The Epigraph That Wasn’t

Today’s post by Marybeth Whalen | @MarybethWhalen

ttwwwtI had the epigraph (the little quote that you see in the beginning of a book that kind of sums up or gives a clue as to the themes or issues in the book) all picked out for my novel THE THINGS WE WISH WERE TRUE long before I finished the book. It was so perfect, I couldn’t wait to have it set the tone for my novel.

Alas, my new publisher had some serious rules about acquiring permissions for use of a short line and I will admit I didn’t leave enough time to track down said permissions. When I got the detailed questionnaire I would have to fill out for the permission to use a mere eight words, I said to myself, “Welp this’ll just have to be the first novel I write that doesn’t have an epigraph.”

But I wanted to share it with someone because it is so perfect and it should be shared. So I chose you guys, our dear and wonderful readers, to share my perfect epigraph that never saw the light of day. Ready? Here it is…

“Happiness ain’t never how you think it should be.”

  Duncan Sheik, She Runs Away

Thank you for letting me do that. 🙂

This epigraph really is the perfect tone setter for my novel. Because that’s really what it is about– a group of disparate neighbors who are all nursing their own private hurts, their own deeply held secrets, their own irrepressible hope that maybe– just maybe– they can find happiness– or some form of it, somehow. Because I believe that while happiness might not be what we think, it is still possible to find. In this month of November as we count our blessings, maybe this novel’s characters will inspire you to find happiness in your own backyard.

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS (2014), FLIGHT OF DREAMS (2016), and I WAS ANASTASIA (2018). Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of SheReads.org and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

2 Responses to The Epigraph That Wasn’t

  1. Heather Adams November 8, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    Whoa, that epigraph really is perfect for the story!

  2. Katherine Jones November 8, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m going RIGHT NOW to pull my copy from the shelf and pen it in myself. You’re right. It is perfect.

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