Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Pink Umbrella

"Mom, how do authors pick titles for their books?" I asked my mother.
I don't know how old I was, but certainly pre-teen.

She tried to explain to me this ephemeral process. (Which frankly I
don't even quite understand today, now that I am an author. Well, if I
did, I'd always be able to pick good titles, wouldn't I?)

My blank stares must have told her I wasn't getting it. So she tried to
give me an example.

"Sometimes authors picks titles from something that shows up in their
stories. Like 'The Pink Umbrella.' An author might name a story that if
a pink umbrella shows up in their story, and means something important."

This explanation left me more confused than ever.

"The Pink Umbrella?" How could that be a title... or mean anything at

I understand titles a little better now, and the weird way they get
picked, or not picked. But in some part of my brain, 'The Pink Umbrella'
still means 'that weird process by which titles get picked.'

Then... the other week... I ran across an old Detective Book Club

One of the titles in it? "The Pink Umbrella," by one Frances Cramer, c)


The weird illustration from my childhood is now alive and well.

Maybe I'll read it and find out just how "The Pink Umbrella" could be a
good title for a book.

Maybe not. I might just let the mystery live on.


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