Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Welcome author Pete Abela!
Please join me in welcoming author Pete Abela to the blog today!
Hi Pete! I have read your book WINGS and to be quite honest, I was blown away. From historical accuracy to the passion in your words about your subject . . . this book simply has it all. Can you tell us a little bit about WINGS?
WINGS tells the story of Walt and his grandson Scott, who both have a fierce longing to fly albeit in vastly different circumstances. Walt - who grew up in the depression - found out first hand that becoming a pilot takes sacrifice and tenacity. When World War II broke out, he pestered the RAF (Royal Air Force) for eighteen months before they finally accepted him. Scott spent his childhood listening to tales of his Grandfather's aerial exploits and developed an intense craving to be a pilot. However, the number of people wanting to be a pilot vastly outweighs the limited opportunities on offer.
How interesting! What drew me in was the way you were able to combine Walt's yellowed, reminiscent memories with Scott's modern day exploits. Who is this story more aimed toward?
WINGS weaves together two tales: one set in war-torn northern England, and the other set in the modern-day Illawarra region of New South Wales. As Scott progresses, his grandfather declines – Walt loses his wife, his sight and his hearing – but throughout these difficulties is still there to offer support and encouragement. With insights into the modern aviation scene and life in the Royal Air Force of World War II, this is a must for anyone who has an interest in history, aviation or simply an old fashioned love story.
It really felt as though you had personal connections to your characters, thus lending the feeling of familiarity to your readers. Are Scott and Walt based on real people?
Although Wings is a novel, I did draw inspiration from two men I greatly admire. The first is my grandfather who was a fighter pilot during World War II; the other is my younger brother who is a commercial pilot with a major Australian airline.
I consider them both to have lived through fascinating, unusual and difficult circumstances and I thought I could draw on and extend some of their experiences as the basis for this novel. One of the scenes I really enjoyed writing is the story of Walt’s wedding. He was given a 48 hour leave pass to get married, although more than a quarter of the time would be spent travelling. Heavy snow held up the train and it began to look as if he would not make it home. Given Walt was about to be posted overseas for twelve months, these few hours with his sweetheart were very important. I enjoyed this because of the contrast between the situation faced by Walt and the relative luxury and freedom we enjoy today.
Thank you so much for being here today! I hope you'll be willing to come back and share with us two more of your vastly different works -- A PAINTED ROOM and LESSONS FROM A TWO YEAR OLD! How can readers find out more about you and find your works?
Author Name: Pete Abela