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The Old Buzzard Had It Coming?

April 16th, 2005

Where does one come up with these titles? For the first book in my Alafair Tucker series, I went through several titles before I landed on The Old Buzzard Had It Coming. Since the book takes place in Oklahoma in the dead of the winter of 1912, I first tried to find a title with the word “cold” in it, as in “cold blooded murder”. For a long time, the working title was Blood Run Cold, but in the end, I decided that wasn’t ethnic enough, and changed it to He Had It Coming, since the murder victim is quite a horrible person. Then, one day my mother described a man who lived in her apartment complex as an “old buzzard”. Aha!

Now, I admit that The Old Buzzard Had It Coming is not the most melliflous title, nor does it flow trippingly off the tongue. But it is eye-catching, and that’s the point. In fact, someone described it to me as “like a kick in the gut.” I’ve grown quite fond of it.

Early on, my sister-in-law Dolores couldn’t quite remember how the title went and called it The Old Coot Deserved What He Got, which is pretty good, too. In fact, we considered an entire series with similar titles: The Miserable Son-of-a-Gun Got What Was Coming to Him, The Skunk Couldn’t Have Died Soon Enough, and the like.

I’m thinking about it. However, as things stand, the second book in this series is tentatively entitled Cruel As Knives.

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