Thursday, July 22, 2010

What? Me military?

You might say that. Pictured here is the last active duty aircraft I had the pleasure to toy with - not fly, mind you. Fix. Imagine something like this, factory fresh, with its electronic guts strewn around it. Yeah, that was me, trying to chase down gremlins. At least that was the official reason. Truth was, I have a love affair with all things aeronautical, and especially if it happens to be military.

So, how does this creep into my writing? Well, with Blade Dancer the first scene is in a dirigible, and very soon you find my main character piloting an experimental (and forbidden) powered glider. An "airsail" as her race terms it. Watch that airsail. By the end of Blade Dancer it evolves into a sturdy prototype of what will be an impressive war bird by the time Rogue Dancer comes around. Like the warthog pictured, the next time you see airsails they come complete with cannons strapped beneath them.

Mikial hates to fly, but I've had her log hours aplenty inside of airplanes. More than one scene boasts (or derides) her prowess with the stick. Just don't ask her to land the thing eloquently - she's a heavy-handed young lady when it comes to such things. In my upcoming novel Defiant Dancer my love for aircraft continues, as does Mikial's flying time. She will qualify as an astronaut in this next release (whether she wants to or not).

I always envied the pilots whom I saluted as they rolled down the tarmac, the gleaming canopy closing over their cockpit. My dreams were lost in the whine of engines, and sent tumbling in the hot exhaust. As a writer, I work these things out through my character, who will see and feel every bit of what I could only imagine. The reader gets to take the seat with me on these rides, which benefits us both. While future novels may not include so much of my love for aircraft, you can bet that the gleam behind Mikial's eyes when she flies is coming from the author's heart. Sure, she says she can't stand flying. Don't believe her for a second.



Big Mike said...

So ya like Warhogs, do ya. Me too. Used to live near the Farechild plant in Maryland. Almost went to work their as an Aerospace Engineer, but decide to go for NASA at Goddard instead. Rugged aircraft with the GAU 9 Vulcan gun, a real tank killer. Actually participated in a test firing at the GE facility up at Burington VT, many many years ago.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year, (2008 and 2009)