Book: Ship of Dreams by Brenda Hiatt
categories: Book, S.S. Central America, Historical Romance, Ship of Gold, Real Life, Historical Fiction
Brenda Hiatt about this book: Ship of Dreams is the most historical-fiction-like of all of my historical romances, due to the fact that the whole story is woven around the true events of the 1857 voyage (and sinking) of the sidewheel steamer S.S. Central America, the Titanic of its era. I was fired with the idea for this book when my father-in-law attended a presentation by one of the men involved in the recovery of the wreck and its gold (detailed in Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea). My F-I-L insisted I should write a novel about the original sinking so, mostly to humor him (I confess), I started looking into the story and was completely drawn in by the drama and romance of the events of the voyage, sinking and rescue of many of the passengers. During my research, I was lucky enough to discover the actual diary of one of those passengers, a young woman on her honeymoon trip! Better yet, I was able to get a complete photocopy of Addie Easton's diary from the Library of Congress, and it informed much of my story (while Addie herself became an important secondary character). Like the most recent Titanic movie, my hero and heroine were fictitious, but they were surrounded by real people and events. (I even used the soundtrack from Titanic as my inspirational writing music while writing Ship of Dreams to help me achieve the same emotional intensity.) Because this is my one non-Regency historical romance, Ship of Dreams is often overlooked by my readers though I've been told by those who've read it that it's one of my best. It certainly was an enjoyable challenge to write!
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