How did you develop your plot and characters? The plot was simple – rescue children from the Titanic before it sinks. The subplots just evolved as the larger story played out. I decided the Titanic would make a good place for my New Atlanteans to Retrieve from. After all, over a thousand people ‘disappeared’ that night. Then I decided I wanted to have a variety of perspectives or POV across all the echelons of society on-board. Then I did the research. By the time I had my head around the whole period and very specifically this journey, the characters had started to present to me. A bit like kids in a class putting up their hands saying, ‘Pick me, pick me!’ So I did, and I told their stories as they took part in those last days of the Titanic.
Who designed the cover? Me, but the text was redesigned by a brilliant graphic designer called Carla Chadwich
Who is your publisher? Belisama Press
Why did you choose to write this particular book? I was looking for the next place my New Atlanteans could find people to Retrieve. It was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. There were over 1,000 people missing after that disaster. It seemed perfect!
What was the hardest part about writing this book? Rewrites. It’s always the second and third drafts that are hardest. That’s the work. The rest is play.
How do you promote this book? Freebies with KDP Select, a wonderful PR person called Lynn West, and by Book Tour with Orangeberry.
Will you write others in this same genre? Romance always, time travel, maybe. New Atlantis has seven books in the series now, but still has lots more meat on its bones, if I ever feel drawn to go back there.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Love wakes you up, shakes you up and forces you to confront your demons. But as traumatic as the ride might be at times, it’s worth every minute.
How much of the book is realistic? Are there time travelling Retrievers from the future? I’m not sure. There might be. Are the last days of the Titanic as historically accurate as I could make them, and therefore ‘realistic’? Yes, I hope so. Are the issues each of the central characters deals with realistic? Definitely. You don’t have to be from the future to suffer the fear and numbness that follows a traumatic experience in your life, and to fear what coming back to life might mean. Most of us have been there, or will go there…at least once in our lives.
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? The world of New Atlantis is symbolic of the life I now live. Eilish I intentionally modelled on a beautiful full-figured friend of mine who can’t see her own beauty. I hoped she would see herself in Eilish and start seeing what the rest of us see in her. I also spent a total of 3 months on an ocean liner like the Titanic when I was a child. My dad took me ‘home’ to England from Australia. In the sixties you did that journey by ship not by plane. I think the reason I could really get into this story so deeply was because I know what it feels like to travel on that kind of liner. You can’t truly imagine what that feels like. You have to experience it to write about it.
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Genre – Romance
Rating – Between PG13 and R (sensual but not erotic)
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