Meet Peggy Wirgau!
Peggy is the author of...
A brief description of The Stars in April:
"Sometimes we have to go a long way to find out who we are."
The year is 1912. When doctors in India are unable to treat her baby brother’s illness, Ruth’s missionary parents decide there is one solution: move her mother and the children across the world—to Michigan.
But India is the only home Ruth knows. In a matter of days, she must leave Papa and all she loves behind, abandon her dream of one day playing violin in the Calcutta Orchestra, and embark on a rollicking, four-week journey across the Arabian and Mediterranean Seas, followed by the voyage to New York aboard the luxurious, ill-fated RMS Titanic.
Ruth’s story is one of courage and self-sacrifice as she earns her sea legs and faces the unknown, culminating in a desperate, tragic night she will never forget.
Peggy Wirgau is a Michigan native and now lives in Delray Beach, Florida. She loves bringing history to life for readers. Peggy has written for Appleseeds, Insight, Learning Through History, and contributed to Why? Titanic Moments by Yvonne Lehman. Her debut novel, The Stars in April, is based on the true story of Ruth Becker, twelve-year-old Titanic survivor. Her blog at https://peggywirgau.com features in-depth Titanic stories, and her followers include descendants of the ship’s real-life passengers.
A graduate of Michigan State University and George Mason University, Peggy is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and Great Lakes Titanic Connection. Most recently, she gave a presentation on Ruth Becker at TitanicCon21 in Pigeon Forge, TN, and spoke with very enthusiastic 5th-8th graders at two Michigan schools. She loves to travel and explore historical sites. Peggy is also a Registered Nurse. She and her husband have two adult children and a baby grandson.
Peggy’s interest in the Titanic took off in 2012, when she first read about Ruth Becker. As she learned her story and began researching to write the novel, her enthusiasm grew. She began a blog about various passengers and crew members, and that led her to correspond with a few of their relatives and others that were connected to the ship in some way. She was amazed to learn there is a huge network of Titanic fans, of all ages and nationalities, that share a love for the ship and the people who were onboard.
At what point did this knowledge transform into a retelling within a fictional story?
When Peggy read about Ruth and her family, she was first intrigued because Ruth’s parents came from her home state of Michigan and were traveling there from India. But when she learned that Ruth was separated from her family during the sinking of the Titanic, yet managed to help other passengers in her lifeboat, it raised many questions. What twelve-year-old girl, in a boat full of strangers, would be able to act so heroically? What was she like? How did she feel about leaving her home in India? And what may have happened on her journey that gave her that kind of courage? That’s when Peggy began to envision a story that might answer some of those questions yet remain true to what we know about Ruth and the Titanic.
Peggy’s Website: https://peggywirgau.com
Find her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/peggywirgauhistoricalfiction
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