Why Call it The Marshal?
I was in New York City for a writer’s conference, the Algonkian Pitch Conference to be exact. I’d met another writer, call him Dr. N., and we hit it off. I was on my way to meet him for some dinner one night, and as I walked out of the Hilton Times Square, the title hit me. I’d been meditating on the title for a day. I’ve told you the title was originally I Solemnly Swear, and there was an interim title that only a few in the world will every know, a title that never sat well with me, and did not sit well with my conference instructor, Charles Salzberg. At any rate, as I walked out onto 42nd Street from the hotel lobby, it hit me — The Marshal. I determined that I’d add a subtitle to each book in the series, based on where the action took place, hence 43rd & 8th, and Sakhalin — the subtitle of the next book in the series. The interesting thing about it is that at the time the title hit me, my friend Dr. N. was talking to a band of Jehovah’s Witnesses in another part of Times Square — over on 48th Street by his hotel. He’s not a JW, but he is a spiritual man. When the JWs asked him if they could pray for him, he declined, but asked them to pray for me. He knew I was going through a rough time. Later, we pieced the timeline together, and they were praying at the very instant that the name The Marshal came to me. Cosmic? Spiritual? Divine? Coincidence? I can’t really say. But I’ll thank God and Dr. N. and the JWs, because I kind of like my title.