The Day The Whistles Cried; the great cornfield meet at Dutchman's Curve
Two steam locomotives collide head-on in a cornfield at the edge of Nashville on July 9, 1918, taking the lives of more than a hundred people and injuring at least 300 others. This tragic tale, set against a backdrop of wartime urgency and human error, unfolds in the midst of the racial and societal divisions of the early twentieth century. Segregation and cultural mores helped decide who would perish and who would survive this cataclysmic event, resulting in a book that is more than fact: a riveting story of decided historical impact.
Be a part of the revelations hidden in the past. The passengers were a sampling of the travelers of the time. Although eleven African American women were killed in the wreck, there were no white female casualties at all. There are clear reasons why. This is more than the story of a train wreck – it’s a window of time into 1918 Southern life. The research is done. The book is almost ready. This story needs telling to a wider audience. Become a part of relating this piece of history by helping me publish the creative non-fiction account of America’s Worst Train Wreck! Your rewards can include a copy, an e-pub, a guided tour of the site by plane, even a night spent in a historic train station and an invitation to a fun book release party.
When I first heard about the Great Nashville Rail Disaster, I was fascinated, as readers will be. I felt that the ghosts of the train wreck were weary of being called “the 101 victims.” I felt called to find out more about them. Five years and hundreds of research hours later, the events surrounding the incident still captivate me. I am compelled to publish the story not only of the wreck, but of the people.
Explore the fraternal world of The Knights of Pythias, both white and “colored” branches, and their two prominent members on the train: esteemed lawyer Douglas Bates and railroad porter George Hall. Journey to the accident scene with Doctor Duncan Eve, Jr., sent by the railroad to direct the medical help, facing many familiar faces among the torn and dying. Meet Mary Kennedy, widow of Engineer David Kennedy, who fought his sole blame all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
The Day The Whistles Cried also reveals the railroad system in action in its heyday. Romance and adventure, systems and rules, architecture and machinery. Its sub-culture was intrinsic to America’s economy and people.
People are drawn to legendary disaster stories such as that of the Titanic, seeking hope and heroism among the wreckage. The Day The Whistles Cried is a true disaster tale, filled with real people and their lives. Reading about America’s worst train wreck is opening a window into Time.
How will the book, The Day the Whistles Cried, be produced?
I will self-publish The Day the Whistles Cried, at the Nashville based Published by Westview Inc. publishing house. The company offers an “author friendly” non-exclusive contract, where I retain all the rights to my book. Company owner, Mary Catherine Nelson will take care of the book’s interior--and cover--design and layout and has promised to give me one on one support throughout the publishing process. The company will also provide the book's ISBN and bar code
Once its printed The Day the Whistles Cried will be included in the well-known Books in Print and other on-line bookseller catalogs.
How will The Day the Whistles Cried be printed?
The book will be printed by Lightning Source a print an on demand company located near Nashville.
Print on demand is a service that allows authors to order as many—or as few—books as they desire.
How long will it take to get a printed copy of The Day the Whistles Cried?
That is—to paraphrase a popular saying—the three thousand dollar question.
In 2008 I worked with the Metro Nashville Historical Commission and members of my Nashville community to raise money to fund the historical marker that now stands near Dutchman’s Curve. I had never headed a big project like that before and at first I was overwhelmed by the task. The job became easier for me once I developed a timeline and picked a date to have the marker erected by. I followed my timeline and the marker was dedicated in a ceremony on July 9, 2008—just like I planned.
I started writing this book in May of 2010. I’m in the final stages of writing now and expect to see my manuscript turned into a printed a book by December 2013.
October---Developmental editing.Rewrite.Copy editing.
November—Rewrite, proof, final edit
December—Layout, design, proof. Send to printer
January--Hold book in hand! See my very own copy of The Day the Whistles Cried placed on a book shelf in my home!
Risks and challenges
The greatest risk to completing this project by December is the editing process. Having to make a lot of changes to my manuscript could prevent me from sending it to my publisher on time.
I don't know how many passages or chapters will need to be rewritten or reworked after my editor works her magic on my manuscript. Entire paragraphs disappear at the slightest wave her editing pen. If that should happen during the final edits I will work hard on the rewrites and try to stay on pace.
I will keep my supporters updated on the book's production status throughout the editing and proofing process.
- (36 days)