September 24, 2012

Fish Hooks and Writing

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine

While doing some research at a local bookstore, a title hooks my brain. This is not a recommendation for a book or an author, but to pose several questions. Would this title draw your attention? Or am I the only one that finds the title curious? "Why Fish Fart and Other Useless or Gross Information about the World"  It catches my eye and draws my hand to reach for the book. The point is, the title intrigued me enough to pull it off the shelf surrounded by hundreds of other books vying for my attention. At home, still curious by the title, I researched the title and author. Why? Because the title stuck in my brain and I had to know more about this book and author. 
The teachers who most impressed me in school are those who made their subjects spring off the pages of the textbook and land upside my skull. Writers need to learn, from their own great teachers, how to hook their readers. 

A search for this book yielded a couple of review pages telling me the book is not the humorous tongue-in-cheek satire I'd expected. Rather, it is an organized book of scientific animal factoids that are most unique and interesting. Several I recognized as crime plots in a current police television dramas. 

More of the author's catchy titles are, "Why You Shouldn't Eat Your Boogers and Other Useless or Gross Information about Your Body" and "Why Is Yawning Contagious? Everything you ever wanted to know about the human body and some things you'd rather not know". There is no doubt author Francesca Gould has found a way to make science fun and contagiously intriguing.

Armed with scientific factoids and a catchy title, books can be born. Does this give you a good idea for a book? 

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