I’m grateful to Dani letting me indulge a little and share with you some of my favorite “Book Secrets.” Think of them as the “Extras” on the DVD. 🙂
One of the most fun things about steampunk novels are the airships, right? So of course, Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn HAD to have an airship. But I didn’t want this to be something “just made up” so was determined that our “Thaddeus Lowe” would be designed off of a REAL airship. But which one? The Hindenburg was the largest, the British R101 was the most luxurious, but the one that I fell in love with, that the whole world at the time fell in love with, was the Graf Zeppelin.
I owe a lot of thanks to airships.net. I cannot say enough about this great resource that introduces airships in all their beauty and complexity in a way that lets you really understand the impact they had on the world. The site was the first place I read about the Graf Zeppelin and fell in love with her. To quote their website:
The most successful zeppelin ever built, LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin flew more than a million miles on 590 flights, carrying over 34,000 passengers without a single injury.
During its nine-year career, Graf Zeppelin made the first commercial passenger flight across the Atlantic, the first commercial passenger flight around the world, flew a scientific mission over the North Pole, made the first regularly scheduled transatlantic passenger crossings by air, and aroused intense public enthusiasm around the globe.
Even today, there is significant interest in this specific zeppelin. There are so many photos of her trips. In fact, I’m willing to bet, 90% of the iconic airship photos you’ve ever seen have all been the Graf Zeppelin: Over the North Pole, with the pyramids in Egypt, by the mountain ranges in Japan, celebrated in New York City…
With the increasing use of airplanes, the Graf Zeppelin was retired and set up as a museum. Sadly, with the advent of World War II, on March 4, 1940, Hermann Goring, Germany’s Air Minister ordered her melted down for parts to feed the German military machine.
In addition to images of her exterior, there were shots (and video) of her interior, which a goldmine of information. So yes, our descriptions in the book will mirror very closely some of these photos.
A friend accused me of having a bit of a crush on the Graf Zeppelin and I can’t say that he’s wrong. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a few more “Book Secrets” and letting you inside the workings of the text. It’ll be fun! Let us know what you think in the comments.
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