Since the Remembrance Day for SS Persia took place, pictured above, I have been continuing to collect information from many who have become like friends during the writing process and there seems still more to come.
Thanks to all the valuable input from grandchildren and great-nieces and nephews of those aboard SS Persia, I have written about 95,000 words describing their experiences during the attack by U38 that killed so many and the desperate days that followed for those who survived.
I have been in ongoing communications with a mainstream publishing company and recently enjoyed a fascinating discussion with their Chairman about the publishing year and its main events such as international book fairs where ‘next years’ titles are sold, or not! We chatted about illustrations, copyright law and of course, my (even your!) text. He suggested that I consider two versions of the work and initially create a ‘potboiler’ (Publisher-speak for a work of modest length and page-turner style and content) versus the ‘legacy’ edition, something that researchers might turn to in future years.
I agreed to go away and look at the former version first, which will mean editing down from 95,000 to 50,000 words and keeping close to my central hypothesis describing cause and effect in earlier events that ultimately led to the sinking. This is likely to need to squeeze out much of the ‘people’ information, which would be retained for the later, larger version. I am still in decision-making mode, but see some logic in the suggestion. I am currently re-writing – first attempts at the pot-boiler style, in pursuit of a version that needs to be dramatic, but which needs people stories too.
I will let you know how I get on, but rest assured that this is my almost full-time job and I am still enjoying the challenge(s)!