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Sweating it out in the
former Belgian Congo as a civil war mercenary, with Sparks turning wrenches on
his T-6 Texan, Hawk splits his time flying combat missions and, back on the
ground, sparring with Ella, an attractive young missionary doctor, in the
sequel to My Brother’s Keeper.
read an excerpt...
He looked at me.
about M.T. Bass...
M.T. Bass is a
scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to
write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies
and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA.
Born in Athens, Ohio, M.T. Bass grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in English and Philosophy, then worked in the private sector (where they expect “results”) mainly in the Aerospace & Defense manufacturing market. During those years, Bass continued to write fiction. He is the author of eight novels: My Brother’s Keeper, Crossroads, In the Black, Somethin’ for Nothin’, Murder by Munchausen, The Darknet (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #2), The Invisible Mind (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #3) and Article 15. His writing spans various genres, including Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Black Comedy and TechnoThrillers. A Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, airplanes and pilots are featured in many of his stories. Bass currently lives on the shores of Lake Erie near Lorain, Ohio.
more personal "stuff" about M.T. Bass...
Does this book have a special meaning to you?
I am a Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, and I grew up watching Sky King on TV. From the very start with my first Book, My Brother’s Keeper, I always intended it to be the start of a series about the aviation adventures of the main character, a former World War II fighter pilot named Hawk. Jungleland takes place in the Congo jungle during the civil wars fought after their independence from Belgium, where Hawk is flying a T-6 Texan as a mercenary fighting for the government. It was a way to get him flying combat again fifteen years after the war. I ended up dedicating the book to LTC Harold Brown, who was a Tuskegee Airman I’ve met and listened to at his local lectures. He is truly an amazing guy with some great aviation stories. The one that stuck out most in my mind was how he told that, because he was black, he would never be able to hide out among the Europeans if he got shot down—which actually happened as he was chasing a Messerschmidt 262 jet fighter.
Where do you get your storylines from?
I really don’t know. Usually, I get an idea for a character or a scene or a situation and just start writing and the story works itself out from there. For Murder by Munchausen, the entire first scene with two cops chasing down a robot re-programmed to be a hitman came to me almost completely done in my head. With Somethin’ for Nothin’, I recall reading about Alaska bush pilots. I must have watched Animal House and Treasure of the Sierra Madre around that time and a few months later—Eureka! The words for the prologue and first chapter just started spilling out of my head. Now while I don’t outline my stories, I am constantly “wargaming” what the characters are thinking and doing, as well as playing out different plotlines as I’m going. So the storylines evolve as I work through the first draft.
Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others? Why?
About a third of the way into the rough draft, I was unhappy with the way the story was unfolding in Jungleland. I liked the characters I had put in place, but the plotline just seemed too cliche. So, I swapped around the action between two of the characters and—without giving away the ending—I think it worked out a lot better. With that change, the writing went pretty smoothly. But that’s kind of par for the course.
Do you only write one genre?
Well, let’s see, I have a murder mystery (My Brother’s Keeper), a romance (Lodging), an espionage thriller (Crossroads), a satire (In the Black), a sci-fi series (Murder by Munchausen), a suspense thriller (Article 15) and a young adult dystopia story (Untethered). I don’t read in just one genre, so I don’t write in just one genre. If the characters or a story interests me, then I write about it.
Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?I’ll write anywhere I can when I have time. When I traveled quite a bit, I spent the empty hours at 35,000 feet scribbling out my stories. Now there are three main places I write. I usually like to work first thing in the morning, when I’m fresh for the day—before checking email, the news, or social media. So, I’ll get up at five A.M., pull out my iPad Mini and a BlueTooth keyboard, and start piling up my words in bed. The other place is at the stand-up desk that I built in my office. And, if the weather is nice, I might sneak out back on the patio with my cat Frank, looking at Lake Erie.
And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?
I never had a burning desire to be an author when I was growing up. Too busy just being a kid, I guess. When I got into high school and started reading great books like Catch 22, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Huckleberry Finn, the idea of coming up with great stories hit home for met. I started writing then, and eventually ended up studying “Creative Writing” at Ohio Wesleyan University. The rest is history…
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