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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.