On 13 January, the author gave an interview on Radio Veralum with Richard Edwards.  The recording will be available here soon.  Greg and Richard discussed what originally drew Greg to the story of the Lusitania, beginning with the magnificence of the ship and the feeling of invulnerability she inspired despite the newspaper warnings of the danger.  Passengers undeterred by the daunting prospect of travelling into a war zone had every confidence that the Lusitania, the fastest liner afloat, could outrun German submarines.

Logo Radio Veralum Radio Veralum studio

Greg shared with Richard why the Lusitania held more intrigue for him than the more famous Titanic.  They discussed the year that Greg spent researching the Lusitania, reading everything he could, before he even began to develop his plot outline.

Lusitania at SeaUboat searching for prey

Richard asked Greg about the main characters in the book, and the author explained how Alfred Vanderbilt emerged to become the central character in the story.  The evolution of the millionaire sportsman, who inherited one of the greatest fortunes in the age only one year out of Yale, into a hero who gives his lifebelt away is one of the themes of the book.

Alfred Vanderbilt seated moustache

 

They also discussed the complex web of relationships that bound Europe’s royal families together and the failure of those ties to prevent calamity.  The wedding of the Kaiser’s only daughter, Princess Viktoria Louise of Prussia, was the last time the Kaiser, the Tsar and King George V, all cousins, ever saw one another.

Tsar Nicholas II

They concluded the interview by agreeing that the book would make an excellent film.

Woman on desk with old movie cameraKen Duken as WW2 Uboat commander in The Laconia