One of the things I often find most difficult about being an author is finding the inspiration for a title for my newest work. Usually I’m in one of two categories: either I know the title almost from the start, or I wrack my brains trying to come up with something. In the latter situation, I usually find that just about anything I think of just sounds stupid.
For today’s post, I thought I’d do a giveaway, but one with a bit of a twist. I have a project I’m working on, one I’m really excited about. It’s a Pride and Prejudice trilogy, one which will cover more than twenty years in the life of the Bennet family and feature one villain throughout the course of the series. But as you might have guessed, I’m having more than a little difficulty coming up with a title for the series. I’ve been thinking about it a long time without success.
I’m going to include a short synopsis of the series below, and I’d like all you readers to comment your suggestions for a series title. Put in as many or as few suggestions as you like—you can consider it extra chances to win the prize if you make more than one suggestion. I will not commit to using one of the entries as constituted, but there will be a winner regardless. If I do not use one of the suggestions, the winner will be the person who inspired me to a title. I will decide on the winner by September 4, so have your suggestions in by August 31. The winner will be contacted and announced shortly thereafter.
The winner will receive a signed copy of the first novel in the trilogy, currently scheduled for winter solstice, December 21, 2017. I will also include a note of thanks to the winner in the acknowledgements of the novel. So please, everyone put on your thinking cap and make your suggestions. This is your chance to be part of the creative process. I can’t wait to hear back from you!
In book 1, Mr. Henry Bennet is called home by his father from his position in the regulars. He arrives home to find his father in a heated argument with his elder brother, Philip, and he learns his brother has gambled away a sum large enough to threaten the solvency of the estate. Philip is disowned, Henry made the heir, and the Bennets are forced to sell much of the estate to pay Philip’s debts. The story then moves to cover the next two years: Henry’s struggles as the new heir of the estate; his younger sister’s season in London and eventual marriage to a viscount; the death of his father; and the continuing specter a vengeful Philip throws over Henry’s life. Henry eventually meets and marries Mrs. Margaret Gardiner and they begin to have the first of their children. At the end of the novel, Philip strikes, setting fire to Longbourn’s stables and abducting Henry’s two daughters. Henry catches up with him and manages to retrieve them and force Philip to flee. But Philip is still out there somewhere, and his mind is turned to revenge.
In book 2, Elizabeth is now a young girl who is excited to go on a vacation with her relations, the Gardiners, when they go to the Lakes, and in the process, visit Mrs. Gardiner’s childhood home near Lambton. While in Derbyshire, Elizabeth meets a young Fitzwilliam Darcy, and though there is a large age difference between them, they become fast friends. During the course of her stay, there is an attempted abduction of Elizabeth, which fails due to the valor of her new friend, young Master Darcy. Elizabeth speculates that the abduction is an instance of her uncle’s continued attempts to affect his vengeance on his brother’s family, though they have no idea where he is or what plots he is hatching. Meanwhile in Hertfordshire, Mr. Bennet has been accused of the murder of the unsavory noble who owned Philip’s debts in the first book. Mr. Bennet, with the help of his brother-in-law, works to clear his name and prove that he could not have been involved with the murder. But their investigations into the whereabouts of Philip are fruitless, and he remains at large and a threat to Henry’s family.
In book 3, Mr. Darcy comes to stay at Netherfield with his good friend Charles Bingley. While there he renews his acquaintance with Elizabeth and quickly becomes enamored of her, while his friend is equally interested in Jane. Unfortunately, Caroline Bingley is much as she ever is, and she manages to convince her brother to leave Meryton behind and return to London. Darcy goes along reluctantly after taking his leave of Elizabeth, informing her that he fully intends to continue his attentions to her. To London Elizabeth and her family also go, and there they stay at her aunt’s house—her aunt is now a countess, her husband having inherited the earldom from his father. They meet Darcy and Bingley in London, surprising them, as Darcy had not been aware of their connections. This is also a surprise to Caroline, who now welcomes Jane, as her connections are now acceptable. What is not as palatable to Caroline is Darcy’s attentions to Elizabeth. When they return to Meryton, the courtships continue. But then Philip strikes, aided by an accomplice, attacking the Bennets and wreaking his vengeance on them. In the end, the brothers confront each other for one final showdown, which may result in the ruin of the Bennet family.
I realize this is more information than an author usually gives his readers. I also know three books being reduced to three paragraphs leaves it rather vague, but I hope there is enough for you to make some good suggestions. It’s a series of books about love, vengeance, the struggles of a family against an implacable foe, and the heroism for which ordinary people must sometimes reach when dictated by circumstance.