Friday, March 13, 2009

Adversity Brings Blessings

By Peirette Simpson

In 1956, I survived the most catastrophic collision in history between two ocean liners: the Andrea Doria and the Stockholm. Fifty years later, I authored Alive on the Andrea Doria! The Greatest Sea the Rescue in History. By doing so, I became the first survivor in history to publish an all-inclusive book about one’s own shipwreck, including humanistic and scientific aspects. I wanted to portray the mystifying event that could have been another Titanic, yet contribute a work of historical significance.

Alive on the Andrea Doria has brought me unpredicted satisfaction as an author and as someone who believes in leaving a valuable legacy for mankind. I’m grateful for:

• Providing a legal defense and a vindication on behalf of my fellow Italians, who were unjustly blamed for the collision and sinking of the luxury Andrea Doria.
• Receiving a global award given by my native region: the Piedmont. The award recognizes patriotism and talent in piemontesi who have contributed works or projects highlighting culture, language, literature, and the arts.
• Selling world film rights to a Roman producer for the Italian version of my book, L’Ultima Notte dell’Andrea Doria.
• Receiving the Collegian Award from my alma mater, Wayne State University. It recognizes alumni who have made contributions in their field of study to the community at large.
• The New England Book Festival recognized Alive on the Andrea Doria for general excellence and the author's passion for telling a good story; and also for the potential of the work to reach a wider audience. The award was in the biography/autobiography category. (January 2009).
• Reaching the title of best seller in three categories of maritime science, admiralty law, ships and shipwrecks.
• Being the keynote speaker at the American Library Association convention in Chicago. Having my legacy (my book) acknowledged in our libraries has been my dream!

If anyone is wondering if they can be a successful first-time author, my answer is ABSOLUTELY. It takes a lot of hard work to write a book, get it published, and keep up with its promotion. For me it’s been a gratifying journey. If you have a book in your heart, commit to putting your legacy in writing. Yvonne Perry’s Web site
has a wealth of information and support to get you started.

Pierette Simpson is the first survivor in history to publish an all-inclusive book about one’s own shipwreck, including humanistic and scientist aspects. After publishing Alive on the Andrea Doria! The Greatest Sea Rescue in History, Pierette has been called to serve on several projects within the maritime world. She continues the Andrea Doria legacy by speaking about her book to national audiences.
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