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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Subjects for My Novels

I write aviation stories so choosing a subject is never an issue for me. The only question is where to set the action. Having spent nearly 50% of my time in the Air Force in the cockpit and flown over 3000 hours mostly in "fast-jets", I visited many places and flew in some unusual settings. Each phase of my career exposed me to new scenarios most of which could lead to a book.

My novels feature a fictional pilot and navigator who fly the British version of the F4 Phantom. So far they have helped  a Soviet test pilot defect to the West, tried to prevent a rogue Argentinian pilot from bombing Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands and mounted a mission to release a hostage from the clutches of Hezbollah. In the next book they will be back in West Germany taking part in an operation to maintain the integrity of the Berlin Corridor in a divided Europe.
I try to base the novels in fact. The scenes are real. My descriptions of Wildenrath and Stanley airfields are from my own recollections. Many of the flying sequences were real and I experienced the thrills and problems associated with low level training flying. Although the characters are fictional, they are heavily influenced by people I knew. One critic said that the strength of Andy McNab's work is that it is set in fact which makes it more believable. I hope I can go some way to emulating his skill as a storyteller. A submariner once told me that, in reading "A Hunt For Red October" he might have been on the bridge of his own submarine. Realism counts in my books.

I have many places where I served that may yet provide the plot for a new novel. After a tour at Nellis Air Force Base with the close proximity of the so called "Area 51" I'm sure I can dream up a challenge for my fictional crew. The great thing about writing is it's only limited by the imagination. Oh, and the odd year to devote to writing the book.

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