omens

I must stop, it's too fun recognising the "spark" in each title.


@RK Capps, do you have a voice memo app on your phone or tablet, or even a camera on your device that records video? Might help. Or Siri (or the Android equivalent) to take dictation in a notepad app?

RK Capps

Full Member
@Susan, all good ideas, thx :) Unfortunately, the problem is, I can't talk in a way Siri would understand me (it's also harder to talk laying down). Even those closet to me struggle to understand. Translating me is too advanced for Siri, lol!

I have my Ipad on a chair next to the bed for typing nowadays, but I can only type on it at night. I'm a living version of Drew Barrymore from 50 First Dates, not memory though, movement. So in the morning, I have a real struggle just turning on Audible. Trying to hit the right characters to type and lift my arm is very hard like I'm fighting my brain. I think my body half forgets what it's supposed to do every night.

On a plus, I have worked out how to get Word to read bits of my MS out loud :)


Voice memos app might be an option, @RK Capps? It’s the system app that comes preloaded with iOS. You just need to tap the screen a couple of times. I use it sometimes at night when I’m too tired to type or do battle with Siri. Siri loathes people from Scotland.