Odd Facts About Titanic Inspired My Book
As a child growing up, I’d felt a strong connection to the Titanic disaster from the first moment I read about it, and I continually devoured every book published on the subject. I don’t quite know where that “pull” came from, but it was almost as if I’d been there in 1912 and in my own time simultaneously. As if somehow I was there that cold April night, even though such was impossible.
That overlapping time feeling, coupled with a couple of odd facts about the sinking, planted the seed that grew into my novel. Fifteen minutes before Titanic took her final plunge into the sea, Captain Smith relieved the two wireless officers of duty, telling them there was nothing more they could do for the ship. These men had been frantically calling for help on the Marconi wireless and thus had missed all but one of the lifeboats. The two men, Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, exited the wireless cabin, which was located very near the already submerged bow of the ship. At that point, there was only one collapsible lifeboat left, strapped down very close to the rapidly rising seawater, and some crewmen were struggling to float it off into the ocean before it could be pulled under.
As would be expected, Bride rushed forward to assist, since that final boat would be his only hope for survival. But Phillips did something odd and counterintuitive – he turned and headed aft, towards the sloping rear of Titanic! Why? Why go towards certain death when your salvation lay a few feet away? That anomalous behavior led me to create a reason for his choice, a fantastical reason, yes, but a reason that led eventually straight into A Matter of Time.
There was another little known fact I glommed on to because I was always fascinated by everything supernatural. Titanic was carrying that night, in her cargo hold, the mummy of an Egyptian priestess, from the temple of Amon Ra. This mummy had already gained a reputation for being cursed – several of its owners had died mysteriously and photographs of the wrapped corpse displayed a living woman with glaring eyes. Even the photographer who’d taken these pictures died suddenly. There were so many mishaps and deaths associated with this mummy that the British museum finally sold the cursed object to an American buyer. The buyer packed it up, sarcophagus and all, for shipping to New York . . . aboard Titanic.
Later, after the sinking, some of the more superstitious people out there attributed the collision and sinking to the mummy’s presence on board the ship –another casualty of the same curse that had killed so many others. In my book, the sarcophagus, not the mummy, does play a major role in how events unspooledon April 15th, 1912, and in fact, does contribute to the circumstances which led to the collision. How? Read A Matter of Time to find out.
About the Author:
Michael Bowler grew up in San Rafael, California. He attended St. Raphael’s School and Marin Catholic High School before attending Santa Clara University. Titanic and her tragic fate fascinated him for as far back as he can remember. He has a vast collection of artwork, memorabilia and virtually every book ever written about the disaster.
He majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara and got a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University. He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several films, most notably “Fatal Images,” “Dead Girls,” “Hell Spa” (later re-edited and titled “Club Dead”), “Things” and “Things II.”
He has written a number of unproduced screenplays and is currently working on other novels he has outlined. He’s been teaching high school in Hawthorne, California for over twenty years.
He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to seven different boys over 28 years with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles for 27 years. He is a passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens in California, something that is sorely lacking in this state.
His first novel, A Boy and His Dragon, was originally written in the 1980’s before fantasy stories enjoyed a major renaissance, and has remained unpublished to this day. It is intended as the first of a trilogy.
A Matter of Time, his second novel, was originally written in the 1980’s and completed in the mid-1990’s as time permitted.
You can visit Michael on the web at www.michaeljbowler.webs.com.
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What is your destiny?
This question haunts 20-year-old Jamie Collins. A junior at Santa Clara University in 1986, Jamie has friends, a professor who mentors him, and a promising future as a writer.
Then the dreams begin – nightmarish visions that transport him back to a time and place fifty years before he was born: Titanic’s maiden voyage in 1912! Less than a week before the 74th anniversary of its sinking, Jamie discovers that his fate is inexplicably linked to that of the famous vessel. Somehow, the two timelines are overlapping, and when Titanic dies this time, Jamie will die along with it.
The dreams reveal something evil stalking the ill-fated ship, something that expedites the collision which sinks her. Jamie realizes that the only way to stop this evil and prevent his own death may be to prevent Titanic from sinking in the first place.
But how? How can he stop that ship from sinking in 1912 when he hadn’t even been born yet? And even if he can stop it – should he? What will be the effect on history if he succeeds? Jamie’s quest to fulfill his destiny ties friendsand family together in ways he could never have imagined.
A Matter of Time is an emotionally charged voyage into the value of friendship, the power of love, the impact of evil, and the vagaries of Fate.