One of the most incredible things about reading is having the ability to travel to another world, and become part of that world. But when the author has lived it and paints a picture with his words...Wow! You can't help but to be sucked in and go for the ride of your life.
Author Cap'n Aux, Eric Auxier, is no stranger to the world of Alaska and this story, of pioneers of the of the bush, is one that he lived. This is story where fiction mirrors truth. Where boys become men. Where dreams are made, lives lost, and adventures lived.
The Last Bush Pilots sucks you in to an adventure that not many pilots have had the chance to experience. But more than that, I found myself wondering who the characters were in real life. How many of the escapades did Cap'n Aux participate in? Who does the author most likely resemble?
Karlene: I love all your character, and curious who do you mostly likely resemble?
Cap'n Aux: I am most closely the "DC" character. I made him somewhat naive, however, so that, through his eyes, the reader could learn the basics about flying and life in Alaska in an entertaining way. Basically it's the "premise" that is the closest to real life. Like DC, I was invited to fly in Alaska by a single phone call from my college buddy. From there, our "stories" wildly diverge.
Karlene: So, like DC, did you leave a woman behind?
Cap'n Aux: I had been going steady with an awesome gal, Julia, when I left for Alaska. We took a break while I was gone, which inspired the storyline for DC and Stephanie. I dated around a little bit up there, including a gorgeous half Tlingit/half Filipina girl, who inspired the character of Tonya—but nowhere near as wicked! After Alaska, Julia and I got back together and moved down to the Virgin Islands for a year (can you say, "sequel?!") So, again, similar, but not nearly as dramatic as the DC/Stephanie/Tonya triangle.
Karlene: Tonya was definitely a wicked one. Can you tell us how much truth is behind this book?
Cap'n Aux: Unlike in the book, the worst accident that happened that summer was that our buddy accidentally dinged a wingtip while taxiing around another aircraft. That earned him the dubious nickname of "Crash" (and boy did he hate it!)—hence the original inspiration for my "Crash Whitakker" character! The real "Crash" is now a senior pilot at Alaska Airlines.
Karlene: What is it that you love most about writing fiction.?
Cap'n Aux: What I love about fiction is that you can write about "truth" rather than "facts." The most compelling fictional characters grow as they live their story, and we as readers grow with them. The best books are those that, years later, you may not remember the characters or situations, but you still live some of the simple "truths" gleaned from their story.
I love this... Gleaning the truths and living them from your story.
Cap'n Aux is an airline pilot, and one of the few who made it from bush to professional. Many lives have been lost in the Alaska bush. Those that can live to tell about it are pilots we should admire.
Not only were the characters fun, the flying great, the scenery beautiful, but The Last Bush Pilots gave me a fun break from my reality, to the reason pilots do what they do. To risk your life, leave your loved ones, and work under crazy conditions... there is a pull beyond reason. You have to be there to understand. And Cap'n Aux is inviting you into that world in his awesome novel.
Whenever I read something every once in awhile there is one statement that resonates more than others. In the The Last Bush Pilots I loved this comment:
The old man bent to his ear and whispered, "You're always a pioneer if you've never done it before. The adventure's still out there, son. You just gotta go find it."
Isn't that the truth!
I say, let's all be pioneers.
Enjoy the Journey! Wherever it may take you.