Guest Post: Bill Walker

Guest Post by: Bill Walker author of Titanic 2012

Thank you Mr. Walker for stopping by today with this great guest post.

For me, writing the novel TITANIC 2012 was a way of extending the emotional experience of Cameron’s film. I’m not exaggerating when I say the film hit me like a ton of bricks. That movie has a power on the big screen that it lacks on TV or DVD. I felt it again when I saw the promo for the film’s April re-release in the theatre. As soon as it hit the screen, all the feelings I originally felt came back–even though I’ve seen the film a dozen times thereafter on smaller screens. After seeing it the first two times, I knew I wanted to do my own Titanic story, but it wasn’t until I read an article that mentioned Jim Cameron briefly considered actually building a working replica of the ship that the light bulb went off over my head. What if, I said, someone actually did rebuild the Titanic to sail on the 100th anniversary? What would that voyage be like? Who would be on that voyage? And why would they want to be on it? For me, “What If” are two of the most exciting words in the English language.

As for research, I’m not one of those writers who will go to the library and conduct open-ended research on a topic ad nauseum. I just find it far too daunting–like a task that would seem to go on forever. Instead, when I’m thinking about a topic, I’ll have a series of questions that pertain directly to plot points both major and minor. Finding the answers to those questions is very rewarding experience, especially if the answers I find bolster my original idea. Of course, I often find that the facts don’t support what I plan to do, so I have a decision to make. Do I flout the facts and write the story as originally conceived and make my apologies in my “Author’s Note”? Or, now that I’m armed with the true facts, do I rethink my story and go in a different direction? I’ve done both. Sometimes my original idea is too compelling to abandon and at other times the new facts inspire an idea that’s even better than the original one. That’s what the craft of writing is all about: inspiration, and the discipline that supports and propels that inspiration into a readable book.

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