History is filled with examples of massive stuff-ups that the innocent are forced to pay for. For me, one of the most heart-breaking examples of incompetence, greed, arrogance and apathy has to be the Titanic Tragedy. So when I was looking for the next subject for my New Atlantis time travel romance series, just before the centenary of the Titanic’s disastrous first and last voyage, it seemed the perfect choice.
For those who haven’t heard of my series before, here’s the premise: Imagine the world after the dystopic future we all fear has come about. Only a few hundred thousand people have survived. But they’re sterile, so it’s only a matter of time before humanity dies out. Those remaining decide to use cloned versions of themselves to keep the human race going.
To help rebuild their world they fine-tune previous time travel experiments and go back in time to cherry-pick worthy people from the past to bolster their dwindling numbers in the future. But they can’t just take anyone. Only people history recorded as having disappeared without a trace can be Retrieved. People who went out for coffee one morning and never came home. People who fell off boats and their bodies were never found. It’s actually frightening just how many people disappear every day somewhere in the world, so I discovered.
When in history did over a thousand well-documented people supposedly die, but their bodies were never recovered? 1912 on the Titanic, of course! And as my time travelers were by Book 6 Retrieving children, and there were over thirty such unrecovered children in Third Class, I knew I had my next mission! Retrieve those children and any other worthy adults who might have otherwise lost their lives on that fateful night.
Researching a novel like this one was a huge enterprise. For me, the historical details are more than just wallpaper. I submerged myself in the era and every detail of the ship. I had huge deck plans lining my walls where I could plot the characters’ movements, particularly on the final night. It helped that I’d spent three months on an ocean liner like the Titanic as a child and had explored it extensively. I painstakingly studied the list of passengers and crew. If I found someone who would have made a worthy addition to New Atlantis I modeled a character after them.
Every character I ‘saved’ was based on a real person. Because, like any biographer, I ended up feeling like I knew the people I researched intimately. And I felt compelled to rewrite their destinies
I must admit to having a bit of a savior complex. My career always involved improving the lives of others. So when I started writing seriously it seemed only natural that saving people would play a part there too. Even if it was only in my imagination. However, it became apparent just how obsessed I’d become in this case when, after finishing Titan, I bewailed the fact that I’d only managed to ‘save’ sixty people. A friend comforted me by pointing out I could always go back in another novel and save some more. I was just crazy enough to be reassured by that possibility.
And I continue to be reassured by the whimsical thought that every time someone reads my novel they actually help make it happen in some alternate timeline of history. Time travel allows for that possibility, after all.
To buy The Titan Drowns
After a lifetime of teaching others to appreciate the written word, Aussie author Nhys Glover finally decided to make the most of the Indie Book Revolution to get her own written word out to the world. Now, with over 100,000 of her ebooks downloaded internationally and a winner of 2013 SFR Galaxy Award for ‘The Titan Drowns’, Nhys finds her words, too, are being appreciated.
At home in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales of England, Nhys these days spends most of her time “living the dream” by looking out over the moors from her window as she writes the kind of novels she loves to read. The ones that are a little bit steamy, a little bit different and wholly romantic.
Many thanks to Nhys for stopping by to share her story! I have felt the same way about wanting to save people or stop something from happening. The Final Countdown bugs me because they don’t save anyone really! Well, one person. haha Have you ever wished you change an outcome or save someone?
I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). (And don’t forget that once a quarter I’ll be tossing in something fun from the Perilously Fun Shop!) Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.