One of the hardest parts of writing this series was coming up with titles, not only for our individual books but for the series as a whole. Early on, we’d entertained the idea of calling them The Bride’s Tale, The Groom’s Tale. We kind of liked that. Our editor didn’t. Then we decided to go with the titles Someone Like You, Nobody But You, Something About You and ‘Til There Was You. Then we thought those sounded …. not very exciting or fun. And this is a fun series!
How many hours did we spend in Erin and Kelly’s hotel room at RT in Chicago last year drinking wine with Meg and our other Nine Naughty Novelists who were there (sadly not Syd!) brainstorming titles? We came up with and rejected so many we can’t even remember them all.
And (it might have been the wine) but we think it was Kinsey Holley and PG Forte who came up with the snappy one-word titles that we eventually settled on. The first three were the easiest to come up with (Jilted, Bolted, Busted…Uh…????? So many options didn’t quite work. One syllable or two? Finally we agreed on Hitched, but there was some fighting (it was arm wrestling, but we took a sacred vow to never reveal the outcome) over titles and which was most appropriate for which book (Bolted would have worked for both Meg’s and Erin’s). Meg remembers coming up with this great argument for why she should get to use Bolted that had to do with the hard consonant sounds in Jilted, Busted, and Bolted. It made a huge amount of sense at the time (fuelled by wine). We also came up with cover mock-ups the same night, but they weren’t anywhere near as gorgeous as the ones Angela Waters produced. Then when we finally settled on the last title (Kinsey finally came up with that one and everyone yelled “YES!”) there was the small problem of nobody actually getting hitched in any of the books. Don’t worry, we solved that and we all love our titles now!
Then there was the name of the series. Again, wine-fuelled brainstorming came up with Left at the Altar, The Runaway Bride, and even Altar-ed States (cute, yes?) But we had to consider that the wedding in the books doesn’t actually happen, that the stories follow four different members of the wedding party, and that the thing that links all four stories even more than the wedding is the town – Promise Harbor. We also knew we had to keep it simple and in all likelihood, people would call the books the Promise Harbor Wedding books even if we named the series something else. So we went with simple.
When we started, the name of the town wasn’t even Promise Harbor, it was Promise Cove, which we ended up changing because of a number of other romance series that centered around a “cove”. Erin remembers doing a find and replace for Cove to Harbor and still missing a couple of them! And we called it Cove for a long time after we changed it. Cove just sounded so great. Now it sounds weird. Now we can’t imagine The Harbor, as our characters refer to it, being anything but.
Then we got to have some fun naming *places* in Promise Harbor. That was easier. Whoever needed a place and used it first got to name it. Then the rest of us went back in and made reference to it as needed.
And of course, there was naming our characters. Everyone named their own, of course, and then we shared them with the group… didn’t want to have two Joshes after all. Well, okay, two Joshes wouldn’t be all bad, but you know what we mean!
But there were names we had to share. Last names, for instance, and secondary characters. Meg named the crazy cousin bridesmaid Bernice. Erin came up with Allie’s dad’s name—Owen. Who named Sophie… probably Meg? Meg and Kelly came up with a few good New England surnames and settled on Brewster.
Building the town around the series also came with its own challenges, especially since some of the books also take place outside of Promise Harbor. We knew our seaside tourist town needed to be a place readers would want to revisit over and over again, making it almost as important as the people who lived there. Places like Barney’s Chowder House, renowned for their famed hickory burgers, and Stone’s Sports Bar became cornerstones of the town, along with other local businesses and some nosy townspeople known for stirring up trouble.
And what series small town would be complete without a lot of history between friends and loved ones? People who used to date but had gone their separate ways. Others devoted to serving and protecting Promise Harbor, always putting others first, and those trying to figure out how to fit back into a life they’d been so determined to leave behind.
In the end everything fell into place and worked. By the time we finished writing the series it was hard to remember that everything was pieced together bit by bit and not as complete and real as it feels to us now. We ended up with four fun titles, a colorful cast of characters and a wonderful little town we hope everyone will want to come visit!
Into even the best-planned wedding a little chaos must fall…
Join the residents of Promise Harbor, Massachusetts for the wedding of the season! Or, at least, for the most entertaining wedding of the season. The groom’s been left at the altar, the Maid of Honor is MIA, the Best Man is in handcuffs and the bride has been swept off her feet–literally.
There’s definitely love in the air, but things are going to get a little crazy before anyone gets to happily ever after.
Jilted, Promise Harbor Wedding book one, Kelly, Jamieson, March 19, 2013
Bolted, Promise Harbor Wedding book two, Meg, Benjamin, April 2, 2013
Kelly Jamieson is a best-selling author of over twenty-five romance novels and novellas. Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. Where you can find Kelly: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Nine Naughty Novelists | Pinterest
Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of contemporary romance for Samhain Publishing and paranormal romance for Berkley InterMix. Meg lives in Colorado with her hubs and a couple of Maine Coon cats. Website | Blog | Facebook | Pintrest | Twitter
A born and raised Maritimer, Sydney Somers is thrilled to spend her days slaying demons, running with shape-shifter packs and making the people in her head fall wildly in love. When she’s not writing, Sydney can be found chasing after her herd of kids, talking her way into a gourmet meal, exterminating rogue dust bunnies or joking about the pending zombie apocalypse. She loves hearing from readers and invites them to contact her anytime. Website
Erin Nicholas is the author of sexy contemporary romances. Her stories have been described as toe-curling, enchanting, steamy and fun. She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!).You can find Erin on the Web | Nine Naught Novelists | Twitter | Facebook