Richard is a Training Captain with an international airline, his wife, Julie is a writer. Their ten year old daughter, Talitha dreams of following in her father’s footsteps and becoming a pilot herself one day. Talitha’s interest is not surprising, she has an aviator in her family. She sees her dad head off to exotic locations every week, hears stories of different cultures, sees photos of fascinating historical sights. She experiences his passion for his career and she never hears him complain about having to leave for the office! She also has his encouragement, has him there to reassure her that the fact that she is far from a maths genius will not prevent her following her dream.
Talitha’s interest got her parents wondering about how children without the same exposure to aviation become interested in the industry. After all, they don’t come across pilots in their everyday life the way they do teachers, doctors, dentists and policemen and with modern day security concerns the days of visits to the cockpit, where children had the chance to chat to a pilot are gone.
Julie and Richard decided to see if they could make a small contribution towards inspiring the next generation of pilots. Drawing heavily on her husband’s expert knowledge, Julie has written a Flight of the Phoenix style adventure novel for children, aged 7-14, about a young aviation enthusiast who finds himself stranded in the Canadian wilderness with a crashed plane which he needs to repair and pilot out.
A book is a readily available, easily accessible promotional vehicle, Julie and Richard hope that the novel may start the wheels of interest turning and offer early exposure to the fascinating world of flight. Just as a child reads a spy novel and wonders what it would be like to work for MI5 or the CIA, they hope a young person may read the novel, Stranded and contemplate becoming a pilot. That it may encourage children to take the next step of visiting an air show or an aviation museum or joining an aviation programme or camp where they will get to experience aviation in all its glory.
Julie’s novel, Stranded, has just been published and is available from Amazon and major bookstores. A percentage of the proceeds of each sale will be donated to charities that help to make aviation accessible to all juniors.
Stranded by JE Timlin