Official Book Website for I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! by Pierette Domenica Simpson

"A fascinating and cinematic novel about one of history's greatest maritime rescues. Author and survivor, Pierette Simpson, reconstructs a suspenseful path to the actual collision that is beyond haunting— it’s chilling! A book sure to inspire young readers toward maritime science." —Ruta Sepetys, New York Times bestselling author of Between Shades of Gray

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Appearances & Resources

Speaking to varied audiences is one of my favorite author activities. (Thirty-seven years in the classroom was my stage training!) My topic about “survival on our seas” is more timely and relevant than ever in light of the Costa Concordia tragedy. And, of course, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic.


You can also watch a clip of me speaking at the Explorer’s Club of Manhattan. To watch/listen/and read my media interviews related to the Costa Concordia, including in the New York Times,


Since I’ve now written both a non-fiction and fictional book on survival at sea, my topic is suitable for even more venues:


* classrooms (all levels, especially history, language arts, social studies, and French/Italian classes)

Need a grant to fund a school visit? Check out this site for some suggestions.

* libraries

* book clubs and private clubs

* dive clubs

* maritime organizations

* business organizations (I enjoy doing client appreciation events)

* charitable organizations

For a complete list of past events:


I have been a featured speaker for the American Library Association, Zonta Women International, and others.


What topics can I address related to my expertise: the history and science of the Andrea Doria?


* my personal experience as a survivor and author of a major shipwreck (discussion    questions following my talk are suggested here:

* book discussion on either Alive on the Andrea Doria or I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria or both (Coming soon, a discussion guide for I Was Shipwrecked…)

* immigration

* survival at sea, and transcending other life obstacles

* women’s role in survival

* what we have learned and need to learn from the Titanic>Andrea Doria>Costa Concordia about safety at sea

* writing fiction versus non-fiction (or focus on one of these)

* the craft of writing, publishing, and marketing


Speaking Formats:

 --Writing discussions or young adult writing workshop (for groups less than 30)

 --Speaking to groups; includes showing historic film footage of the Andrea Doria sinking, historic photographs, artifacts, life vest and a survivor’s dress and purse 

--Book signing along with the above formats or independently

 **Most importantly, I can help tailor my presentations based on your needs. Contact me to discuss the possibilities.


 Pricing is negotiable, based the amount of time at the venue, travel time and expenses, and your budget. I can offer discounts when I’m referred to another venue.




Thank you for such an informative and interesting talk last night at the Friends of the Plymouth District Library Annual Meeting. The audience was completely wowed (including me)! Even though I had already read the book, I was fascinated by hearing you tell the story. Ela Rybicka from Schoolcraft College had told me that the audience would be positively mesmerized by you and she was absolutely right… Perhaps the highest praise came from one otherwise grumpy gentleman, whom I’ve never heard give anyone a compliment, who thanked me for booking such a great speaker! You exceeded our already high expectations for entertainment and education.
~~~ Deborah Tarachuk, Librarian, Plymouth District Library (Michigan)

The ultimate author experience occurred in March, 2008 at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. Ms. Pierette Domenica Simpson visited Pageturners, our college book club, and interacted with over 150 members of the audience. We were all impressed with her captivating presentation style, her warmth, and her sincere interest in our students. Ms. Simpson took us on the unforgettable Andrea Doria voyage, bringing text to life with deep insight, profound honesty, and clarity of thought. I, along with the rest of audience, was riveted by the account of her experience. Our students, faculty, and staff are still talking about her visit. Ms. Simpson, thank you for coming to our college. Elzbieta Rybicka,
~~~ Pageturners Coordinator, Assistant Professor, English, Schoolcraft College

Thank you for your wonderful lecture! It was enthralling and everyone that attended sat spell-bound to their seats as you told your amazing story…everyone loved you! Your presentation was emotional and from the heart but it was also extraordinarily informative. I’ve heard much of the story of the Andrea Doria, but never in such a riveting and exciting way. Rarely do I hear people talking about a lecture with such excitement as I heard people talking about yours. It made me very proud to have met you. Please know that you always have a home and many, many fans at the Explorers Club.”
~~~ Will Roseman, Co-chairman “Sea Stories”, Explorers   Club of Manhattan

Outstanding presentation! Pierette’s explicit recount of that horrifying night and her determination to survive, gave the audience a bone chilling, hair raising experience that will not be forgotten.
~~~ Ronald A. DiBartolomeo President, Italian American Chamber of Commerce of Michigan

…in awe… as someone interested in the Doria, I’m impressed at your eloquent and fascinating testimonial to that event.
~~~ Chuck Moss, State Representative

Pierette Simpson is a dynamic, engaging speaker… Even though she addressed a large group, her tone and the information she shared made us feel as if each of us were having a casual conversation with an old friend. At times she spoke with the wide-eyed wonder of the child she was during the tragedy, other times she moved to the adult researcher-author and offered us an objective perspective of what had happened. She told us about her maritime research and the recognition and accolades she has received with genuine humility—she saw a need for the research and did it. Following her presentation many of our members commented that this was the very best program ever.
~~~ Donna Grant Vice-president, Suburban Association of Retired School Personnel

Many of our audiences appreciate first hand stories of drama or adventure, and Ms. Simpson gave a highly entertaining presentation of her experience on the Andrea Doria. She told her story with spirit and animation that captured our audience. It was one of our most successful programs with many favorable comments from those in attendance. We would be delighted to have her back in the future.
~~~ Norm and Evelyn Young, Program Chairmen, Friends of the Novi Library

This fourth time we crossed paths, she [Pierette] was speaking to my audience and I knew by then how to accurately introduce her. I said “she was a raconteur who could make a routine walk around the block an exciting adventure”. As I accurately predicted, the audience loved her talk. They had to be forced to leave the library because it was past closing time. Again I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Pierette’s story a third time.
~~~ Les Schonberg, Lecture Series Planner, West Bloomfield Public Library

… thank you for presenting a spellbinding program that had your audience riveted throughout your presentation…Your presentation was indeed one of the best in our series and we will remember the first hand knowledge of the sinking of the Andrea Doria.
~~~ Shirley Haynes, Senior Women’s Club of Birmingham