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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Kevin Miller

Friday's Fabulous Flyer!

Kevin Miller

"I Never thought I would write the Great American Novel, and readers can determine if I have, but after much rejection from New York - tempered with a dose of encouragement to keep trying - I did publish my military action adventure novel Raven One.

 

First, I had to have something to write about, and my 24 year career as a carrier aviator was a natural place to start. Flying airplanes off ships was the only thing I aspired to as a boy, and living near Naval Air Station Miramar watching F-4's, F-8's, and F-14's fly over the house cemented it. Once I earned my wings of gold in 1983 all three jets were still flying - F-8's in the reserves - but I went to the A-7 and after a tour transitioned to the FA-18. A rich life and I wouldn't trade a day of it.


People often asked, "what is it like?" How do you explain that in a sentence or three to those who have no background? How can any pilot "explain" the freedom of flight, the precision expected, the camaraderie? For a carrier pilot, the exhilaration of flying off the ship, the pride and sense of accomplishment - and relief - while flying in a big formation after a strike, the tension of flying over the open ocean at night with skies so black it is as if you are inside of a basketball. And the camaraderie, with squadronmates who are like brothers, life-long friends.


So with a nudge from a fellow officer, I set out to write, having no idea of the scale of this undertaking. In a flurry of activity I would write 5-10,000 words - then in exhaustion set it aside for a month or two, then pick it back up. After four years, I finally finished. Deep down, I knew I "had something" and sent query letters to literary agents. In the end all said no thanks, but several asked for chapters or the whole thing. These agents let me down gently, saying I had some talent and offering suggestions, but it wasn't right for them. Keep trying, they encouraged me.


Through a wonderful turn of events I came across Stealth Books and publisher Jeff Edwards, a prolific and award-wining author in this genre and a fellow Navy man. He saw something too, but Raven One needed an editor first. Through more remarkable connections I found Linda Wasserman of Pelican Press Pensacola. Linda had zero background editing a work of this type, and the acronym and jargon heavy paragraphs (we pilots would fall apart without them!) was completely foreign, but she patiently learned as I patiently explained the meanings I was trying to convey. She in turn made the book much more readable and grammatically correct. Linda emerged from the experience drenched in naval aviation, and she was the perfect editor for Raven One. All readers owe her a debt of gratitude!


With Jeff and Linda's help, Raven One was published last year on CreateSpace as a trade paperback and as an ebook. With only word-of-mouth and this fad called FaceBook, it became a best seller in it's genre, and in June was ranked in the top 30 of all of Amazon titles. Reviewers find it authentic, and if readers not familiar with the staccato bursts of radio transmissions from many military cockpits can push through until they reach "English" again, they can get an insight into my former world, a world today populated by young men and women forward deployed to the Middle East.

 

We all love TOPGUN, but if a reader really wants to know what it is like out there on a pitching flight deck, Raven One is available. Please like the FB page!"

Happy landings, and happy reading.
Kevin Miller

Enjoy the journey!
XO Karlene 

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