In Dangerous Waters, the great ocean liner Titanic is preparing to cross the Atlantic. On board is a sinister thief bent on stealing a rare book that may be the key to unlocking infinite treasure, a wealthy academic traveling home to America with several rare books, and Patrick Waters, a twelve-year-old Irish boy who is certain that his job as a steward will be the adventure of a lifetime. Disguises, capers, and danger abound as the ship makes its way toward that fateful iceberg where Patrick will have to summon all his wits in order to survive.
That’s the official summary. To me, of course, the book is about a million other things as well. I did a tremendous amount of research to render the world inside the ship as accurately as possible. I wanted readers to feel like they were down in the boiler rooms shoveling coal or reclining in one of the first class lounges. For a little while, during the writing, I was studying the details so intensely that I honestly think I could have drawn the blueprints from memory.
The inspiration for the plot itself comes from the true story of Harry Elkins Widener, a wealthy young Harvard graduate, and an unusual book he refused to leave behind even as the ship was sinking. Thanks to Harvard’s Houghton Library staff, I was able to read many of Widener’s letters to get a better feel for his voice and character. They also let me peruse – carefully! – a few of his many valuable books. Holding a first edition of Treasure Island was a powerful experience.
So far, the novel has been nominated for a few state awards, and earned a spot on the Scholastic Book Clubs bestseller list.
And if you’d like to buy a copy, please try your local independent bookstore, or take a look over at Barnes & Noble or Amazon for paperback and e-book versions.