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Showing posts from August 5, 2018

on titles

Adam has made up a game. He comes up to me and in a confiding whisper he says, Dad, do you know what the title of my next book is going to be? So I guess, sometimes. I say: the toothpaste vampire. Or I say, The monster that ate the donuts. Then Adam will tell me. The books Adam is going to write are all scary stories. Horror stories. He is in the throes of a love affair with being scared; and especially, being scared by R.L. Stine. The goosebumps series, the innumerable spin-offs – Adam just loves them. J’adore R.L. Stine, he’ll say. The titles he comes up with are Stine-esque, if not stolen outright from the master. Like: The Werewolf of the Swamp. Sometimes I’ll remind him that the title is already taken. Yet Adam isn’t totally wrong. Titles exist in a strange no-man’s land in IP law. Although trademark claims are made for businesses (some Chicago restaurant was in the news recently for, absurdly, sending threatening letters to all organizations using the word “Aloha”, which the