About the book
Author: M.T. Bass
Synopsis: “There are only two types of aircraft: fighters and targets.”
~Doyle ‘Wahoo’ Nicholson, USMC
Sweating it out in the former Belgian Congo as a civil war mercenary, with Sparks turning wrenches on his T-6 Texan, Hawk splits his time flying combat missions and, back on the ground, sparring with Ella, an attractive young missionary doctor, in the sequel to My Brother’s Keeper
I slid back the canopy. The woman wriggled out from around the mechanic’s blocking move and headed towards me.
Sparks shrugged his shoulders at my hand motion query. He folded his arms over his chest to watch the show.
The woman didn’t even walk around the wing but stooped to cut underneath to take a more direct line towards me. She disappeared under the leading edge and appeared at the aileron, then followed the trailing edge back to the fuselage, looking for the handhold to get herself up on the wing.
I turned in the cockpit and watched her step up onto the wing and climb the incline up to me. I started to slide myself up to get out, getting my butt up on the back of the seat, but she got to me and blocked my way out.
“Just who do you think you are, mister?” she barked with the authoritative voice of a medical professional at the very top of the heap. I had heard that tone in my brother’s voice more than a few times.
I just pulled off my helmet but left my mirrored Ray-Bans on. From safely behind the lenses, I carefully surveyed her gorgeously animated face—even in anger, her lips wrinkled in a bit of a smile as if this was half-show, half-genuine indignation. Her red hair was neatly pulled back in a ponytail, showing a freckled, fair complexion that had not yet been weathered and tanned by the sun, so she was new in country. Most of us outsiders knew each other well, but I didn’t recognize who this was. I had heard about a new doctor at the mission, though never imagined it might have been female.
“You’re not from around here, are you?” I asked.
“I mean originally—not born and raised.”
She scowled and punched my arm with her fist…hard.
“Ow!” I guessed she had at least one brother.
“Was that you—of course it was. Who else would it have been.”
I unscrewed the plugs from my ears, and the volume level on her voice got louder. Over her shoulder, I saw Sparks shake his head and smile.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa there,” I finally interrupted, holding up my hand, palm out like a cop stopping traffic.
She stopped talking and stared hard at me. She punched my arm again…
Thank you for coming on my blog today so my readers and I could get to know the man behind the pages better!
How did you decide on this topic?
When I finished my first book, I had in mind that it would develop into a series, featuring the main character, a former World War II fighter pilot. That book, My Brother’s Keeper, was set in 1950 Hollywood and followed along as Hawk, who was working as a movie stunt pilot, tried to solve the murder of his brother. At the end of the book, he heads to Alaska to start up a bush piloting operation and I intended to pick the story up there in book two. But I had written Somethin’ for Nothin’, which also had a main character who was a bush pilot, so I set aside the sequel while I finished some of my other novels. When I got back to Hawk, I still wanted to do something different and I had a number of other adventures in mind for him: flying as a mercenary in the 1960s Congo civil war…getting involved in air racing at the Cleveland National Airshow…flying drug interdictions in South America. So I decided to skip ahead to the Congo and take that one up. The main idea for the book came from an Air Force pilot I know who told me that he volunteered to go to Vietnam to fly a single-engine, propeller-driven airplane called an A-1 Skyraider. He did it because that would be the closest he would ever get to flying P-51 Mustangs in wartime—which is what Hawk flew in World War II. So, Jungleland became a chance to put him back in time to fight again. Of course, there has to be a romantic element, too. And that’s where Ella, the young missionary doctor comes in.
What inspired you to write? And/Or did someone in-particular inspire you?
Maybe more like who: a young nubile waitress I met in high school. While I was thinking about being a Rock ‘n’ Roll musician at the time, I got turned on to some great novel writing by guys like Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Joseph Heller. And though I had never given it much thought when I was growing up, the idea got planted at the time and when I got to Ohio Wesleyan University, I decided to study “Creative Writing” with Robert Flanagan, who was a great influence on me.
Why do you write?
A little bit of love and a little bit of obsession. It’s such a great thing to be able to create new characters—and even better to be able to put just the right words in their mouths at just the right times. You know, like we would all like to do hours or days after the time has passed. I hold fast to the notion while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality.
Who has had the most impact on your life?
No doubt about it, my dad. He was always emotionally supportive. My grandfather was a carpenter and, let’s say, he “encouraged” my father to study architecture though he had little interest in it. So, he was all in when I wanted to learn to play electric guitar and majored in English and wanted to get my Commercial Pilot’s License, and become a Certified Flight Instructor. Beyond that, he was my mentor in business as we got a chance to work together in his Manufacturer’s Rep firm. I met his friends and colleagues and got to see him work up close and in person, which gave me a totally different perspective on him than my brothers and sisters ever got. So, In the Black, my satire of business, is lovingly dedicated to him.
Wow! Thank you for sharing some of your story M.T. Bass! It was great getting to know you a little bit better and it sounds like you have had a fascinating life!
About the Author
M.T. Bass is a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA.
Born in Athens, Ohio, M.T. Bass grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in English and Philosophy, then worked in the private sector (where they expect “results”) mainly in the Aerospace & Defense manufacturing market. During those years, Bass continued to write fiction. He is the author of eight novels: My Brother’s Keeper, Crossroads, In the Black, Somethin’ for Nothin’, Murder by Munchausen, The Darknet (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #2), The Invisible Mind (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #3) and Article 15. His writing spans various genres, including Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Black Comedy and TechnoThrillers. A Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, airplanes and pilots are featured in many of his stories. Bass currently lives on the shores of Lake Erie near Lorain, Ohio.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/mtbass
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jungleland-mt-bass/1137448962