Friday, January 30, 2015

Wings by: Pete Abela Blog Tour

Wings is a stirring, cross-generational account of the love of flying inspired by the true story of Walt, a WWII RAF pilot, and his grandson Scott who has his sights set on becoming a modern day airline pilot. Wings weaves together two tales: one set in war-torn northern England, and the other set in the modern-day Illawarra region of New South Wales. As Scott learns about the sacrifices and difficulties Walt overcame to take to the sky, he battles his own challenges in order to follow his dream. As Scott progresses, his grandfather declines – Walt loses his wife, his sight and his hearing – but throughout these difficulties is still there to offer support and encouragement. In following Scott's progress towards his dream, Walt also keeps alive the wonder of his own youth. With insights into the modern day aviation scene and life in the Royal Air Force of World War II, this is a must for anyone who has an interest in history, aviation or simply an old fashioned love story.

Walt looked up at his Dad. “It’s a book called ‘Oliver Twist’. I borrowed it from the school library.”
“You’re wasting your time reading story books,” he retorted. “You should read something factual, like a newspaper or manual or a science book  something you can learn from. I don’t want to see you reading that rubbish again. If it wasn’t a school book, I’d throw it in the fire.”
“Yes, Dad,” replied Walt, a resigned expression on his face.
“Now put it away, lad, and go help your mother.”
In addition to being an avid reader, Walt was interested in making things. At the age of eight, he built his first bike. The project was initiated when he saw a rusty old frame leaning against the fence at the local scrap merchant. It had no wheels, pedals, seat or handle bars. When he enquired about the price, he was told he could purchase it for sixpence. He carried out a number of jobs over the following weeks to accumulate the necessary sum of money and purchased it on the way home from school. The next morning, he caught his Dad before he left for work.
“Dad, you don’t need that old baby’s stroller anymore, do you?”
Ted paused in the act of throwing his work bag over his broad shoulder. “No, I don’t think so, lad. Why do you ask?”
“Can I take a couple of the wheels and attach them to the bike frame that I bought yesterday?” he asked hopefully.
Ted thought a moment. “I don’t see why not,” he replied. “In fact, I’ll be interested to see what you can do with it.” He gave Walt an affectionate pat on the back. “See you tonight.”

When Walt arrived home from school that afternoon, he went straight to the back of the house, whistling merrily. For the next couple of hours, he laboured diligently. In addition to attacking the stroller, he scavenged an old piece of timber which he cut to length to form the handlebars, and a collection of old rags which he fashioned into a rough, round ball for a seat. Not only was the bicycle lacking pedals, his new contraption was also missing brakes, although he thought the soles of his wooden shoes should serve admirably in this regard.
Pete heralds from the city of Wollongong, just south of Sydney in the state of New South Wales, Australia, where he lives with his wife and four kids. His love of reading eventually led him to take up writing, a difficult task which presents rewards and challenges in equal measure. A Painted Room is Pete’s second book, and follows his debut novel, Wings (2012).

When he’s not working, reading, writing or enjoying the company of his family, Pete likes to sneak away for a bit of exercise – either tennis, golf or a refreshing swim.

You can find more about Pete at his website and blog ( The blog contains a number of bad jokes and puns. You have been warned.

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