Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A new angle on the Titanic

This is a guest post by Chris Angus, author of The Last Titanic Story. How on earth, I asked him, did he find a new angle on a story that's been retold so many times? This is Chris's response:

What could be a more famous story than the sinking of the Titanic? Everything on the subject has been done, right? Books, movies, TV specials and computer games have explored all the angles. Yet the tragedy still remains a compelling one for the public over a hundred years later. What better basis, then, for a thriller?

As I cast about for a new angle on the great tragedy, I decided what I wanted to do was craft a thriller based on not one but two of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century, the sinking of the Titanic and the Second World War. What followed was a tale of intrigue, international thievery and murder that ranged from the sinking of the famous ship and a plot hatched by Hitler himself to the machinations of present-day neo-Nazis and a race across the ice fields of Greenland.

Even after I completed the book, people continued to be puzzled as to how I could possibly connect these two incidents, separated in time by nearly thirty years. They remained puzzled until they read The Last Titanic Story. Then they would just shake their heads and say: “How on earth did you ever come up with THAT?”

This is how I like to craft all of my historical thrillers. I don’t think of it as a formula but rather a recipe. Take three seemingly unrelated historical events, add one (or two or three) fast-paced plots, include a soupcon of interesting characters, a dash of terror…and mix. Once the reader has no clue where you are going with this or how you will ever bring all the elements together in a finely blended conclusion, garnish with a plot twist of lemon or spice at the end and…Voila! One big cake of a book.

This is how I view my most recent thriller, London Underground, out this week from Iguana Books. London is a familiar place to millions of people around the world, so I looked for a part of the city that is not so well known, the hidden world of the underground, a maze of subterranean rivers, Roman ruins, ancient burial plots and the secret offices of Churchill’s war cabinet. Then I mix in a few of my own additions: hidden treasure, a mysterious disease from the past and the incredible discovery of a new species that will make your blood run cold.

A recipe for disaster…and a great thriller.

About the Author

Chris Angus specializes in writing suspense thrillers/mysteries within a historical context, with subject matter ranging from mysteries surrounding the Titanic, World War II, new DNA discoveries, the threat of mutating pandemics and the debate between the world views of creationism and basic science.    
Chris is also the award-winning author of several works of non-fiction, including Oswegatchie: A North Country River (North Country Books--2006), The Extraordinary Adirondack Journey of Clarence Petty: Wilderness Guide, Pilot and Conservationist (Syracuse University Press—2002), Images of America: St. Lawrence County (Arcadia Press—2001), and Reflections From Canoe Country (Syracuse University Press—1997).

While London Underground is a work of fiction, much of Chris’ precise writing style he showcases with his nonfiction comes through. Chris released earlier this year his first novel, The Last Titanic Story, also available from Iguana Books, followed by his second thriller Flypaper, from Cool Well Press. London Underground is Chris’ third novel for 2012.

London Underground and The Last Titanic Story are available from Iguana Books.com, Amazon and Barnes and Noble on-line book stores. Flypaper is available from Cool Well Press.

Chris' author site is: http://chrisangus.iguanabooks.com/

London Underground can be purchased through all major on-line book stores as well as with Iguana Books.com as an ePub, Kindle or Print edition at: http://iguanabooks.com/books/london-underground-print-edition/

The Last Titanic Story can be purchased through all major on-line book stores as well as with Iguana Books.com as an ePub, Kindle or Print edition at: http://iguanabooks.com/books/the-last-titanic-story-print-edition/.

Chris Angus can be found on Goodreads and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/chrisangusauthor?fref=ts

I received no compensation for posting this article. Happy to help out a small press when asked nicely--Jane