Adele Geras ponders on the Guardian books blog whether novels sell best with straightforward titles.
I've always thought a concrete title (not necessarily straightforward, but offering a strong image) is best, but can only think of an abstract one for my latest work. My mother, although I didn't ask her, is trying her best to help me think of another, and this is how our conversations go:
Mother of the Bitch: How about 'Footprints'?
Bitch: What? Footprints? Why footprints?
MOB: Because it's about someone following on in another person's footsteps.
B: No it's not!!! It's the opposite! And anyway, there are no footprints in the book - if you use an image it's got to have been in the book.
MOB: Well, then, how about 'So the bough breaks'?
B: What? What's it got to do with boughs? And don't you mean branch? It's not a nineteenth century poem written by a maiden aunt, it's a modern novel written by me!!!
MOB: Well, I still think Footprints is smashing...
She's very sweet, you know. It's just sometimes I could throttle her.