Hello! Welcome to the ninth post in my blog mini-series: The Creation of a Novel, where I’ll be sharing behind-the-scenes information about my upcoming debut novel, Waltz in the Wilderness. I hope you’ll join me on this journey toward launching my story into the world and leave your questions and thoughts in the comments section below. I love connecting with readers!
Choosing a title for a work in progress can be difficult. Typically my story’s begin with very mundane titles like, Eliza’s Story. This is because when I first begin writing, I don’t usually know enough about the characters and the places this story will take them to fully grasp the depth and true meaning of the novel. Any good novel title should both be a reflection of the story’s meaning and able to grab a potential reader’s attention while giving them a hint of what the story will be about. It wasn’t until I was near the end of writing my first draft that this story gained its first true title. For the first several years of its existence, this novel was known as Waltz With Me.
While I loved that title and may still use it for another novel someday, a very astute publisher’s acquisitions editor pointed out to me that it might give the reader the mistaken impression that my story had an urban setting. Furthermore, the title, Waltz With Me, did nothing to hint at the grand adventure which my characters go through.
And that editor was absolutely right.
So began the arduous quest for a new title. I’d like to tell you that the current title just popped into my mind like a message from God. That was not the case. It took many brainstorming sessions before I finally settled on Waltz in the Wilderness as my favorite. Other titles I considered were:
- A Perilous Trust
- Her Noble Protector
- A Daring Pursuit
However, none of those had quite as special a connection to the story and its meaning as Waltz in the Wilderness does. Not only is there actual waltzing within the pages of this story, but there is a hidden meaning within the word waltz that applies particularly well to Eliza’s emotional and spiritual journey. In ballroom dancing, women are meant to follow the man’s lead. If a woman tries to direct the man’s steps and steer him where she wants him to go, it often results in squashed toes and fumbling steps. Similarly, Eliza must learn to quit trying to charge off in her own direction and start trusting in God’s ability to guide her in the way she should go. While she travels through a literal wilderness, Eliza also navigates her own spiritual wilderness where she feels lost and alone, despite the Lord being at her side the entire time. It is only once she learns to trust the One ready to guide her, that she finds peace and healing amid the wilderness.
Here’s the full description of Waltz in the Wilderness:
She’s desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help.
Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother’s death, so she’ll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend’s unexpected assistance is a blessing she can’t refuse.
Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it’s been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancé is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.
When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?
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Tomorrow is the last day in the mini series and I’ve got some exciting things I’m talking about! Please be sure to stop back for the final post before Waltz in the Wilderness releases.
Have you ever tried ballroom dancing? Have you ever caught yourself trying to tell God how things should go instead of stopping to listen to what He has to say?
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