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January 02, 2007


Christine Coleman

Sue, I haven't read your book yet - It's one of several books by other Transita authors that I'm looking forward to reading, once I've finished my own w.i.p.
I was interested in the comments just made about titles and negative words.Transita's editor had wanted me to change the title of mine (The Dangerous Sports Euthanasia Society) and I managed to persuade them to keep it by quoting various agents and a publishers, who'd loved the title(but had declined to take on the book itself!). I've found that,while most readers love the title (and, fortunately, the book itself)there are a few who had been put off by it.
I don't think it's possible to have a title that'll please everyone.

Sue Moorcroft

My experience is that the publisher will talk over the title with the writer, but the publisher will have the last word. The writer tends to look at whether the title is the best for the book (and whether they like it!) whereas the publisher just asks, 'Will it sell?'

It's a little sobering that the things that DO tend to sell the book, the title and the cover art, are the things the writer has least control over. But sometimes it's wise to let each person in the team do what they're best at, and that's why the jacket and title aren't left with the author.

Transita happened to like my title from the outset, so there was very little discussion. They also sent me jpegs of the cover art as it evolved, except they made a change right at the last minute as a result of conversations with the bookselling reps, and I didn't see that until it was on the book. The cover used to have a black area at the bottom, and was considered offputting. However, the large print versions went out under the old cover art - something nobody has ever explained to me!

Bluestalking Reader

Uphill doesn't necessarily have to be terribly negative, I don't think. It indicates a struggle but then so much of life is that. I think it's entirely appropriate to the book, personally, and I can't think of a better title for it.

I've always been curious about book titles and how much control the author actually has over them. It's always interesting hearing more about this topic from a published author.

Sue Moorcroft

Thanks, Bluestalking. Your blog is one of those I read quite regularly.

Titles are interesting. Transita didn't ask me to change the title of Uphill All the Way, they seemed quite happy with it. But since publication a few people have said that a title should contain no negative-sounding words - and 'uphill' is one. If that's true then readers are easily put off! It's a point to bear in mind for the future.

Bluestalking Reader

Sue, lovely of you to stop by and thanks so much for the comments. The more I think of your title for the book the more appropriate it feels, and I appreciate all the points you've brought up.

Stop by anytime! Always a comfortable chair to be found at the BR salon.

Bluestalking Reader

Les, I really do think different forms of grief are basically the same in many ways. All grief forces us to go through the various stages before we can recover, regardless of the details of the loss. I think it also makes sense to gravitate toward books that have the ability to force us to examine ourselves and our personal grief, especially those that contain a resolution. Even if the exact details differ, the spirit of it is the same. I'm glad you felt moved to look for a copy of this book, and I'd love to know what you think of it if you do read it.

Sue Moorcroft

Thanks for a great review, Bluestalking Reader.

I'm sorry if the book stirred things up for you emotionally, but pleased if, overall, you feel you've made a step forward. Something I believe and tried to account for in Uphill All the Way is that grief has to be gone through. People who have been hurt need time to recover and well-meaning friends and family who try and tidy our grief away with remarks such as 'life must go on' are doing so because witnessing our grief is making them uncomfortable - not because they believe it's going to help us.

The road to recover is uphill, but the journey's worth it. Judith dealt with it with a little humour and a lot of determination - and a lot of help from a special friend.

Les in NE

I just posted a comment on another blog asking myself why I'm interested in reading books that deal with grief? To validate my own feelings of a recent loss? To see how another works through the pain? My situation isn't similar to the main character's in this novel, but nonetheless, it still appeals to me and I'm going to look for a copy on Amazon. Thanks for the review. Better late than never, right?

Bluestalking Reader

Dearest dovegreyreader, I agree heartily on all points and definitely look forward to more books from Sue. Isn't it refreshing reading something that doesn't descend into melodrama, even when the subject matter is most definitely grim. That's a wonderful achievement in itself.


Lisa I was equally impressed with Sue's book, the writing is of a very high standard and the subject matter completely of today.I reckoned at the time this could be a Dorothy Whipple of the future, recording as it does, a snippet of social history a la 20th century.

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  • Writer and book reviewer, editor, columnist, blogger, author interviewer and book event roadie. I read. I write. I take pictures. And I am a librarian.

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