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Home > Book, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi > Indie Saturday – Author Marlene Dotterer on “The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder”

Indie Saturday – Author Marlene Dotterer on “The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder”

Today, we have author Marlene Dotterer featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘ for her science fiction-themed time travel historical novel “The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder” (Available on Amazon). It’s the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking, and everybody is still fascinated with the tragedy.

Look for the second book in the Time Travel Journals series: Bridgebuilders. Available this Fall.


Author Marlene Dotterer writes about ‘The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder’ and on Titanic as the Ship of Dreams…:

As you read this, I am on the vacation of a lifetime, and I owe it all to my book.

Not because my book has brought me millions. It has yet to pay its legal fees for negotiation of contracts that subsequently fell through.

So how did my book lead to two weeks in Ireland and England, then twelve more days on one of the most special cruises of the century?

Therein lies a tale…

When I decided to write a time travel novel about Thomas Andrews, the much-loved builder of the Titanic, I needed to do a lot of research. I didn’t know anything about shipbuilding. All I knew of Titanic, I learned in James Cameron’s movie. In fact, that was my starting point, so I knew that Titanic was built in Ireland, and that Thomas Andrews was Irish.

This was icing on the cake for me, since I’m a devoted hibernophile. Now I could read about Ireland and call it research.

Marlene Dotterer

All along, I wanted my book to be available for Titanic’s one hundredth anniversary in 2012. If Thomas Andrews lost his life (far too soon) on that dreadful night in April 1912, then perhaps I could provide a second chance for him one hundred years later. In my novel, he meets time travelers from the 21st century, a few years before he starts building Titanic. They tell him what happens, and the three of them work together to change history.

I can’t tell you how it all comes out – that would be cheating. But researching and writing the novel gave me a deep respect for Titanic, the men who built her, and for the passengers and crew of her maiden voyage.

So three years ago, when I learned about the Titanic Memorial Cruise, I desperately wanted to be on it. I half-heartedly mentioned it to my husband, never expecting to be able to go, because of the cost. But to my surprise, he was receptive to the idea. We talked about it for a while, decided we had three years in which to pay it off, and why not go?

So we booked a cabin. Just like that.

I have The Best Husband in the World.

Since we had to go to England to meet the ship, we added several days to our itinerary so we could explore the country. Then we added a couple of days in Belfast, so we could tour the shipyard where Titanic was built, and see the house that Thomas Andrews lived in.

That is where we are, RIGHT NOW!

I almost wish I was the squealing type, because that’s what I feel like doing. Obviously, I’m writing this in advance, so you’re getting my pre-trip jitters. But if you stop by my blog, you just might find an entry or two about what we’ve done so far. Keep checking back, too, because I’ll post during the cruise, and after the memorial service at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, out on the North Atlantic, directly above the site where Titanic now rests.

There are a lot of good books, fiction and non-, about Titanic. Mine is one of the few science fiction-themed books, although time travel and Titanic seem to go together like wine and cheese. Everyone thinks about going back to warn the captain, or wonders what would I do if I were there? There’s certainly a bit of that going on in Shipbuilder.

The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder is about more than just Titanic. It’s about the kind of man that Thomas Andrews was, about his family, and his world. Like all fiction, it’s a dramatization, and some of it is simply made up, since unfortunately, there were no time travelers to warn anyone back in 1906.

Just imagine: what would you do, if you went back in time and met Thomas Andrews?

Here is a short description of The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder:

Imagine being there before the Titanic set sail.

Now imagine being there before she’s even built.

Sam Altair is a physicist living in Belfast, Ireland. He has spent his career researching time travel and now, in early 2006, he’s finally reached the point where he can send objects backwards through time. The only problem is, he doesn’t know where the objects go. They don’t show up in the past, and no one notices any changes to the present. Are they creating alternate time lines?
To collect more data, Sam tries a clandestine experiment in a public park, late at night. But the experiment goes horribly wrong when Casey Wilson, a student at the university, stumbles into his isolation field. Sam tries to rescue her, but instead, he and Casey are transported back to the year 1906. Stuck in the past, cut off from everyone and everything they know, Sam and Casey work together to help each other survive. Then Casey meets Thomas Andrews, the man who will shortly begin to build the most famous ship since Noah’s Ark. Should they warn him, changing the past and creating unknown consequences for the future? Or should they let him die?

The construction of White Star Line’s Olympic-class ships forms the backdrop for a passionate love affair between Tom and Casey, who must overcome the many differences inherent between an Edwardian Irish gentleman, and a member of America’s Generation Y. The fictional love affair grows alongside real lives from history: the Andrews family of Comber, Lord William Pirrie, Bruce Ismay, and the thousands of skilled men who built the remarkable ocean liners of the early twentieth century.

Born in Tucson, Arizona, Marlene Dotterer lived there until the day she loaded her five children into her station wagon, and drove north-west to the San Francisco Bay Area. Since then, she has earned a degree in geology, worked in nuclear waste, run her own business as a personal chef, and now teaches natural childbirth classes. She writes, “to silence the voices,” obsessed with the possibilities of other worlds and other times.


The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder by Marlene Dotterer is available at Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats. The ebook is also available on Smashwords. You can also order it through your local bookstore.

To learn more about Marlene Dotterer, follow Marlene on Twitter: @marlenedotterer, Facebook: marlenedotterer or Goodreads. Marlene also blogs at marlenedotterer.wordpress.com. Drop by and say hi!

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Do you want to be a featured ‘Indie Saturday’ author too? Go here for more info!

Read an embedded sample of “The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder” after the jump!


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