So here’s the thing, fiction titles come in basically three varieties. You’ve got your titles that nod to the theme of the story, titles that draw from the plot, either directly or obliquely, and then the bead-stringing type of titles that keep a series going (ONE FOR THE MONEY, TWO FOR THE DOUGH, etc. from Evanovich, Dean Koontz’s ODD books, and also Sue Grafton’s alphabetically-spaced suspense novels; that sort of thing.)
In the case of THE LIAR’S MARGIN, when it came time to put a name to the manuscript, I liked the idea that the crimes, mistakes, and character flaws that drive this story around its bends are basically lies that fall in a range of little-and-white to sooty-and-irreversible. It occurred to me that even our memories of events are filed away in a perimeter around what actually happened – the Truth, as it were.
The good folks at Gallery Books, however, had a different take on things. My terrific editor, Karen Kosztolnyik, steered me to thinking towards the plot for a title, rather than to the theme.
So I had a think and then a few handfuls of hair gripped from my scalp – lather, rinse, repeat. Such is the titling way, until you’ve paced a dull spot into the floor’s finish and you need to buy a hat.
But eventually I caught a thread that led somewhere; something that made a tiny bit of sense. And since it’s very important to the story that more than one person lands in a physical hole, or a metaphorical one, I’m happy to announce the new title of my debut novel, due to hit the shelves in February 2013:
THREE GRAVES FULL. It’s rhythmically pleasing, definitely suspense-y, and it cuts its eyes at the black humor that gives the story its bones. I like it.