This week I’m delighted to welcome a male romance author to my blog, M W Arnold. M W is interviewing his character, Doris, from his WW11 historical romance, A Wing and A Prayer. Let’s find out a bit about the book first.
When Betty Palmer’s sister dies under suspicious circumstances whilst landing her Tiger Moth, Betty and three other women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary in WWII England unite to discover who killed her and why.
Estranged from her family, Penny Blake wants simply to belong. American Doris Winter, running from a personal tragedy, yearns for a new start. Naturally shy Mary Whitworth-Baines struggles to fit in. Together though, they are a force to be reckoned with as they face the mystery that confronts them.
Against the backdrop of war, when ties of friendship are exceptionally strong, they strive to unravel the puzzle’s complex threads, risking their lives as they seek justice for Betty’s sister.
Buying links –
Now, let’s move onto the interview with Doris.
Welcome Doris, why did you make the dangerous journey across the Atlantic to join the Air Transport Auxiliary?
I’d wanted to do something for my British cousins and though there was talk about setting something similar to the ATA up in the States, I couldn’t wait that long. You see, I lost my husband in the Spanish Civil War, he died fighting for a cause he believed in. Now, I don’t plan on dying any time soon, but the one thing I can do, and do well, is fly. I know I can do a good job right where I am. I may not be firing the gun, but I’m delivering it to where it can do the most good against such an implacable enemy.
What do you think of Hamble, compared to your home city of New York?
It’s small! That’s not fair. Yes, Hamble’s easily the smallest place I’ve lived in and it’s really taken some getting used to. I mean, here, I can walk from one end of the village to the other in not much over fifteen minutes, quicker if I’m being chased by the duck. In New York, I couldn’t even walk from one end of Central Park to the other in the same time. On the other hand, it’s very nice to live somewhere that I know nearly everyone I run into and where I can, the British weather permitting, forget to lock the front door and not have to worry about everything being stolen when I get back. I miss the excitement of New York, but it’s also good to be somewhere I don’t have bad memories. I feel at home in Hamble.
Sorry. You mentioned being chased by a duck?
I know! Weird, huh? You see, I live in a cottage next to a river and there’s this very territorial duck. I don’t know if it’s male or female, I suspect male, but whenever we walk to and from work, we have to go past an area it seems to consider its own. Do ducks have teeth? We’ve never got close enough to find out, but I’ve had a few nips on my ankle that caused me to jump. The thing isn’t even afraid of my neighbour’s dog! Is that normal over here? Saying all this, it is kind of cute though!
Are you close to any of your work colleagues?
Oh, sure. It’s not taken long, but I’d have to say I consider them all great friends, if not sisters. My heart went out to Betty, she’s also my landlady, when she told us how her sister had died, though I can totally sympathise. She’s a little older than me and is, I suppose, more of a big sister. The other girls I regularly fly with, Penny and Mary, are so much fun and easy to talk to, yet such hard workers, I can’t imagine a time when they weren’t in my life now.
Silly question time. How do you find the British food?
You really do want to put me on the spot, don’t you? I still can’t cook for toffee, there you go. We’re quite lucky, I gather, in that we have a very good vegetable patch and Ruth, she runs the local newspaper and lives next door, keeps rabbits and chickens – oh, Mary hates chickens! Scared to death of them – so we tend to swap food around and eat quite well. I can’t say the same for when we’re on base or at the places we deliver to. I guess you could describe it as bland, but it gives us the fuel to carry on.
What do you consider your worst character trait?
Patience; or a lack of it, without a doubt. I’m afraid I tend to shoot off at the mouth without engaging my brain first. It always used to get me into trouble back in school and I reckon it’ll do the same over here. I do have a very cute nose though!
Is there anything you’ve discovered since being over here that you’ll miss when you go back to the USA?
Fish ‘n’ chips! We’ve a wonderful – what do you call them? Chippy? – in Hamble, which I’ve become very thankful isn’t on the ration. The girls often tease me that if I keep on eating as much as I do, I won’t fit in the cockpit!
Some Nice Reviews
“It reminded me of the work of prolific and successful author Elaine Everest” Goodreads 5***** quote by Amazon UK no.1 Best Selling author, Sue Moorcroft
“The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*!” – Ginger Book Geek – Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer
Meet M W Arnold
M W is a hopeless romantic who was born in England and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elisabeth II in the Royal Air Force before putting down roots and realizing how much he missed the travel. This he’s replaced somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and supporting fellow saga and romance authors in promoting their novels.
He’s the proud keeper of two Romanian Were-Cats, is mad on the music of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, and enjoys the theatre and loving his Manchester-United-supporting wife.
Finally, M W is a full member of the Romantic Novelists Association. A Wing and a Prayer will be his second published novel, and he is very proud to be welcomed into The Rose Garden.
Twitter – mick859
Instagram – mick859