Squawky wheel: 'Parrothood' dropped, author 'Winging It'

new-gardiner-book-stitchGraycie the parrot is the subject of Jenny Gardiner's latest book, which will not be called Parrothood.

Sleeping with Ward Cleaver author Jenny Gardiner's tale of life with a sharp-beaked parrot got her a book deal with Simon & Schuster–- and threats about trademark infringement for the title, Parrothood: Twenty Years of Caring for a Vengeful Bird Determined to Kill Me.

New York African gray parrot breeder Patrica Barth asserted that she held the trademark to "planned parrothood," and that gave her exclusive rights to the word "parrothood."

Gardiner's book comes out March 16, and it's now called Winging It: A Memoir of Caring for a Vengeful Parrot Who's Determined to Kill Me.

"I was completely within my legal rights, but with someone as single-minded as her, I just couldn't be bothered with her hassling me," says Gardiner. Nor could Simon & Schuster.

Parrothood wasn't Gardiner's first choice anyway. "My original title was Bite Me, which I liked the best but it didn't have as broad an appeal as the other titles," she says. "We didn't want people thinking it was a vampire book."

Barth remains convinced she would have prevailed, should the parrothood battle have reached court, but she's pleased Gardiner changed the title.

"I wish Ms. Gardiner much success," says Barth. "From what I've seen on her blog, she's an excellent writer."

Gardiner's first local appearance for Winging It is Sunday, March 21, at the Virginia Festival of the Book.

1 comment

Parrothood held hostage. How ridiculous that she thinks this title belongs exclusively to her--I'm tempted to pen a book today --"Parrothood, a tale of Squawking Children"