The Little Book of Aviation
I have a mind that relishes facts and anecdotes and one of my favourite books was the best-selling Schott’s Miscellany. I loved the type-setting and the random arrangement of information. It appealed to my trivial knowledge-gathering brain.
A few years ago, in a second-hand bookshop I picked up a small book – with a page-keeping cord, always a sign of quality – called Amazing and Extraordinary Railway Facts by Julian Holland. It was similar in layout and style to the Schott’s Miscellanies (a series had burgeoned) but with longer narrative sections. I contacted the publisher to see if they were interested in doing one on a favourite subject of mine: aviation.
They didn’t get back, so I sent it off to a few other non-fiction publishers. Luckily The History Press were keen and they saw it as a fit for an ongoing series and The Little Book of Aviation was born.
It was the most enjoyable writing experience I’ve had so far.
Scouring magazines and books and websites for nuggets that might be interesting (not just to me as I’m a small audience) was a never-ending pleasure. Finding out which famous cricketer died after an air raid (WG Grace) to the pilot’s recovery drill for a spinning F-4 Phantom (there isn’t one) was never a chore.