This week I’m pleased to feature Mick Arnold who writes popular World War Two novels featuring the Air Transport Auxiliary Mystery Club as M W Arnold. I’ve known Mick for many years now and often seem to be photographed with him at writing events!
Mick is going to talk to us about his real-life hero – Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys. Over to Mick …
Music is a big part of my life and so one of my heroes is a certain Brian Wilson. Don’t worry if you’ve not heard of him, you will have heard his music, particularly on the radio in the summer, for he was the chief songwriter (and also shared lead vocal duties) of the Beach Boys. You know, Surfin’ USA, Good Vibrations.
I’d begun to hear his music back in the mid-seventies, though had no idea who was who in the group, let alone that there was a musical genius in the group. I soon progressed past the hits which we’ve all heard and begun to dig into their more obscure material. Back then, this meant delving into record fairs and second hand shops, I had such fun! Gradually, through the music and the few books around then, I learned about this man and discovered a genius, a very flawed genius.
Physically abused by his father, he’d taken refuge in his burgeoning musical talents. Often described as a musical genius, yet an amateur human being, this is a very apt analogy. Generally, only comfortable making music than making conversation, this is as true now as it was back when he began creating music in 1961. I’ve met him twice and treasure the memories, though I couldn’t tell you a word he said, if any to me. Yet, a day rarely goes by without my listening to at least a few of his songs. No-one else in the world (at least in my opinion) can match his musical composing skills, though Paul McCartney comes close.
Do I have any of his attributes? Only shyness. This is one trait Doris in my ‘Broken Wings’ books has in abundance. Actually, she’s the exact opposite. At first glance, a brash Yank, but that’s only on the surface as the brashness is merely a cover for complete self-confidence.
Brian Wilson had to break free of a controlling influence, as did Penny who had a father who wished to control her. Though she understood this behaviour only manifested itself after the death of her mother, his wife, she also fought to free herself. Successful, she found her true place amongst the girls of the Air Transport Auxiliary, finally able to fly free, exactly as she’d always hoped and wished for.
Mary is the girl we know the least about, even though we’re now in book 2. She keeps her heart close to her chest, only allowing snippets about her life prior to the ATA to leak out. For all this, she is a loyal, determined girl, albeit one who sometimes steps back and lets others take the lead. This is very similar to Brian and the music he records. Back in 1967, there was supposed to be an album called, ‘Smile’. However, circumstances conspired against Brian and the album never came out. True, many drugs were being taken back then, but these were by no means totally to blame for its non-appearance. It took years of the music leaking out before everyone knew the full story of this ground breaking album and could fully appreciate his genius.
I’m not saying it’ll be the same with Mary, or the other girls, but I keep finding out new things about these characters, and I love that! Long may it continue!
Now, I’m going to go and put ‘Pet Sounds’ on my record player, close my eyes and lose myself in the music.
About Mick Arnold (M W Arnold)
Mick is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association who spent sixteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Air Force before putting down roots and realizing how much he missed the travel. He’s the proud keeper of two Romanian Werecats bent on world domination and is mad on the music of the Beach Boys.
Get in touch with Mick using the following links:
Facebook – facebook.com/MWArnoldAuthor
Twitter – @mick859
Instagram – @mick859
YouTube channel – tinyurl.com/zav3r9kx
Wild Blue Yonder – Broken Wings book 2
Air Transport Auxiliary pilot Doris Winter is accused of stealing a valuable item from a famous Hollywood movie star, now a Captain in the US Army Air Corps, after a dance at the air base in England where he’s stationed. Gathering her close friends together, she’s determined to clear her name.
Ruth’s POW son suffers a life-changing injury just as her own cottage takes damage in an air raid and Penny’s estranged little sister unexpectedly turns up, having run away from school. Together with the ongoing thefts of items of clothing and surprise personal revelations, these all threaten to hamper their investigation.
In spite of the worsening war situation, they must band together to rise above their troubles and prove love and friendship is worth fighting for.
Book buying links:
Amazon Universal link – mybook.to/WildBlueYonder
iBooks – tinyurl.com/2dvavjm4
Nook – tinyurl.com/nntrssny
Kobo – tinyurl.com/3ntnv8wk
Thank you for this post, Mick and good luck with your books. Mx
International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here