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Not long now until I have Camel Pilot Supreme in my hands at last. Matthew Potts at P&S Promotion has done a sterling job - he and text editor Richard Doherty have been the saving grace at Pen & Sword.
I hope anyone who loves flying will embrace my young subject and enjoy getting to know him through these 264 pages and 175 illustrations (I counted them eventually!). I think Armstrong would be pleased to know his full story has at last been told, but most of all I think he'd appreciate the depictions of some of his aerial feats in the colour section by artist Lynn Williams. Unrecorded by film, alas, he had no chance to see them himself. But Lynn's visualizations bring them to life in vibrant full colour, including his tailchase underneath the bridges of the Thames (detail below). This you have to see in its full glory!
It's all systems go at Carson Towers as I start corralling a list of reviewers for my new book, and line up various magazines and websites who will bring it to public notice. The aerobatic communities in England, South Africa and the USA are on board, as are some of the journals of First World War aero historians.
It's been fun working on promo materials like publicity leaflets and showcards, dredging up my PR skills from days of yore.
Another project well under way is the production of art prints of a couple of Lynn Williams's colourful action paintings which are going to look stunning when framed.
Pen & Sword tell me the book is well on track for publication on 31 August (in time for my birthday!) although I won't feel 100% confident of this date till I hear it from the printers. I've arranged only one promotional event so far, which to be safe isn't until October. I'll post a summary of activities as soon as they are all firmed up.
Meanwhile there's an introductory £5.00 discount to be had from the publishers at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Camel-Pilot-Supreme-Hardback/p/16477.
Sparks are still flying from my keyboard ...
Anyone presently using the email address info AT annettecarson.co.uk please note that it has proved unreliable. Instead please use my BT address (annettecarson AT btinternet.com), or as a last resort carsonannette AT gmail.com. Substituting @ for AT, of course.
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For most of June I was contacting online book retailers, getting them to remove my publisher's blurb and substitute my own (accurate!) synopsis and author biography. We're getting there ...
Meanwhile I'm working on proofs of the 16-page colour plate section - a mix of portraits, pictures of Armstrong's various aeroplanes, and fabulous action paintings of some of his wonderful feats of airmanship. Rash to make a promise, but most will be entirely new to most readers: even aero historians will find images they've never seen before.
All my aviation books have been copiously illustrated - Flight Fantastic had over 300 pictures, and this new one will have well over 150. <thinks: I need to count them!>
The sad thing is that still photography can never do justice to flight, so we'll never see the exploits of an entire generation of brilliant early pilots. Thank goodness for the amazing talents of aviation artist Lynn Williams. Can't attach an entire picture, but here's a small detail.
It's called 'CAMEL PILOT SUPREME: CAPTAIN D.V. ARMSTRONG', and at last the jacket design's right! Details are here on the publisher's website: https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Camel-Pilot-Supreme-Hardback/p/16477.
Unfortunately my health-warning still applies to the inaccurate synopsis on Amazon and all the other online retailers. They use what they're first given, and it takes heaven and earth to change it. <grrr!>
Still, a picture paints a thousand words - and I get a thrill every time I look at that cover illustration by the wonderful aviation artist Lynn Williams. You can see it enlarged on my 'Aviation' page. Lynn has contributed several of the 150+ illustrations in the book, four of them in full colour depicting a selection of Armstrong's airborne feats. Amazing.