GENRE: Action and Adventure
Strap down the 5-point harness in the cockpit of a Formula 1 air racing plane and join Hawk as he chases victory! First on their amateur make-shift course over Antelope Acres, then on the re-emerging pylon racing circuit in the early 1960s. And finally, as Hawk battles 7 other top-level pilots at the very first National Air Racing Championship event in Reno!
Abandoning the cloth and his African mission, Father Bob returns to his slide rule to design Hawk’s racer. Sparks, his loyal yet surly mechanic, built it and wrenching both on the engine—as well as on Hawk—keeps them at the front of the pack. Home again in Los Angeles from behind the stick of a T-6 Texan as a mercenary in the Congo civil war, air racing is a new aviation adventure for Hawk. Ride along as he tangles with fellow pilots in “uncooperative formation flying” at two-hundred miles per hour a mere fifty feet off the ground!
And then one day cruising home to Van Nuys airport, Hawk spies Allison, a beach-blonde surfer girl, insanely wing walking on the top wing of a Stearman PT-17 bi-plane. He quickly sets his sights on her.
Fly low…Fly fast…and Turn Left…
Chapter 1 — Antelope Acres
I chased Scotty down the long straightaway. Three hundred feet back. A hundred feet off the ground. One hundred seventy knots.
Quick looks at the panel: Thirty-six hundred RPM. Look: engine oil pressure—green. Look: oil temperature—green.
Banking hard into the “pylon” at W Avenue G and Myrick Canyon Road over the desert, a shadow on the ground to my left crawled toward my British Racing Green colored wing. He had to be outside. You can’t look to the right. It’s just not safe. But the sun was behind us…
I lofted a bit in the eighty-degree turn—climbed twenty feet or so—then quickly dove back down to close another hundred and fifty feet on Scotty, picking up a bit of his wake turbulence.
Rolling out and down the front straightaway, I found smooth air twenty-five feet above his hot red Jensen Cassutt.
We used the crossroads, a pile of rocks, a little hump in the desert sand, and a windmill water pump to set up our three-mile oval course. I knew Scotty from Van Nuys, but the other three guys were new, from other SoCal airports. We were all on “Company Frequency,” one-two-three point four-five. We joined up in a loose formation for a pace lap, then got down to business with a flying start.
Like Henry Ford said, racing began five minutes after the second airplane was built. And that’s where Father Bob came in. There were a ton of modified Cassutts out there. Anybody could buy the design for $20. But Father Bob used his engineering skills to develop and, with Sparks’ help, build White Hawk Redux, an 85 horsepower, Continental C-85 Goodyear racer that we were pushing over two hundred miles an hour.
It was all unofficial because, after fifty years of glorious history, airplane racing fell off the face of the earth for a while in the Sixties. There were no sanctioned races around anymore, so we made up our own course, kicking up dust devils and rooster tails over the desolation of Antelope Acres. Our version of California street drags.
Of course, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I was learning fast.
Around the windmill and up to the forty-foot hump in the sand. I chased Scotty down foot by foot. I knew I could take him.
Only two laps left. It was now or never.
Banking hard into the crossroads, I juiced the power up near four thousand RPM and pulled back on the stick to take Scotty up and outside.
But dammit, I missed him—
In my peripheral vision, a Tweety-yellow racer on my right came toward me.
I flattened my wings and rolled off the power sweeping below him to keep from colliding. But I caught the tornado of his wingtip vortices and involuntarily flipped inverted.
A Joshua tree bloomed overhead in my canopy as I arced upside-down towards the ground at two-hundred-fifty feet. Gravity pulled my shoulders down against the straps of my five-point harness.
Without thinking, back pressure on the stick moved quickly forward to illogically raise the nose with a nudge of left rudder to roll level and maxing out the power…
A Word With the Author
Did you always want to be an author?
Huh? What? A musty, dusty, old author? No way. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a race car driver like Dale Earnhardt. Or an NFL quarterback like Joe Montana. Or a rock musician like Eric Clapton. Definitely not an author.
But then I finally grew up and in high school read Slaughterhouse-Five and Catch-22, which piqued my interest. I still wanted to do the rock ‘n roll thing, but I started to think about writing lyrics. So when I got to Ohio Wesleyan, I studied creative writing—mostly verse—under Robert Flanagan and won a couple of writing awards.
After graduation, having escaped to live Colorado, Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller called back to me and I finally succumbed and started scribbling out my own novels.
Tell us about the publication of your first book.
Back in the good old days, I had some luck with publishing magazine articles in aviation magazines. That was okay, but I collected enough publisher rejection slips for my novels to make a paper machete dragon for a Chinese parade. But then…ah, the wonder of eBooks emerged and I was able to publish myself in pixels with My Brother’s Keeper. After that I discovered print on demand through IngramSpark and, finally, I was able to get in front of readers. No turning back after that.
Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre you write in?
If we’re talking about aviation novels, I have to admit that my all-time favorite book is Catch-22by Joseph Heller. It’s got everything I love in a book: an insane collection of colorful characters, absurdly dark humor, and airplanes.
What's the best part of being an author? The worst?
Well, since I write fiction, I am free to write what I want, when I want, where I want, with whatever characters I feel like creating. I can skate as 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 Sci-Fi Thriller series. Kind of nice.
It’s the nature of the beast, but the worst part of writing novels is the time it takes to finish a book. Waiting for the next release is always the worst part—though I am having fun scribbling away.
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. He is the author of twelve novels, two novellas, and a book of verse. 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.
M.T. Bass Author Links
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/mtbass
Racing the Dream Purchase Links
Author Web Site Info Page: https://mtbassauthor.wordpress.com/racing-the-dream-white-hawk-aviation-stories-3/
Amazon (Kindle Unlimited): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0CCSVMSQV
Stories by M.T. Bass
White Hawk Aviation Adventure Stories
My Brother's Keeper
Racing the Dream
Murder by Munchausen Sci-Fi Thriller Series
Murder by Munchausen
The Invisible Mind
Murder by Munchausen Trilogy: Books 1-3
Somethin' for Nothin'
In the Black
M.T. Bass will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway