Today, we are please to bring the first part of our four-part interview with Fateful author Claudia Gray. Thanks to Marisa at Harper Teen for helping us organize everything (seriously, you rock!) and many thanks to Claudia for taking the time out of her very busy schedule to answer all our questions!
In your author’s note, you mention that you first conceived of the idea for FATEFUL while visiting a traveling exhibition of Titanic artifacts. Was there something specific that triggered the book idea, or was it a broader sort of inspiration?
No one specific artifact. I think really what did it the most was the recreations of the rooms. At several points, you could look into a completely accurate recreation of a third-class cabin — or a first-class cabin — the deck — the grand staircase, etc. And you walked down hallways that were exactly like the corridors on the Titanic herself — same carpet, same light fixtures, same doors, etc. So it gave you the most extraordinary sense of actually being on the ship. How could that not get your imagination going?
Beyond the original concept for a Titanic story, what lead you to write a story about werewolves on that fateful voyage?
Well, being me, I was thinking about the paranormal right away! It seemed to me that a werewolf would be an interesting creature to have on board, because your first concern as a werewolf has to be privacy; this is true whether you are the kind of werewolf who is trying not to eat people or the kind who is trying not to be caught eating people. And privacy would be hard to come by on a ship like that — even if you had a first-class promenade cabin, you’d be in close proximity to dozens or hundreds of other people all the time. Yet in 1912, if you had to get from Europe to North America in a hurry, you wouldn’t be able to make that trip any faster than you could on a ship like the Titanic. If you’re worried about being exposed, you’re going to try to travel as quickly as possible, right? It felt like the right match of creature and setting.
Tune in for part 2 tomorrow!