M.T. Bass is an author from my home state who has visited us here before. Today, he shares an excerpt from his new book Jungleland. And one of his characters is telling us what he thinks of him! Share your thoughts in the comments here and as you follow the tour. Plus there's a great giveaway at the end!
~Doyle ‘Wahoo’ Nicholson, USMC
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.
“Break left,” I radioed Angel, jammed the throttle forward, and yanked the stick back and to the left in a climbing turn to circle around on the enemy position. I searched back over my shoulder for a road or trail leading out of the area to anticipate their possible direction of movement. There was a small scar coming down off the hill to the southeast.
As we came around three hundred and sixty degrees, lining up on the small section of the jungle where red and green tracer rounds floated up our way, the intensity of the fire began to wane as the rebels understood what was about to come their way.
“Take the trail. Southeast,” I radioed Angel.
He clicked his mike twice to acknowledge the one-two punch plan and throttled back to drift away in trail to follow up my initial attack on the enemy positions with rocket fire as they inevitably fled to melt back into the jungle.
I banked hard and began to dive down on the hilltop. The tracers began to concentrate on my nose. I lit up my guns, spreading the field of fire left and right with a little dance on the rudder pedals. I felt the Texan buck up a bit as rockets left the rails. I followed the plumes of their engines halfway to the target before I had to pull up, but noticed the intensity of the enemy fire had waned considerably.
“Way to go, Batman,” Angel radioed. “Let me just clean up this little mess you made.”
Behind me, Angel strafed the road and fired his rockets in so close that he seemed to clip the top of the fireball from the warhead explosions.
I circled back and took a path coming back up the road, stitching it with .303 caliber fire…
Have one of your characters describe you as a writer…
Yeah, I’m Roscoe Pettis, but you can call me Sarge. It’s no secret that I work for the C.I.A. in Congo. It’s nice. I get a healthy slush fund to play with and plenty of independence to go where I want, when I want. Before that I served with the Marines in the Korean “Conflict” and then hired on with The Company to work in Southeast Asia…and you don’t really need to know where that was exactly. Then I ended up in Leopoldville.
Anyway, I was asked to give a give my profile on M.T. Bass, the guy who put me into this story. I’ve seen him work and all, and I had the boys back at Langely look into him a bit.
Born in Athens, Ohio, he moved around quite a bit until his family settled in St. Louis, Missouri. Back then, he rode his bike without a helmet, played sandlot baseball, and fought out World War II again with his suburban brothers in arms. Good stuff. When he got older, he started rocking the eardrums with his Les Paul and 50 watt Marshall amplifier. He graduated high school and ended up at Ohio Wesleyan University where he studied “Creative Writing” with Robert Flanagan—another fellow Jarhead. Okay, I’ll go with that.
He seems to have kicked around Ohio playing in rock bands, then got a pilot’s license and moved to Colorado for ten years. He seems to have peddled some kind of aerospace widgets to the Army, Air Force, and Navy, and their military-industrial contractors. He came back to Ohio and worked until he got right-sized, down-sized, or cap-sized out of his regular job. So he went back to making music in bars and started finishing and publishing his novels.
And that’s where I came in…when he picked up on his second Hawk Aviation Story, I found myself showing up in chapter two. And, I guess, he pretty much gets me mostly right. He gets the pilot part down pat with Hawk and sets up a nice romance thing going on with the new doctor in town, Ella.
So, I got a chance to watch him up close and personal. Now me, I like to sleep in. But he’s up at the crack of dawn putting words down on paper right away. No emails. No news. No surfing the web. No drinking coffee scratching himself in the crotch. He just writes. He says his secret is “piling up the words every morning—and pretty soon you have a book.” And I guess it works. The guy’s got nine novels, two novellas, and a book of poetry (?) out there. Yeah, I don’t know about the poetry, but you can check it out here.
After that, he starts moving about his day, working on the business side of things, since he is self-published. That means checking sales, managing his advertising, promoting himself on social media, and updating his blogs. Man, not my cup of tea. I’m more of a feet-on-the-street kind of guy, but I guess it has to be done. And from the look on his face, I think he feels the same way.
When all is said and done with that stuff, he plays guitar, sometimes flies small planes with his pilot buddies, and hangs out with his girlfriend, Lora—who looks suspiciously like Ella from Jungleland.
Hmm…it makes you wonder sometimes.
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.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/mtbass
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