Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Best Laid Flight Plans Blog Tour ~ Guest Post & Giveaway!

Hello, friends! Today I'm delighted to have Leigh Dreyer here with her debut novel The Best Laid Flight Plans! A modern Pride & Prejudice variation that looks amazing! I love this cover! 

Also, there's a chance to win a copy of the book! Details are at the bottom of the post.




Hello!!! It is so amazing to be here on So Little Time… I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be back where my cover was revealed and continue on this amazing Blog Tour. It’s been quite the whirlwind of excitement, I can tell you.  I just wanted to answer a few questions and get to know you a little more as well.

What inspired you to write this story?

Well, as far as writing generally, it was my sister-in-law who sounded interested and really encouraged me through the process. She has been writing her own book for forever as well, and she was so great to bounce ideas off of when I was struggling through a scene or something. Honestly, I have three sisters-in-law who have beta read, helped me figure out my author platform, etc. and they deserve a ton of credit for being an amazing support network of women. I’m happy to have them in my life.

As far as the story of The Best Laid Flight Plans, it is mostly inspired by real life. My husband is an Air Force pilot as well as my father and father-in-law, so I’m surrounded. I went to high school in the small town next to Laughlin Air Force Base, which is the number one training base in the country and I took most of my inspiration for Meryton Air Force Base from there. I’ve heard so many stories from my friends who fly, but so few are really written down. Sure you have books like The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (which is amazing, incidentally), but those books focus on the inspirational few. There really are only a few books that capture the sort of mundane, sprinkled with adventure, which is the Air Force life. I wanted to capture some of that spirit. Additionally, I’ve seen what female pilots have to go through in a male-heavy industry and I was fascinated by the idea that Elizabeth Bennet, who is ahead of her time in Pride and Prejudice, would be so interesting in that field. 

Some other inspirations, just as a bulleted list for ease:

  • The Mercury 13
  • Sally Ride and Eileen Collins
  • Women Air Service Pilots (WASPs)
  • The many female pilots I have had the pleasure of knowing
  • My dad forcing me to watch about 200 too many airplane movies

What did I like best about this story?

Being a bit too much like Lydia Bennet, I love the pilots. To quote Kitty in the book “Who doesn’t love a 40 inch zipper?” I think the flight scenes are fascinating, but I also really enjoyed creating Lady Catherine. In The Best Laid Flight Plans, Lady Catherine is a senator and I loved figuring out what made her tick. In the original Pride and Prejudice, she is part of the aristocracy and that sets her apart from the “little people,” but in America, we don’t really have that rigid system of class (as much) so I needed to figure out how she would have developed the brisk, condescending attributes, but still be likeable enough to elect. She is no Jackie Kennedy after all.

What was the most difficult part to write?

Technically, it was the pilot scenes. I always had to call my husband or my dad to help to make sure I got the verbiage just right (I would send scenes off to either one of them and they would respond back with nitpicky numbers and things that made it hard for me to do without their assistance). Story/Plot-wise, it’s the romance scenes. You’d think after reading hundreds of JAFF novels and probably thousands of general romance that it would be easy, but remarkably, I found I was so shy when trying to write things down. Maybe it’s just because I was so worried that people would find some secret part of my soul and crush it with a harsh review, but they were always the most stressful. I love them, but I always needed a break after typing for a while.

Out of the protagonists I’ve written about so far, which one do I feel I relate to the most?

I think I’m a pretty healthy combination of Darcy and Lizzy. Throughout the book, Darcy runs through checklists. While that is totally a pilot trait (they have to run checklists all the time as they fly and they tend to transfer that skill over to their real life), I run on post it note lists and lists I’ve texted to my husband and my Alexa to do list, etc. I love them, they make me tick. In fact, typically while writing a scene I really just outline a list of things that need to happen and let the characters pull me through the scene, but that list is essential for the book to make sense. As far as Lizzy goes, I think I am persistent when I have a goal and typically, I have the confidence in myself (whether that is good or bad, I’ll let you be the judge) to continue forward and achieve that goal, whatever it is. I truly admire Lizzy’s spirit and her ability to find the good in the bad.

How did you come up with the name of The Best Laid Flight Plans?

Honestly, I was reading another JAFF book—don’t ask me which one, I have no idea—and they quoted Robert Burns and I had never realized that the “The best laid plans of mice and men” poem was by Burns, which led to me looking it up and reading it over. It made me think about the entire phrase “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” and generally what would happen when a flight plan went awry. Then I thought about a pilot who’s plan went awry and the story kind of developed from there. Generally, in Pride and Prejudice, we see Darcy and Elizabeth’s plans go completely haywire as they fall in love and I liked the idea of following that theme through the story.

Am I working on another book?

I am hard at work on the sequel, The Flight Path Less Travelled. While I believe The Best Laid Flight Plans stands on its own, I found during my outlining process that I had too much for just one novel unless it was 1500 pages or something. I wanted to keep going, to let Darcy and Elizabeth tell their story and just a “happily ever after” wasn’t going to do it for them. 

Thank you again for having me and reading this little Q&A. 


Leigh




The Best Laid Flight Plans 
by Leigh Dreyer


Book Blurb: 

In this modern Pride and Prejudice variation, Captain William “Fitz” Darcy has just received a new assignment as an instructor pilot at Meryton Air Force Base. Soon he meets the intrepid 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Bennet, a new student at the base that he cannot keep out of his head. Elizabeth, on the other hand, finds Captain Darcy to be arrogant and prideful and attempts to avoid him at every turn. Despite Darcy’s insulting manners, Elizabeth soars her way through pilot training, but can she soar her way into love as well?

Buy: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

About the Author

Leigh Dreyer is a huge fan of Jane Austen variations and the JAFF community. She is blessed to have multi-generational military connections through herself and her husband, who she met in pilot training. She often describes her formative years in this way, “You know the Great Balls of Fire scene in Top Gun (“Goose you big stud!!!”), where Goose and Meg Ryan have their kid on the piano? I was that kid.” Leigh lives with her pilot husband, a plane-obsessed son and a daughter who is almost walking.


Connect with Leigh Dreyer




* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Leigh is giving away an e-copy of The Best Laid Flight Plans and some squadron patches to one of my lucky readers! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below! 

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Many thanks to Leigh for being my guest here, and for being so kind and offering one of my readers an e-copy of her new book, plus some terrific patches! I love stuff like that! 

Lol, I love that Leigh compared herself to Lydia with her love of pilots! :) 

The Best Laid Flight Plans sounds like a fantastic story! It's another one to add to my ever-growing TBR lists! I love the idea of Elizabeth being a pilot.  

Friends, what are your thoughts on Elizabeth being a pilot? Do you have any questions for Leigh? Please, leave a comment! :)

14 comments:

  1. I am enjoying this blog tour. This modern variation is a must read for me! I love the idea of Elizabeth being a pilot. Congratulations!

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    1. Hello, Becky! Me, too, on both point! A must read and love that Elizabeth is a pilot!

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  2. I especially love how authentic this story reads. She has cleverly included a glossary for us non-pilot/military readers so that any jargon isn’t lost on us. It’s a fascinating reimagining IMO.

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    1. Hey, Christina! Oh, that's cool! I'm glad there's a glossary - I may need it! ;)

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  3. I've heard great things about this book and have my copy downloaded to my Kindle. Congratulations for the original setting and welcome to the world of publishing. Best wishes for more stories.

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    1. Hello, Joy! Awesome that you already have a copy! Yay! Happy reading! :)

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  4. I am getting more and more intrigued by this one :) Definitely on my Must Read list!

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    1. Hey, Rebecca! I am too! This looks like a good one! :)

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  5. My mom was Air Force so this totally has my attention. What a great idea, Leigh! Love learning close details about the writing process.

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    1. Hey, Sophia Rose! Oh, wow! That's so cool that your mom was in the Air Force! I can see how this book would intrigue you! :) I hope you get a chance to read it soon!

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  6. I love a modern variation and they don't get much more modern than setting one in a military flight background. Thanks to Leigh for sharing more about the background and writing of this new book.

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  7. I'm look forward to reading this modern premise of P&P!

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    1. Woohoo! Congratulations on winning the giveaway, Dung! Happy reading!

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  8. As the granddaughter of an Air Force Master Sergeant, this book really appeals to me! :) Thank you for the chance to win this lovely novel and nifty squadron patches.

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