Chihuahua Trapped In Bathtub!

22 Feb

Certain words and phrases tend to catch our attention. In the mornings, as I’m starting my day, I often scroll through the news on the internet to see what is going on in the world. Journalists and editors have a knack for creating attention grabbing headlines or clips. How many times do you stop in the middle of setting groceries on the check-out counter to read about the “Three Headed Baby Kidnapped by Wolves!”?  I have to admit I have been known to pass over “The Rising Price of Gas” to read about that baby.

It’s that scene of the accident mentality. The one where you’ve been in a long line of traffic for the past twenty minutes and the flashing lights finally come into view and another ten minutes later you drive by the  truck and Volvo with the bent fender and you think that’s it? Then you notice that you’ve slowed down too. Why? Because it’s something different, something that could be life changing, something that you don’t see every day. Oh, sure. Accidents happen every minute. You just don’t happen to see them all.

It’s the same thing for book titles. As we walk through bookstores or peruse, certain titles stand up and grab our attention. Right now on my TBR pile I have: The Pig Did It, Swamplandia!, Second Grave On The Left, X-Rated Bloodsuckers, The Bone Garden, Confessions Of A Slacker Wife and Crash Into You. That’s just the first stack.

I love those titles. I can’t wait to read those books.

I, myself, am not so great at the attention grabbing title creation thing. To put it bluntly: I suck at it. But that’s what my friends and critique partners are there for. Because after you write that book, you want to make sure it’s going to grab someone’s attention.

As for the Chihuahua Trapped in Bathtub? That falls both under the category of attention grabbing headline and what a six year old will do after they’ve taken their bath.

Have you ever stopped to pick up a book based on the title alone? Maybe then gone on to read the back blurb or the first page and decided to buy it? What titles have caught your eye?


Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Idaho


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14 responses to “Chihuahua Trapped In Bathtub!

  1. vasca nella vasca

    February 22, 2012 at 6:45 AM

    Thanks for discussion about buthtub

  2. Liz Fredericks

    February 22, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    Mer – you certainly have my attention on the chihuahua! I agree with you on the title and would add the back blurb as impetus for my book picks (glad to know we’ve some of the same titles on the pile). Now, I really want to know more about bathtub entrapment . . .

    • Meredith Conner

      February 22, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      To me it is definitely a title/back blurb combo when looking for a new book. As for the bathtub entrapment . . . the little stinker stuck the Chihuahua in the tub and then left him. Didn’t say a word to anyone. I finally heard him bark and thought someone had left him outside. I should have known better by the look on her face. The little snot went to get him and claimed she “just found him in the tub” and had “no idea how he got in there.” We had to have a long talk on not sticking Chihuahuas in the bathtub. Really, I had no idea about the type of “discussions” I would have before I had children. Even now I still have to shake my head.

  3. Peggy Staggs

    February 22, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    I have to start with the title. For me it sets the tone of the book. When I come across an intriguing title I write it down. I don’t use it, but I take inspiration from it.
    Now I want to know…is this puppy in the tub the talking hit man from Jersey?

    • Meredith Conner

      February 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      I’m with you on the intriguing titles. And yes, it was Big Al who was trapped. I’m still trying to figure out how to turn this into a scene in my book 🙂

  4. Janis McCurry

    February 22, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    I don’t have to start with a title, but I need to have the h/h names or I struggle with writing about them. Except for the villain. If I don’t have a name, he’s “Bob” as a placeholder. And no, no one named Bob every “done me wrong.” 🙂

    Titles may attract me, but I don’t remember them readily…ever, so I can’t tell you a title that caught my eye. 😦

    • Meredith Conner

      February 22, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      I like “Bob the villain.” It makes me smile even if he is the villain
      I’m a sucker for titles and labels – they catch my eye and drag me in all the time 🙂

  5. johannaharness

    February 22, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    One of my favorite local news stories was the naked guy who became “entangled” in a barbed wire fence while he was fleeing police. I think I passed over all the important news for that one.

    I’m looking at my stack of current to-be-read books and I don’t see any I picked out for title alone. I do see several I would not have chosen based on title, but they were recommended to me–and so far are really good.

    • Meredith Conner

      February 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      That’s the flip side of titles – sometimes I’ll read a book based on a recommendation that I never would have picked due to the title. It’s always a pleasant surprise to read a book I never would have chosen by myself and really enjoy it.
      I would have read the entangled article too. Certain words are just so intriguing.

  6. florence fois

    February 22, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Meredith, the image of the three-headed baby kidnapped by wolves might haunt me for a few nights! Carson had a great feature on headlines and titles of stories. Yes, they can grab you by your ponytail and whip you around the room. But I think it works better with headlines than with book titles.

    I am an audio-visual person and the first thing that grabs my attention is the cover. If it has a man who is naked from the waist up, I automatically think “category romance.” If its dark and foreboding, I think thriller. The cover art gets my attention, the blurb on the back … honestly the titles aren’t as important to me as they are to publisher’s marketing departments. For originality I put a potential title into amazon’s search engine and check out how many are too similar.

    As for the Chihuahua trapped in the bathtub, lift the litle sucker out before it drowns 🙂

  7. Meredith Conner

    February 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    I like the cover art too. Titles and labels – I love them. I’m one of those people the marketing agencies aim for because I will buy all sorts of stuff based on labels. Nail polish I go for the name. Wine I buy for the label. Books – it’s probably a third title, a third cover art and a third either a review or a recommendation.
    Luckily my daughter had drained the tub before she put the Chihuahua in it. A good thing too – we can’t even mention water around him after that one visit to the lake.

  8. Lynn Mapp

    February 22, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    I have never bought a book because of the title. I read the back cover blurb. I admit there are subjects I have no interest in. Diving for treasure, doesn’t do it for me. I know there are wonderful books written on the subject, but…it’s not something I want to read.

  9. Mary Vine

    February 23, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    I don’t think I pick books based on the title. It’s more the cover and black blurb. However, I find that men pick up my book, Maya’s Gold, due to the gold in the title.

  10. Marsha R. West

    February 24, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I was sure glad to read Janis’ comment. I don’t remember titles either. I pick out by author mostly. Next it’s cover and back blurb. If the cover art suggest vampires, probably not going to pick it up–unless I know or know of the author and am trying to be supportive. Neither do I come up with good titles. Book 6 (about a third of the way in) is still Book 6. LOL
    Great post, Meredith. I did tune in because of the Chihuahia issue, but I’m a dog person. I had to make sure the little guy was okay. 🙂


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