Like most people, I’m fascinated by my own lineage. So far, with 6 books under my belt all of them have been seeded by events in my life or those of my Irish ancestors. My historical trilogy was inspired by my great-great grandfather who died of cholera when he was serving in the British Army in Colonial India at the turn of the last century, and by my great uncle who was an officer in the British Cavalry at the time of Lord Louis Mountbatten (Queen Elizabeth’s cousin and the last Viceroy to British India).
And my newest release Sofi’s Bridge is no different. The inspiration for my character Dr. Neil Galloway, the love of Sofi’s life, came from my paternal great-grandfather and his son Richard, my grandfather. This father and son were both riveters on the building of the Titanic in the Belfast shipyard. In fact it was Richard’s very first ship as he began his apprenticeship at 14.
Whenever I go on speaking engagements I mention that little tidbit about my family history and it never fails to get a twitter of awe. Really though, most people who come from Belfast have that dubious honor, since the shipyard employed the majority of men in my grandparents’ era. As for my speaking intro, I always add that as a family we accept no responsibility for the sinking of that infamous ship.
It was the story of my paternal grandfather who followed his father into the shipyard industry that got Sofi’s Bridge going. But as I started writing Sofi’s story around 2012 the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, I soon realized that with so many famous authors writing on that event, my manuscript would probably not get picked up. I very quickly changed the premise of the book, taking Sofi off the Titanic and placing her in Washington State as a wealthy Seattle Debutante who wants to design bridges, and who needs the help of a handsome Irish doctor who has secrets of his own—namely that he is wanted for murder by the British police.
The story is held together by the trade of riveting. A craft that is not much different for a ship than a steel bridge together, and so the story of Sofi’s Bridge emerged. Weaving historical detail into a romance is a lot of fun, but it does require research. In the following snippet I convey some of those details.
Watching the riveter’s ballet of throwing white-hot steel always made Neil’s stomach harden to a lump, at least it distracted him from the emptiness of watching Sofi rush away from him.
Neil picked out his brother, Jimmy, from among the men, and expelled a long sigh. On the bridge deck, or on one of those meager platforms hanging over the side, one slip, one fumble...from that height...and a man could die.
On the deck, Jimmy rapped his elongated tongs against the cone-shaped catcher can, waiting for the man known as the heater. The heater sent Jimmy a nod and thrust the peg of steel into the portable cast iron forge. When the peg of metal glowed to a molten white, he pitched it forward. Jimmy caught it in the catcher can and inserted the glowing rivet into a hole in the girder. With the same concentration Neil would use with a scalpel, Jimmy waited for the bucker to place his buckling tool against the head of the rivet, and for the riveter to hammer it home.
Their father had been equally expert as a riveter on the ships in Belfast.
I hope you’ll take a look at Sofi’s Bridge. I had a lot of fun writing it, weaving mystery, romance, and historical detail into the beautiful setting of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State not far from where I live.
ABOUT CHRISTINE LINDSAY
Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction. It was tales of her Irish ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her multi-award-winning series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and the explosive finale Veiled at Midnight.
Christine’s Irish wit and her use of setting as a character is evident in her contemporary romance Londonderry Dreaming. Her newest release Sofi’s Bridge also features a dashing Irish hero.
Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine and her husband live on the west coast of Canada.
Please drop by Christine’s website www.ChristineLindsay.org or follow her on Amazon on Twitter. Subscribe to her quarterly newsletter, and be her friend on Pinterest , Facebook, and Goodreads.
PURCHASE LINK FOR SOFI’S BRIDGE