By Wendi Zwaduk
When I went to college, I had no idea I would end up being so interested in airplanes. Why? I was just a silly art student. Flying or learning how to fly never factored into what I wanted to do. But this is where romance, flying and my future all intersected.
Enter DH – the darling husband.
He’s a pilot and knows the ins and outs of airports. I thought he was cute. I got to know him and learned how to fly. Okay, so I’m not going to go up in the air any time soon. I never got my pilot’s license and landings aren’t really my thing. But spending time with him meant watching the Weather Channel to see what the weather would be wherever he planned to fly to. We spent a lot of time hanging out at the airport talking to other pilots, helping out where needed and watching the planes take off and land. For most people, this probably wouldn’t be the most exciting way to date. There’s a lot that goes on at a smaller airport and yet, it can get pretty boring, too.
But I took a lot away from the time there. I know my Lear from my King Air, I know what a prop is versus a jet and I can tell you when the plane is coming in too high and hot.
All this information helped me to write my 1Night Stand novella, One More Night. I knew the hero was a pilot and I could understand his longing to fly when he can’t. Pilots are like Marines – once a pilot, always a pilot. They train their gaze to the sky and heaven help when you drive past an airport. They have to look. So I could identify with my hero—the good and the bad.
Then there was the heroine. She’s not super keen on flying—kind of like me when I met DH. She likes it enough to go along, but jet fuel is certainly not in her blood. But, the hero is. Quite a quandary, not knowing what you want even when he’s standing right in front of you.
Speaking of being in front of me, DH helped me with a critical scene in One More Night. Without him and his technical experience, I wouldn’t have been able to depict the scene with the proper detail. I’m glad I had him around for that—well, that and other things. Grin.
So what about you? Authors, how do your experiences enliven your books? And readers, same for you. How does the things you’ve been through color the way you read books? Hopefully when you read One More Night, you’ll feel the same zeal for flying I have.
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