I'm thinking of writing a book on the great lakes ship and/or shipping and I was wondering what people want to know more about. I'm trying to do a new book without rewriting what has already been written in other books. Feel free to email me.
Hi, Chris: You would do well to write about the Lady Elgin disaster, of which I believe only a single and now prohibitively expensive book has ever been written- and that (the book) was over 80 years ago. Lady Elgin, a passenger steamer, was rammed by the Augusta and sank with appalling loss of life- and the Augusta's captain after (properly) claiming to have had the right of way 'got away with it.' Augusta later vanished, supposedly, on the anniversary of the disaster, and Victorian urban legened had it that the captain and crew were lynched by angry relatives of the victims and the ship then scuttled. The exploration of the L.E. wreck is in and of itself worthy of a book.
Non disaster: there were passenger vessels on the lakes, operating out of Detroit, that had interiors elaborate beyond those of the North Atlantic liners and, as far as I know, have not ever really been explored via print.
Seabird is another great Great Lakes disaster which has not really ever been explored in print.
There are several Noronic survivors still with us, whom you might wish to interview. Solve the mystery of the couple who were travelling under assumed names, died in the fire, and were never identified- I'm sure that their respective spouses will be cooperative
Okay....that might be a tough interview for a first book.
Caroline Ingalls, of Little House on the Prairie books fame, lost her father in a Great Lakes shipwreck, ca 1845. The incident is well covered in Caroline's biographic sketches, but only from her perspective. The ship is never named, nor the details of the disaster given. The L.H.O.T.P. books have such an avid cult following that you will be guaranteed a write up in several specialist magazines if you develop this plotline- great free publicity.
The Eastland left so many excellent first person
accounts that a good researcher can easily put together a chapter without any 'repeats' from previous works by other authors. Dont' hesitate to got here just because others have before you.
Just a few first thing in the morning random thoughts.
Also, you might consider expanding your Shipwreck Hunting at Chequamegon Bay photo essay. I found that to be very interesting and am sure that others would as well. You're lucky to have access to such a place!