**Sparrow Squadron Release Date!**
Congrats to DL Jung on the release of his debut novel of Sparrow Squadron! Tank and I had reviewed it a couple weeks ago.Girl With A Good Book And Her Dog: Book Review: Sparrow Squadron
Check it out here:
Check it out here:
Did you know that *Sparrow Squadron* was based off of real Soviet women pilots? Pretty cool, huh. If you want to read about them, go Here!
**Sparrow Squadron Blurb**
"There was a time when flying didn't mean looking over my shoulder for death coming at me."
World War II. June 1941. Hitler's war machine turns to the Soviet Union.
Escaping her hometown ahead of the Nazis, 16-year-old Aelya Makarova seizes a chance to live her dream. Obsessed with flying, she joins a women's fighter squadron to defend her homeland against the invaders. She'll go faster and higher than she's ever gone before.
But the harsh reality of Air Force life shatters her expectations and forces her to grow up fast. The squadron is split by petty rivalries, male pilots treat them like a joke, and the ideal country she thought she was fighting for doesn't really exist.
Finally given a chance to prove herself in battle, Aelya is pushed to breaking point. With all her talent, the help of her comrades, and a lot of luck, she might just make it through. But will there be anything left of her humanity?
With fast-paced action and a heart-rending mix of humour and tragedy, Sparrow Squadron is an adventure novel for young adults that brings an overlooked episode of history to life.
**DL Jung Author Bio**
DL Jung has been an enthusiastic student of history since grade school, when he spent lazy afternoons flipping through an old Encyclopedia Britannica set. He enjoys blogging about history and writing historical fiction. He also writes fantasy and horror fiction as Darius Jung.
Jung is married, with two children, and lives in Toronto, Canada. They are lucky enough to spend part of the time in New Zealand. Outside of writing, he has tried stints as an industrial engineer, a film and TV script supervisor, an IT consultant, a professional game show contestant, and a grossly under-qualified business wear model. Sparrow Squadron is his debut novel.
Check out his blog.
Questions about the book:
1. Where did you get the inspiration for the basis of this novel?
A long time ago, I happened upon the documentary "Wasps and Witches" on TV.
It tells the parallel story of the American Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP’s) of World War II and the female combat pilots fighting for the Soviet Union at the same time. I was particularly fascinated by the Soviet women, and read as much on them as I could. Until then, I had no idea that women had fought in combat during WWII, let alone flew fighters and bombers.
There's now been quite a bit of fiction and non-fiction written about the night bomber pilots, the "Night Witches," but very little about the fighter pilots. I thought that was a shame, so I decided to step into that gap. And so, many years later, Sparrow Squadron came into being.
2. Who was your favorite character to create?
My protagonist, Aelya, feels very much like my own child. But I loved letting loose on the "bad girl" Tonya, aka Honeybee. She doesn't really have a heart of gold, but there's a certain reasonable logic behind everything awful that she does and it was fun getting into that mindset.
3. How long did it take you to finish? Did you have any unexpected obstacles arise?
It probably took close to a year and a half, from the start of detailed outlining, to completely finishing all rounds of editing. Nothing really unexpected came up, as far as I can remember. I think I was very fortunate to have hit a point in my life where having small kids got into a nice routine, so I was able to plan my work around that.
4. Did you have to cut out any material?
It was more a question of deciding to split up the novel. I’d originally thought of a single novel, but very early on, I knew it had to be multiple books because there was just too much material. So I didn’t end up needing to cut too much. I cut one section near the beginning, that builds up Aelya’s journey to joining the Air Force, because it just delays what you know will inevitably happen. I also cut some combat scenes later on. The spaces between combat, where relationships and personality conflicts truly come into play were much more important to the story.
5. How many unpublished/half finished works do you have? Do you have anything going to be published soon?
Sparrow Squadron is actually my third novel. My first is unworkable. My second is an epic fantasy that I want to publish once I’m done this trilogy, but I just happened to start “feeling” Sparrow Squadron, so I set it aside for now. I hope to have the sequel published in a year or so.
1. When did you know that you wanted to write?
I always loved making up stories. Starting from when I was about nine or ten, I probably started making up fantasy stories based on the Fighting Fantasy books (remember those?), but I was far too embarrassed to share with anyone. I’d write ideas down in secret notebooks. I don’t think it was until university, when I was studying a very technical discipline and was dying for a creative outlet that I started seriously thinking about writing and sharing with people.
2. How much time/day do you spend writing?
Because of the full time job, it varies how much energy I’ll have left to write most days. But when I’m in a groove and things are not too draining at work, I can probably go for a solid four hours a day, at least.
3. Who's your favorite author? What's your favorite book?
This may seem odd, because neither their writing styles, nor the genres reflect most of what I write, but my favourite author is the horror writer Thomas Ligotti and my favourite book is Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. Ligotti is such a master at creating a bleak and foreboding atmosphere with his words. I’d love to have that skill, but I’m content to simply be able to enjoy it. Foucault’s Pendulum is often described as a thinking person’s DaVinci Code, and I think it has a lot of the same appeal as that bestseller, except you get to feel snobby about it :-).
4. What's your favorite favorite color and why?
I can never remember if it’s actually a color or not, but I love gray. I just like the look of it. I’m sure that makes me sound like I have a dreary personality, but I’ll try to sound deep by saying it reflects my love of nuance in writing and my aversion to black and white situations in my work.
5. What do you do to get yourself in the creative mood to write?
Definitely music. I often have the same pick-me-up song that I use to start every writing session for several weeks on end. Then just a long playlist of music that I like. But at a certain stage, when I know my story better, I start to make a soundtrack, pretending that my novel has been adapted to a movie. I choose songs to be musical cues, either because of how they sound, the lyrics or the artist’s attitude. They often line up to specific scenes, so that often helps me bring it home.
6. Are you a coffee or tea drinker?
Tea. I hate the idea of drinking coffee, though I do love coffee-flavoured chocolate. My wife thinks that’s bizarre.