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Research for Devon’s Blade

My current WIP is a novella about starfighter pilots called Devon’s Blade. I’m a pilot and I have some experience flying Cessna 150’s. I’m also a former Air Force NCO and I’ve been on Allied air bases all over the world as a Munitions Systems Specialist. So I have some personal experience to draw on, but not enough to write a book about fighter pilots. So off I go to do some research. The following books helped me get a handle on what it’s like to be a military pilot.


Eye of the Viper by Peter Aleshire

Boyd, The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the War by Robert Coram

Fighter Pilot by Robin Gold

Samurai by Martin Caiden and Saburo Sakai

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep By Gregory Boyington

Viper Pilot by Dan Hampton


The Hunters by James Salter

Rules of Engagement by Joe Weber

The White Rose by Mary Ann Cook

You may have noticed there are no Science Fiction books listed about Starfighter pilots. Outside of some Star Wars novels, there’s practically nothing out there to reference. So I’m drawing inspiration from WWI through the Persian Gulf War. The plot of my novel is original but rooted firmly in real aviation history. You’ll find this is a theme in my SF. But you won’t find it if you’re not aware of aviation history. I don’t come out and say what influences I have in regards to specific historical incidents.

This novella is also the first book that I’ve written in first person POV. I felt that the story could best be told from the point of view of the main character and so went with that decision. This is harder to get right from a writing craft perspective. You have to establish a voice for the main character who up until now has mostly been written about in third person. Some of my short stories about Devon Ardel were first person, but none of the Star Saga novels are written that way.

Hopefully Devon’s Blade will be a compelling story about fighter pilots as well as a revealing look at what makes Devon Ardel tick. In any case it will be a fun read placed squarely between Book One and Book Two of the Star Saga.