I’m almost finished revising my third novel, and I expect to send it off to Kirkus Review for professional editing by the end of the month.However, I’m still in a dilemma over finding the right title. That’s why I’m running a contest to tap into my readers’ creativity and come up with the perfect one.
The contest will run from now through October 16, 2017. The winner will receive autographed copies of my first two novels Hattie’s Place and In the Fullness of Time. Here’s all you have to do to enter:
- Read the summary of the manuscript below.
- Submit your idea/ideas for a title in one of the following ways:
- Respond in the comment section of this blog
- E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tweet @Kstillerman
- Post on Facebook @KatherinePStillermanAuthor
- Be sure to include a mailing address if you wish to be eligible for the prize. If the wining title is submitted by more than one contestant, the one submitting it first will be considered the winner.
Here’s the summary of the book, which I posted in my last blog. The working title is Mountain Brook Memories: 1961-1963. I have confidence we can do better than this!
The novel is set in the early 1960’s, and it’s about a preacher’s kid whose family moves to Alabama, into the affluent and highly segregated neighborhood of Mountain Brook.The story plays out against the backdrop of the Cold War and the American Civil Rights movement which comes to a head in 1963, just across the mountain in downtown Birmingham.
The main character Harriet Elizabeth Oechsner is the granddaughter and namesake of the protagonist in my first two novels. A high school junior whose family is relocating for the second time in two years, Harriet must once again assume the role of the outsider adapting to another new school. Her encounters with her new teachers and peers lead her into situations that are at times painful, lonely, embarrassing, shocking, and often humorous.
Her father Erik’s liberal theology and commitment to social justice angered his parishioners, and he is forced by his principles to resign from his church in Jacksonville after only a year as their pastor.The resulting move to Mountain Brook thrusts the five members of the close-knit Oeschner family into a community bathed in privilege, steeped in tradition, and staunchly resistant to change–a community separated only by the ridge of a mountain from the struggle for human rights being waged on the other side. And yet, it’s a community so distanced by privilege and color from its parent city and the needs of the poor and disenfranchised within, that it may as well be on the other side of the world.
Erik struggles to find an authentic ministry amidst the polarity and injustice, and it’s this struggle that provides a major conflict in the story, not only for him but especially for Harriet.Harriet lives with the dread that her efforts to make new friends and adjust to her new surroundings will be undermined if Erik finds things intolerable and says or does something that will provoke yet another move. “If only he will make it until I graduate and go to college; then, he can move us anywhere he wants to.”
The story touches on universal themes of injustice, separation, teenage angst and emotion.But as in my first two novels, the plot is interwoven with themes of inclusiveness, loyalty, friendship, and reconciliation.