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Interview with Pete Abela


When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
My writing journey began when I commenced a journal around ten years ago. I found it a useful and therapeutic practice which helped me make sense of day to day life and get a sense of perspective. I found it amazing when I read over my journal to see the things I’d been worried about six months ago. In most instances these “problems” had simply vanished.

I found that I enjoyed the process of writing, so I progressed from journaling to an autobiographical account of my late teens and early twenties. It hasn’t been published, and it’s unlikely that it ever will be.

When I finished that, I started thinking about what else I could write. Wings is the result.

What genre do you write and why?
Wings can be described as inter-generational historical fiction.

Although Wings is a novel, I did draw inspiration from two men I greatly admire. The first is my grandfather who was a fighter pilot during World War II; the other is my younger brother who is a commercial pilot with a major Australian airline.
 
I consider them both to have lived through fascinating, unusual and difficult circumstances and I thought I could use some of the things I learned from them as the basis for parts of this novel.

Tell us about your latest book.
Wings tells the story of Walt and his grandson Scott, who both have a fierce longing to fly albeit in vastly different circumstances. Walt - who grew up in the depression - found out first hand that becoming a pilot takes sacrifice and tenacity. When World War II broke out he pestered the RAF for eighteen months before they finally accepted him. Scott spent his childhood listening to tales of his Grandfather's aerial exploits and developed an intense craving to be a pilot. However, the number of people wanting to be a pilot vastly outweighs the limited opportunities on offer.

Wings weaves together two tales: one set in war-torn northern England, and the other set in the modern-day Illawarra region of New South Wales. As Scott progresses, his grandfather declines – Walt loses his wife, his sight and his hearing – but throughout these difficulties is still there to offer support and encouragement. With insights into the modern aviation scene and life in the Royal Air Force of World War II, this is a must for anyone who has an interest in history, aviation or simply an old fashioned love story.

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book? 
I’ve developed a website, a blog, a Facebook page and a twitter account. I’ve arranged a blog tour to coincide with the release of Wings which will see me interviewed, write guest posts and have Wings reviewed on about twenty other websites (and counting).

I’ve also reached agreement with a number of international aviation magazines to feature a review of Wings and I’ve even propositioned the CEO of Australia’s national airline (Qantas) to put a copy of Wings in the back of every aircraft seat in the Qantas fleet. (Incidentally, that request got knocked back due to weight restrictions, although they have agreed to consider writing a review in the Qantas Inflight magazine).

There have also been stories about Wings published by local media in Australia.

What formats is the book available in?
The primary method of sale is Ebook. At AUD$4.40, it will be cheapest directly from my publisher (https://reallybluebooks.com/ebooks/title/12). It’s also available from Amazon for around $5.95 (http://www.amazon.com/Wings-ebook/dp/B0084UZ62U/).

I will also be publishing a paperback version which will be available from Amazon or as a signed copy from my website. The paperback will be available in a couple of months.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Pete Abela
I work as an IT Manager in order to help keep my wife and four kids fed and clothed. When I’m not working, reading, writing or enjoying the company of my family, I like to sneak away for a bit of exercise – either tennis, soccer or a laborious run.

Who are your favourite authors?
It’s hard to come up with a short list, but my physical book shelf is full of (in alphabetical order) Jeffrey Archer, Desmond Bagley, Bernard Cornwell, Michael Crichton, Dick Francis, John Grisham, Arthur Hailey, Louis L’Amour, Alistair McLean, JRR Tolkein and Jules Verne to name but a few.

What advice do you have for other writers?
This advice is primarily aimed at unpublished authors.
There is a Japanese proverb that says, “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” I believe that getting a professional opinion on your work can help you short-circuit months or even years of wasted effort. A few simple tips can help you make the transition from ‘gifted amateur’ to ‘published professional’.

 What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
“If you can’t be smart or funny, be brief.” – JA Konrath.

What's the best thing about being a writer?
The best thing about writing is when I get in the zone … when I don’t have to consciously think and the words just flow out.

The thing I like least is that I get in the zone so rarely. I think the last time it happened was 21st October, 2010. In between times there’s a lot of persistence required in order to churn out a decent work.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I can be contacted via numerous methods:

My website: www.peteabela.com contains my email address.
My blog: blog.peteabela.com provides weekly thoughts about reading, writing and goals, as well as some bad jokes.
I’d be ecstatic to have people like http://www.facebook.com/PeteAbela
On Twitter: @PeteAbela

Anything else you'd like to add?
I’d love to hear feedback from readers of Wings.
 

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