Monday, January 24, 2022

A Suitable Sub-Title


I’ve been splitting my time between a ton of projects: Researching three new books (Best Easy Hikes Birmingham, A History Lover’s Guide to Mobile, and Everyone’s Gone to the Moon), working on weekly travel articles, and gearing up publicity for Hiking Alabama 5th Edition and Space Oddities that come out in July and August respectively. 

For that last title, Space Oddities, a sub-title was easy to write. The book tells funny, obscure, and off-beat stories from our voyages into space hence the title, “Space Oddities-Forgotten Tales of Mankind’s Exploration of Space.” 

For the new book, “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon”, I was quite content with that title until I was contacted by my editor at Prometheus Books saying, “not so quick, sport. We need a sub-title.” 

The book will weave the story of Apollo 11 with what life was like here on Earth week by week from July 1st to July 31st, 1969, not as a day-by-day calendar but an intricate telling of the stories and how they relate. There are many fascinating, long since forgotten stories from not only the flight but life on Earth – the pop culture, news, etc. 

But this one stumped me. I had a really hard time coming up with a sub-title for this one. I loved: “The Moon Above, The Earth Below.” Trouble was, it was a copyrighted CBS news documentary title. I knew it sounded familiar. 

I asked a couple of my best friends what they thought. They came up with some great titles. One was a joke: Everyone’s Gone to the Moon…and All I Got Was This Lousy Shirt

Funny thing is, the publisher liked it, not as a title for the book but for when the book is published for publicity: “We’ll make t-shirts out of it!” 

Finally at the last minute I just threw some words down on the page and sent it in: 

Everyone’s Gone to the Moon - A Snapshot of Life on Earth and the Epic Voyage of Apollo 11

Bingo! We have a winner! So now that that is out of the way, the research begins in earnest.

More to come. Watch this space.

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