The author of Sunset Beach (2009) and Beach Dreams (2008), Trish Perry lives in Northern Virginia with her hilarious teenaged son. She discovered her love of writing while earning a degree in Psychology. She switched career paths in 1997 and never looked back. Her debut novel, The Guy I’m Not Dating, placed second in the 2007 FHL Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, and her second novel, Too Good to Be True, finaled in the 2008 FHL IRCC, the GRW Maggie Awards, and LCRW’s Barclay Gold Awards.
Have You Heard This One?
Don’t you just love a noisy title?
Reading is a quiet endeavor, so a title’s promise of sound intrigues us, often more than other sensory words. We typically use sight to read the book. And we stay glued to a good story while smelling the hot mug of coffee beside us, letting that square of Dove melt in our mouths, and scratching where it itches.
Actual noise, on the other hand, pulls our attention away from a novel. Hence the librarian’s evil eye when you gossip too loudly with the neighbor you come across in the reference section.
But put the hint of sound in your novel’s title, and you raise a question in the prospective reader’s mind. Consider Ginny Aiken’s Song of My Soul. What, exactly, is that song, and what does it signify? Tamela Hancock Murray’s The Music of Home: what kind of music might that be, and why is it better (or worse?) at home than elsewhere? Robin Jones Gunn’s A Whisper and a Wish sounds hopeful, while T. L. Hines’s The Dead Whisper On makes you goosepimply.
So, do you want to write a noisy title? Maybe you’d like to tackle one of the ideas real life recently brought to mind.
1. In Speyer, Germany, medics were called to the rescue of a forty-eight-year-old woman; we’ll call her Hildegard. Her houseguest (Oola) had arrived earlier and started drinking and complaining about her personal problems. Hildegard lent a sympathetic ear while Oola talked. And talked. Never ceasing. Ever. Really. For thirty hours. Oola was still talking when Hildegard, going bonkers, called for an ambulance. But the paramedics swiftly pictured riding around Speyer, trapped in an ambulance with a Jacked-up Chatty Cathy who refused to go home. They left Oola
in Hildegard’s care. Hildegard managed to convince the police to remove Oola and take her home.
Our title? How about Listening to Oola (And Plotting Her Demise)?
2. In Goslar, Germany (what is it with those wacky German folk?), police were summoned again, this time by an elderly man we’ll name Horst. His neighbors played a serenade repeatedly, all day long. They never played anything but that same doggoned song, and Horst was ready to yank out every last hair on his head. He suspected they were doing it just to annoy him. When the police arrived, they discovered a musical greeting card on Horst’s windowsill. Occasional breezes kept opening the card just enough for the tune to play and drive Horst nuts. For all we know, the neighbors weren’t even home. They might have gone with Oola to visit Hildegard.
Our title? Serenade of Torment (When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best but Drive a Poor Old Guy Insane Instead).
3. In Palmerston North, New Zealand, motel owner Steve Donnelly banned the entire town of nearby Wainuiomata (population 17,000) from his establishment. Why? Too many sports teams showing up. They were a right rowdy bunch, the whole lot of ’em. Even Trevor Mallard, Wainuiomata’s Member of Parliament, was blackballed; he knows, because he tested the ban by trying to book a room in the motel. I don’t think so, Trevor!
Our title? The Silence of the Fans (Even the Powerful Ones).
Now that I think of it, we might have the making of a series here! Sound good?