Subtitle Limbo

Once upon a time the title to my memoir was the vague and mildly misleading, “Jersey Boy.” Then that awful movie came out, and the cringefest that is Jersey Shore debuted on MTV. I recognized that in addition to these two negative contextual cues, it didn’t really matter that I am originally from the Garden State, becuase the whole memoir takes place in Washington, DC, and only people who know me personally could remotely care that I hail from the mid-Atlantic state.

Worse, it didn’t say anything about what the book was about.

So I came up with Bumbling into Body Hair: Tales of a Klutz’s Sex Change. That title spelled out everything I thought needed explanation. It’s a funny book. It’s about trans people. It shares the tone and a snippet of the protagonist’s voice. 

It gave agents that easy yes/no based on the title alone. My publisher loved it.

Technically, my editor loves the title too, but she isn’t a fan of the subtitle.

“You can’t even say it without getting stuck,” she said.

“What, tales of a klutz’s sex change?” In her defense, I’ve rolled the whole thing off my tongue so many times I don’t even think about the cadence of it anymore. But I told her I’d go to the drawing board and try to come up with something else to follow the colon.

So dear readers, by way of an informal poll, please give me your votes on the following, or suggest your own subtitle if none of the ones I present here are adequate. Okay, here goes.

  1. Bumbling into Body Hair: The Story of My Hilarious Sex Change
  2. Bumbling into Body Hair: Girl Becomes Boy Meets Girl, a memoir
  3. Bumbling into Body Hair, or Why My Sex Change Was a Hilarious Experience
  4. A Very Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sex Change
  5. Bumbling into Body Hair: The Laughs and Trials of One Transsexual

Seriously, I think I hate them all. Help me through the hate, people.


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Categories: ev's writing, Writing


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7 Comments on “Subtitle Limbo”

  1. elvenwolf
    January 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    I don’t particularly care for the new options either. Have you looked into perhaps synonyms for ‘klutz’ that don’t clash with ‘sex change’?

    • evmaroon
      January 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

      Well, it’s a good reason to break out the old thesaurus…

  2. Jen
    January 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    I like #5! 🙂 The alliteration of trials and transexual is good and the unexpected pairing of laughs and trials is fun too.

    • evmaroon
      January 5, 2012 at 9:26 am #

      Thanks, Jen!

  3. January 6, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    Is there a way you could keep the original and shift around some of the words? Or keep the sense of it and find some synonyms? I like klutz: I think that word really signals your voice and style, and makes this story about a person with other qualities unrelated to gender.

  4. jesse
    January 6, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    I like 4.

    • evmaroon
      January 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

      Oh good!

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