I think a lot of people probably have an era or an event in history that really draws them as some point in their lives. For me, ever since I was a young teenager, that topic has been the Titanic disaster.
Like probably a lot of people born in the early nineties, I had no idea what Titanic was until the James Cameron movie. Even when it came out, I didn't see it. I was a tad young, and probably far too busy watching DCOMs to watch a very nonfictional movie viewed through the fictional love story of Jack and Rose.
So I knew very little about any of it until I was probably somewhere around thirteen or so. Until the movie was playing on TV one night and I stayed up late watching the whole damn thing in my room.
It was so long ago now that I honestly can't quite remember what I knew going into it. But it wasn't much. I either didn't know Titanic was a real ship and a real thing that happened at all, or I at least didn't know that so many people actually died in it. I was just a kid in the early 2000's watching something that I had no idea was going to shake me so hard.
And it definitely shook me. I remember that movie ending around 2 AM and positively bawling about it until around 3. Only to have to go into my mom's room and climb in bed with her because I was so upset. I remember talking to her about it as if it was this new thing that no one knew about because it was so sudden for me, I suppose. From then on, it became something I couldn't learn enough about. It became that piece of history that's always resonated in a way I can't really explain.
So I've written about it, telling the nonfiction story through a fictional lens. Rewriting that manuscript is what I'm working on now, and what I have been working on most of this month. Every different genre requires a different approach, but historical fiction has to be one of the most heavily research based there is--certainly the most I've tackled so far. But when you're writing about an event that really happened, you owe it to the history to put the effort in. And that effort is so much easier when it's a topic you're passionate enough about to get invested in.