by M.T. Bass
~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.
“Break left,” I radioed Angel, jammed the throttle forward, and yanked the stick back and to the left in a climbing turn to circle around on the enemy position. I searched back over my shoulder for a road or trail leading out of the area to anticipate their possible direction of movement. There was a small scar coming down off the hill to the southeast.
As we came around three hundred and sixty degrees, lining up on the small section of the jungle where red and green tracer rounds floated up our way, the intensity of the fire began to wane as the rebels understood what was about to come their way.
“Take the trail. Southeast,” I radioed Angel.
He clicked his mike twice to acknowledge the one-two punch plan and throttled back to drift away in trail to follow up my initial attack on the enemy positions with rocket fire as they inevitably fled to melt back into the jungle.
I banked hard and began to dive down on the hilltop. The tracers began to concentrate on my nose. I lit up my guns, spreading the field of fire left and right with a little dance on the rudder pedals. I felt the Texan buck up a bit as rockets left the rails. I followed the plumes of their engines halfway to the target before I had to pull up, but noticed the intensity of the enemy fire had waned considerably.
“Way to go, Batman,” Angel radioed. “Let me just clean up this little mess you made.”
Behind me, Angel strafed the road and fired his rockets in so close that he seemed to clip the top of the fireball from the warhead explosions.
I circled back and took a path coming back up the road, stitching it with .303 caliber fire…
A Word With the Author:
Did you always want to be an author?
No. While I read a lot of books as a kid, the thought of growing up to be an author never even registered on my radar screen. I wanted to be a racecar driver, a baseball player, a pilot, an actor, a soldier, a football player, a musician…but author? Not so much. At least not until I got into high school, and that’s when I started reading Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Joseph Heller. Now those guys made a big difference in my life, and I thought, maybe it might be cool to write those kinds of stories, like Huckleberry Finn, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Catch-22. After graduation, I took a couple of odd turns trying to be a musician, until I ended up studying “Creative Writing” at Ohio Wesleyan, and by then, the cast was set.
Tell us about the publication of your first book.
I spent years and years scribbling away in the darkness, sending out manuscripts and collecting enough rejection slips to wallpaper a small bungalow. Kind of depressing, but I kept at it—and I’m glad I did. It is too easy to just give up. In 2011 at the start of the whole self-publishing revolution, I discovered Smashwords which offered me the chance to publish myself in pixels, and I did, with My Brother’s Keeper. Finally, I was able to get in front of readers without all those slushpile gatekeepers in New York keeping me out of print. No turning back after that.
Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre you write in?
I’m not exactly sure what genre I write in most, but I’d have to admit that Carl Hiaasen is one of my favorite authors of all time. I started with Tourist Season and I’ve read every book that he’s written (except for the co-authored books). He’s got such a wacky sense of humor in his stories that always seems to make me physically smile as I read.
What's the best part of being an author? The worst?
The very best part of being an author is the total freedom to create characters and stories without any restrictions. I don’t have a playwright’s stage, the limits of telling a tale on film, or real-world actors defining my characters to deal with. I can write in the past, in the present, in the future. I can skate close to the edge of reality and sanity—and maybe over a bit—like with my satire In the Black. I can make up completely new worlds like my futuristic Murder by Munchausen series.
The worst part is keeping myself motivated. It really is quite easy to slack off and let things slide. My only antidote is to mindlessly make myself keep going. And you know what? When I get to the point of having another book done, the feeling is great.
What are you working on now?
Well, I’m coming up on the halfway point of the rough draft of Motherless Children, the fourth novel in my Murder by Munchausen series. I’ve started researching the third in the White Hawk Aviation Stories, which takes place during the air races at the Cleveland National Airshow in the seventies. That one is called Racing the Dream. And I’ve got an idea for another Griffith Crowe story called Outside the Wire. It keeps me off the streets and generally out of trouble, I guess.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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
Apple iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/jungleland-white-hawk-aviation-stories-2/id1526689285
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jungleland-mt-bass/1137448962
M.T. Bass will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway