Welcome to my blog. We’ve known each other a long time and it’s my pleasure to welcome you to talk about your writing and your brand new book, A Wing and a Prayer. Congratulations on its publication today!
Hi Sue. Firstly, may I say a big thank you for hosting me on your blog, this is quite an honour and a pleasure.
Tell us a little about your background.
Well, I went straight into the Royal Air Force from school and stayed, quite happily traversing the world, for the next 16 years. I really have to thank the Queen for paying for my excursions, if we ever meet. I had a wonderful time! I then left as I’d been married for the last 5 years and the Lady Wife and I had lived in 4 different married quarters so it was time to settle down. I’m still not certain I’m used to being a civvie yet!
What made you write about the Air Transport Auxiliary rather than the Royal Air Force? You served with the RAF for many years, didn’t you?
It was pure chance. I know you’ve probably heard that from a few authors, that they stumbled into a project – well, I really did. I’d been pretty ill and hadn’t been able to pick up any of my unfinished projects. Then it was suggested that I try something new, something which didn’t bring back bad memories. I happened to be watching a television program about the ATA, ‘Spitfire Women’, and the next thing I know, I’m fishing around on the internet. By the end of the day, I had a rough outline of a story and a number of characters fleshed out. My interest in that time period came in handy and before I knew what was really happening, I was tapping away.
How did you feel when you were offered a contract by Wild Rose Press? Had you published other books already?
My flabber was well and truly gasted! You could have knocked me down with a feather. I had a romantic drama published back in December 2017 and shortly after, that’s when my ill health kicked in. When the contract offer came through, I suppose that was when I first started to think that, perhaps, just maybe, I am an author.
I know the next book’s already underway. Tell us a little about that. Does it follow on?
Book 2 is finished and now with my editor, actually, and is set about 6 months later, around May 1943. This one is more personal, in that the characters find themselves in more peril than the first. There’s a meeting with a big US movie star where things don’t go as planned and which the mystery – a little more minor than in ‘A Wing and a Prayer’ – is centred around. One of the girls gets married and then has to deal with the broken relationship that’s her little sister. I guess that’s what this one is all about, the various relationships between the girls and their various friends and siblings. We see the best of people in the worst of situations I like to think, here.
Do you have a plan to write more books after that to make a series?
When the contract offer came in, I swiftly got to know my editor and pitched some ideas to her. This one is now officially subtitled, ‘Broken Wings – book 1’, so I guess it looks like it. With book 2 with my editor, I’m about a quarter to a third of the way through the first draft of book 3; and this is the Christmas one! I’m having a lot of fun researching and writing this one, especially in making sure my American character gets the full-on mid-war yuletide. I don’t think she knows what she’s let herself in for!
Thanks for coming over to chat and celebrating your achievement.
Many, thanks again for having me, Sue. I’ve had a wonderful time.
The Air Transport Auxiliary Mystery Club!
Four ladies of the Air Transport Auxiliary bond over solving the mystery of who was responsible for the death of one’s sister. Battling both internal forces and those of the country’s mutual enemies, the women find that both love and dangers are cousins cut from the same ilk.
This is a sweeping story of love, death and betrayal set against the backdrop of war when ties of friendship are exceptionally strong.
A Wing and a Prayer – Extract
“Mind the duck!”
Mary’s warning was a smidgeon too late. Betty turned her head toward the shout just when she needed to do the exact opposite and keep her eyes on the path.
“Aargh!” cried Betty as she was sent sprawling to the ground.
A loud, angry, “Quack! Quack!” was followed by a flurry of wings and feathers as the slightly stunned duck half flew and half staggered to the sanctuary provided by the river.
“I did tell her to watch out for the duck,” Mary muttered in her own defense as they rushed to help Betty to her feet.
Penny and Doris took an arm each as Mary reached to retrieve Betty’s handbag. It had landed precariously close to the edge of the river, and the dastardly duck was snuffling at it before Mary seized it and handed it back to Betty.
“Mary!” cried Betty. “Grab that envelope!”
Swiveling, Mary saw a large brown envelope and stooped for it before it could fall into the water. “Got it!” she yelled, waving it in the air. Unfortunately, the envelope being upside down, the contents spilled onto the ground around her, luckily missing going into the river. She bent down to pick them up and was surprised to discover they were all newspaper cuttings.
Mick Arnold is a hopeless romantic who spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elisabeth II in the RAF before putting down roots. This he’s replaced somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and supporting fellow saga and romance authors in promoting their novels.
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