Monday, 12 December 2011

A Night to Remember

            On March 31, 1909 the hull of one of the largest passenger ships in the world was started at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland. Exactly two years later, on March 31, 1912 the final fittings were completed, readying her to set sail the following week.  It was the pride of the shipbuilding area. But, just before midnight on April 14, 1912 the floating luxurious palace known as the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and less than a few hours later sank into the North Atlantic Ocean taking over 1,500 people with her. Not only was this the greatest maritime disaster ever seen at that time, but it was a blow to man's arrogance when they boasted that 'not even God could sink her.'  This upcoming year, 2012, will mark the centennial anniversary of that tragic but historic event.
            On March 31, 2012 (note the significant date), in the exact spot where RMS Titanic was first built, the TITANIC BELFAST®, the world's largest Titanic attraction, opens to the public.  This awesome new building is the same height as the Titanic's hull.  It includes nine interpretive and interactive galleries displaying the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic and the people who built her. There is also a 1,000-seat banqueting suite to be used for special events, conferences and/or weddings where guests can sample the same meals as were served aboard the Titanic.  Tickets go on sale today.
Titanic Belfast® 
            I can't help but think it would be a cool venue to have a book launch for The Depth of Deception, my Titanic murder-mystery thriller novel.
            That floating city continues to fascinate us, doesn't it?  Recently, drawings used at the Titanic inquest in 1912 were sold at an auction.  One drawing of the entire cross section of the ship sold for 220,000 pounds ($363,000 USD). 
             In related news, the cigar box, with the White Star Ship logo, that was owned by Captain Edward John Smith (Titanic's captain) was sold for £25,000 ($39,000 USD).    
            Besides the Titanic Belfast, there are many other upcoming events marking that fateful night. Director James Cameron (Avatar) will be re-releasing his multi-Oscar winning 1997 film TITANIC, which will now be presented in 3D, on April 6, 2012. (A week before the centennial anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.)  

            There will also be two Titanic memorial cruises on April 10, 2012: one departing New York harbor and another from South Hampton, England. Both of the cruises will have descendants of Titanic passengers, historians, and enthusiasts aboard. Together they will gather to pay their respects at a special Memorial Service at the exact place and time where the RMS Titanic sank 100 years ago.
            You can find Titanic exhibits all over the world, which have been touring over the last few years.  There is also a memorial and exhibit to be held in Halifax, Canada where many of the recovered bodies were buried.  For coin collectors there is even a Titanic Centennial commerative coin:
            In an earlier blog, entitled 'Judging a book by its cover' ( I mentioned another unique Titanic collector's item for sale.  An original copy of Futility (pictured here) which tells of a fictional ship, Titan which also struck an iceberg on a cold April night and sank in the North Atlantic.  The interesting part was that this novella was published in 1898, 14 years BEFORE the Titanic set sail. (If you are interested in purchasing this extremely rare edition, please contact Michael Baber of Bicentennial Bookshop.)
            This novel is an important clue in my above mentioned historical-thriller, Depth of Deception. Coming soon - April 2012. 

Illustration by Carmen Gillespie
My novel Depth of Deception (A Titanic Murder Mystery) can now be purchased at an introductory rate of $0.99 from Amazon at as well as in other e-book formats from Smashwords at