Strike Force Behind The Book: strikeforce.mp3
Writers Roundtable Interview With Dale Brown
Dale Brown Interview With: Peter Anthony Holder
When a former pilot turns his hand to thrillers you can take their authenticity
for granted. His writing is exceptional and the dialogue, plots and characters
are first-class... far too good to be missed.'
--Sunday Mirror

‘Dale Brown is a superb storyteller’

‘Dale Brown is the best military adventure writer in the country’

HOME AWAY FROM HOME--in more ways than one
by Dale Brown, [IMAGE]2014


[MEGAFORTRESS.COM image] Where was your favorite place growing up? Grandma's kitchen? Your bedroom with the dog sleeping on your bed? The basement with the race car set attached to a huge sheet of plywood?

Mine was most definitely the library.

The old red brick North Park Library at the corner of Delaware and Hertel Avenues in Buffalo was my first introduction into the world of libraries. My Dad took me there to sign up for Little League one evening, but I soon forgot about baseball and started roaming the shelves, pulling out books and marveling about how many there were, covering every imaginable subject--and they were *free, *except if I forgot to return one on time.

I was lousy at baseball, but I soon became a library fanatic. I had a library card in no time, and as soon as I was old enough to cross Delaware Ave. by myself, the library was my hangout. At the library I discovered *Time* and *Life* magazines, Robert Louis Stevenson, and the U.S. space program. I had my own stool to help me reach each drawer in the huge card catalog, and my Mom knew enough to call over to the library to ask the librarians to shoo me home for dinner if I forgot to check the time.

My favorite section in any library: the encyclopedias. Along with looking up subjects that I needed to learn about, I loved pulling out a random volume, opening it, and reading about something that I had never known about before. I quickly became the familiy Weisenheimer, playing "Did you know...?" with my siblings and parents until they locked themselves in the bathroom to get away from me.

My love of libraries continued all the way through high school, college, and even in the U.S. Air Force. I had more than enough credits for high school graduation early in my senior year, so I spent a lot of time at "study hall" in the Grand Island high school library, so much that I was recruited into learning how to thread reel-to-reel film projectors and change light bulbs in overhead projectors. The old Pelletier Library at Allegheny College had tiny desks with tiny lamps at the end of each row of books, and I spent countless hours hidden away amidst the volumes, some over a hundred years old.

The library at the alert facility at Mather Air Force Base was crewdog-run, filled with donated books and magazines from fellow aviators accumulated over many decades, and that was my first introduction to military fiction: Ernest Gann, Orson Scott Card, Richard Bach, and Robert Heinlein. The combination of my duties flying the B-52G Stratofortress and losing myself in these military and military-related science-fiction novels, I'm positive, led me to give writing my own novel a try, after years of writing articles for computer magazines and local newspapers.

Things change, of course. The Computer Age and now the Internet Age means that almost everyone has access to information or entertainment almost anywhere at will. Although still a place with books, libraries have become computer centers and now lend as many e-books as they do paper books. Cash-strapped towns and counties seem to put libraries in the crosshairs right away for steep budget cuts.

But one thing hasn't changed: libraries have and always will be the center of an exchange of information within a community, whether it be a city, town, school, or alert facility. Libraries are quiet, restful places where you can look up information, read the paper, check the bulletin board, or just sit and relax. Our town library doubles as a classroom, polling place, storybook reading room, and meeting place for a wide variety of interests and people. Even more, they are places where imaginations fire up and fly. Mine certainly did.

Think libraries are doomed to go the way of 8-track players and floppy disks? Not so fast: the starship U.S.S. *Enterprise* has a library!

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