Over at Open Book Ontario, Anakana Schofield kicks off their new interview series Entitled, which focues on — you guessed it — all things pertaining to book titles.
Tell us about the title of your newest book and how you came to it.
Martin John is the title of my second novel. I came to it by literally not wanting to get away from it or the he in my novel. The novel delves inside the mind and literal circuits of a sexually deviant and delusional man called Martin John. It was critical not to avert gaze from him, since in life we tend to imagine deviant behaviour as an aberration, over there, far away from us. Thus we must not avoid him in the title. For we spend much of the novel inside his mind.
What, in your opinion, is most important function of a title?
The title is an entry point, doorway through which we’ll hurl our reading selves. It’s the plaque above the door or label on the doorbell. I’m sure it’s also something of a summation for many writers. Definitely an encapsulation.
What is your favourite title that you’ve ever come up with and why? (For any kind of piece, short or long.)
I think the title of my next novel, if it endures, will be my favourite. So far it’s called Transactional Sex and Two Cups of Tea. I also have a short story called “Strawberry Plants and Cabbages” (published recently in Emily Donaldson’s CNQ issue), which way back a submission respondent once accidentally retitled “Strawberry Pants and Cabbages in a rejection type letter. (Rejecting both my story and my title inadvertently).
For the complete interview, please go here.