NK Chats To: Mick Arnold

A lovely big welcome to Mick Arnold who is here with the blog tour for the second novel in the Broken Wings series. Hi Mick. It’s brilliant to have you back on Novel Kicks. In Wild Blue Yonder, we are back with the girls at the Air Transport Auxiliary. What can we expect from book two? 

Many thanks for having me back Laura. You must be a glutton for punishment!

Well, it’s about six months on from the events in ‘A Wing and a Prayer’ and as usual, fate isn’t being kind to some of the girls.

Exactly when their personal relationships seem to be trotting along nicely, an accusation of theft is laid at their door and though not a taxing mystery, it’s still an unwelcome distraction. There are bombing attacks to withstand from the Luftwaffe, POW husbands and sons to worry about, clothing is still going missing, and one of the girls is still suffering the after effects of being stabbed in books 1, ‘A Wing and a Prayer’. So, an awful lot going on for them to deal with.

 

How has your writing process changed between writing the first and second novel in the series?

Not a lot really. As I didn’t know if I’d be able to get a contract for the first one, I only had the barest of idea about a sequel, so when I was asked for it and after I’d recovered from the minor panic attack, I set to. I’m not a planner, so the process was the same as for the first book. Type away and see what comes to mind. Luckily, something did!

 

How long does it take you to write a book?

So long as I don’t allow myself to get too distracted – damn you YouTube! – I can write a 100K story in about 3 – 4 months. As I tend to edit each chapter as I go along, my first drafts are really somewhere between 2nd and 3rd’s in reality.

 

What was your favourite book when you were a child?

Probably ‘The Silver Sword, by Ian Serraillier, published in 1956. This is the story of a family of children who having survived war torn Poland in WW2, together with a wayward stray boy, set off across the remains of Europe in search of their parents. This has stayed in my mind due to the serious nature of the subject and the wonderful writing which simply drew me in. I would say it’s safe to say that this book is responsible for giving me the reading bug.

 

What advice do you have to conquer writer’s block?

Try and find something which relaxes your mind. I can literally be anything, a film, reading your favourite book, taking a walk, rock-climbing. I’ve tried to force myself to write my way out, but that doesn’t seem to work for me. Usually a few episodes of Star Trek or Midsummer Mysteries will do the trick.

 

If you could give your younger writing self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Begin at an earlier age. I’ve so many ideas in files for other stories, I don’t know if they’ll ever get written now.

 

Putting the fact that it’s set in WWII aside for a moment, what songs would you pick for a ‘Wild Blue Yonder’ playlist?

Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys would be pretty perfect, though in my opinion, it’s pretty perfect anyway. Perhaps a playlist of songs from the MGM musicals of the fifties would work well too. I have a fairly eclectic taste in music, so the soundtrack to the ‘Highlander’ film by Queen would also fit.

 

Which fictional world would you like to visit and why?

The Discworld. I’m a huge Terry Pratchett fan and am still trying to accept I’ll never read a new book by this gentleman again. It’s a world that’s exactly like ours, but not. Everything works the same, yet doesn’t. The people are mad, though not attempting to hide it like the real world. I probably wouldn’t last a day, but it would be so very much worth it just to live on a world which is supported on the backs of four giant Elephants, and carried through space on the shell of the great star Turtle, A’Tuin.

 

Is there a book you’ve loved that you wish you could forget, just so you could discover it all over again?

It would probably be ‘Guards! Guards!’ by Terry Pratchett. Who doesn’t love a book which has the tagline – Captain Vimes is looking for a fifty foot dragon he believes can help him with his enquires!

 

How do you approach the editing process? How/where do you begin?

Panic! No, only a little. I first have a look on how much there is to do, and then I panic a little more. So far, I’ve been lucky in that for the current two books in the series, there hasn’t been too much in the way of major edits/changes to make. I’ve probably put the mockers on that for book 3 now! I also cannot edit in the quiet. I have to either listen to music, or have a film on in the background. Have tried the quiet routine, but it simply doesn’t work for me, as I find it too distracting.

 

*****

 

About Mick Arnold:

Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Air Force before putting down roots and realizing how much he missed the travel. He’s replaced it somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and supporting fellow saga and romance authors in promoting their novels.

He’s the proud keeper of two cats bent on world domination, is mad on the music of the Beach Boys, and enjoys the theatre and humoring his Manchester United-supporting wife. Finally, and most importantly, Mick is a full member of the Romantic Novelists Association. Wild Blue Yonder is the second novel in his Broken Wings series and he is very proud to be a part of the Vintage Rose Garden at The Wild Rose Press.

Say hello to Mick on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

Click to view Mick’s Novel Kicks posts – Mick’s Musings

 

Wild Blue Yonder is the second novel in the Broken Wings series and was published by The Wild Rose Press in July 2021. Click to purchase on Amazon, iBooks and Nook

 

*****

 

 

My verdict on Wild Blue Yonder:

Air Transport Auxiliary pilot Doris Winter is accused of stealing a valuable item from a famous Hollywood movie star, now a captain in the US Army Air Corps, after a dance at the air base in England where he’s stationed. Gathering her close friends together, she’s determined to clear her name.

Ruth’s POW son suffers a life-changing injury just as her own cottage takes damage in an air raid and Penny’s estranged little sister unexpectedly turns up, having run away from school. Together with the ongoing thefts of items of clothing and surprise personal revelations, these all threaten to hamper their investigation.

In spite of the worsening war situation, they must band together to rise above their troubles and prove love and friendship is worth fighting for.

The ladies from the Air Transport Auxiliary are back.

When Doris is accused of stealing a valuable item from a Captain in the US Army Corps (who also happens to be a famous Hollywood star,) she and her friends are determined to solve the mystery, find out what happened, and to clear Doris’s name.

Meanwhile, Ruth, worried about her son, sustains an injury of her own when her home is damaged in an air raid.

These ladies must once again band together through personal revelations and thefts against the ongoing threat of WWII, continuing to prove that they are strongest when they are together.

It was so lovely to be back with the ladies of the ATA – Doris, Mary, Penny, Shirley, Betty, Ruth, Jane and Thelma. It was really like coming back to check in with friends and I had been dying to know what happened after the events of book one.

Although this is book two, you don’t have to have read A Wing and a Prayer to know what is going on (although I recommend it, it’s an excellent start to the Broken Wings series.)

I love how all the women in these novels are strong but there is an overall roundness to them and they are well developed characters.

Each has their own voice and their own personality and I don’t think there is a single one of them I don’t like. I want to be a part of this gang.

The description and setting of this novel really places me at the centre of what is going on and although it is set during a world war and you can feel the emotion, tension and worry that goes with this, it is really these women who are the heart and soul of these books – their positivity, determination and can do attitude.

As I said before, I find the fact that it’s based at Hamble so interesting as I am currently living not far from there. It has made me begin to look at the history of the ATA and until this book, I had not realised that Clark Gable had served over here (by the way, this is the only spoiler you’re going to get.)

Wild Blue Yonder is full of relatable, realistic, wonderful men and women that allow you to remember how important the home front was in WWII. This novel has so much warmth, heart and humour, I couldn’t put it down and didn’t want to end. It has a little bit of everything – an historical element, love and mystery.

I am looking forward to seeing what happens next for these ladies.

Mick has been a friend and contributor of Novel Kicks for a long time and it was an honour to be invited onto the blog tour for his second book. Am I allowed to say that I am very excited and proud?!!

(Thank you to Mick and Rachel’s Random Resources for the advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review.)

 

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Laura
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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