Through random bloody chance and the favor of the gods of procrastination, the Victorian book, my assembled ladies and gentlemen, HAS A TITLE.
Can I get a drumroll?
With Fate Conspire.
Unless you are my husband or moonandserpent, you do not know — and do not want to know — how much Victorian literature I read through in search of something I could use. This one was lovely but had the verb at the front (and therefore looked out of place with the rest of the series); this one had the verb at the end but the quote it came from only fit the book if I tilted my head at a particular angle and squinted; this one was gorgeous but didn’t fit no matter how hard I squinted; this one was out of period; this one fit the pattern but wasn’t a great title. (Children, learn from me: nevereverever constrain yourself to this kind of highly patterned titling scheme.) I kept on plowing through poet after poet after architecture writer after novelist, trying to find something.
And then I sat down yesterday to read Tim Powers for procrastination, and I found my title.
The funniest part is, the epigraph he used came from a source I’d already gone through, and gotten nothing from. I mentioned some random bloody chance, right? The edition Powers quotes is earlier than the one I’d read, and has a different phrasing. “With Him conspire” is not a line I would have used. But Powers used an earlier edition, and I stared at the epigraph thinking, could I . . .?
I could. I can. My editor has given it the thumbs-up. On this, my last day of revising before I send the draft off to him for comment, my quest has ended. The Novel Formerly Known As The Victorian Book is now With Fate Conspire.