It started out as A Time for Flowers because of my heroine’s World War II victory garden. Addie’s down-the-country-road neighbor offers pithy advice along with her flower starts, so I liked the emphasis.
As time passed, an editor lauded the dark streak of struggle lacing the story. I read The Book Thief around that time, and changed my title to The Hope Stalker. The setting, including the rather foreboding grove surrounding Addie’s homestead, became stronger during this period.
But then, another editor suggested a lighter beginning, and a line from an old hymn kept returning to me—in times like these. Maybe you know the words… “In times like these, we need an anchor…” The more I thought about it, the more this title highlighted the ever-present chaos of World War II.
This title stuck through another year of editing and honing the moral premise—shame leads to continual, ineffective efforts to change others and ourselves, while personal autonomy brings acceptance and serenity. Sigh . . . that’s Addie, through and through.
But in my final edits, I discovered that In Times Like These is not an old hymn, as in Charles Wesley’s creations. Imagine my surprise to find that a World War II woman wrote the lyrics. Yes, definitely a perfect title for my Greatest Generation tale.
Gail Kittleson writes women’s fiction, facilitates writing workshops and women’s retreats, and edits for other authors. She and her husband enjoy family in northern Iowa much of the year and the Arizona Ponderosa forest in winter.
WhiteFire Publishing released Gail’s memoir, Catching Up With Daylight, in 2013, and her debut women’s historical fiction, In This Together (Wild Rose Press/Vintage Imprint) released in 2015. She also contributed to the Little Cab Press 2015 Christmas Anthology, and has contracted a World War II novel for February, 2017. You can count on Gail’s heroines to make do with what life hands them, and to overcome great odds. Click here to read a little of In Times Like These: http://amzn.to/1VFEoYh