Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Story About The Story

I always have had an unexplained fascination or connection with the Titanic disaster and my lucky number is 12 (perhaps because I was born on the 12th day of the 12th month). What do those two things have to do with my debut novel, Cracks in the Cobblestone, which Oak Tree Press is releasing in March? Plenty.

When I set out to write my book, I looked at the calendar the day I started writing, April 12, 2010. I already had decided to set the novel in two different timeframes, starting with 1912. Because it was present-day April 12, I started at April 12 . . . of 1912.

I did not even think about the year’s significance until I researched important events and realized the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, three days after I had determined my written journey would begin. At that point, I knew I had to include an undercurrent theme of the Titanic.

Additionally, the building I use in my novel that houses Mug’s Pub is inspired by a real local pub along the cobblestone street I also depict (fictionalized), a place I have spent a great deal of time. While researching the building, I discovered that the landlord has a replica model of the Titanic on the second level.

If that is not weird enough, this past Christmas, my brother gave me the book, I Survived the Titanic, by Lawrence Beesley. Beesley described how he had survived in lifeboat No. 13 and I became spooked.

In my novel, I used a boarding pass I had received at a Titanic exhibit a few years ago of a real passenger who had survived. I researched the woman and pay homage to her. Beesley was in boat No. 13 with this woman, and my brother did not know I describe this woman in my book.

There is one more twist associated with this woman and the title of my book, but you will have to read it for yourself to find out that tidbit.


Sharon Arthur Moore said...

Susan, this is an intriguing lead-in to your novel. It sounds like a book I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing, and I'll be buying this one!

Amy Bennett said...

My "to read" list just got longer!

Carolyn Niethammer said...

That exhibit on the Titanic came to Tucson also. It was fascinating and well done and I learned a great deal about not only the event itself but also the times and how life was lived then.

Beryl Reichenberg said...

The Titanic story has become a part of our cultural history and fascinates us all. Good luck with your book. Beryl