Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Bert Hall book project is leaping forward!

This week has been focused on my Bert Hall book – The Bad Boy: Bert Hall: Aviator and Mercenary of the Skies.   I’m pleased to say I have a contract in-hand for the project.  I will be announcing the publisher soon.  Needless to say it has taken a long time to reach this point and frankly I’m quite excited. 

Three years of research is finally taking form in words on paper (so to speak – really it’s just words stored digitally, but humor me…) So far I am through three chapters and plowing ahead.  I’m still doing research too, which makes for a fun parsing of my time.  I would complain but I am loving it. 

The research is taking me down some paths I had not planned on traveling – which is what research has a tendency to do.  I spent two weekends ago going over material from the Revolutionary War – both research and writing.  What does the Revolutionary War have to do with Bert Hall?  Let’s just say that I have learned if you want to write about the man, you have to dig into the family history.  Bert Hall comes from a long line of rebels – both in the Revolutionary War and his father in the American Civil War. 

I have solved more than a few mysteries in the last few weeks too.  The biggest was around Bert’s autobiographies.  He wrote one right after the Great War and another ten years later.  I finally have good primary research material detailing why Bert’s second autobiography, One Man’s War, not only didn’t jibe with his first – but introduced material that was outright fiction.  When you are a researcher and you hit a homerun like this – in the form of a stash of letters – it’s just plain fantastic. 

For me this book is the last book of a trilogy of sorts.  I started with Terror of the Autumn Skies about Frank Luke Jr.  In that book I found a reference to Frederick Zinn who helped qualify what happened when Frank was shot down.  That led me to write a book about Frederick Zinn – Lost Eagles.  One of Zinn’s lifelong friends was Bert Hall of the Lafayette Escadrille.  I researched enough of him to realize that Bert deserved a book on his own.  It’s a little weird where your research takes you; it can be a rollercoaster ride.  And like a ride, it is a lot of fun along the way. 

This book is coming out this autumn.  I have some fun things planned when it comes out, fun if you are a WWI aviation aficionado/buff, so make sure you follow my blog from time-to-time.  Until then, I need to get back to Chapter 4…

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