David Freed


 It’s called DEEP FURY and it’ll be released sometime in late 2024.

The Duck is modeled after an aging Cessna 172 my father-in-law once owned and let me fly so long as I paid for gas and its upkeep. A fine old airplane with just about the worst paint job you ever saw. I logged several hundred hours flying it before acquiring a Piper Cherokee 180 that I flew for more than a decade. I now own and fly a Cirrus SR20.

If only I knew! I’ll be sleeping or hiking or eating a burrito or taking a shower or watching TV, with my brain essentially on autopilot, when—shazam!—an idea for a plot will come to me seemingly out of the ether. One place I can tell you where plot ideas never hit me is when I’m piloting an airplane. That’s one activity that requires full focus.

Each has its challenges and rewards, and each benefits the other. Writing fiction can help teach a journalist how to tell a fact-based story more engagingly. Practicing journalism, meanwhile, teaches the writer of fiction the values of veracity, technical accuracy, and detail in prose.

When a talented student is motivated to improve their craft and receptive to coaching, nothing is better than teaching! Conversely, little is more frustrating to me than when a student repeats the same mistakes over and over. You start to feel after awhile like you’re wasting their time and visa versa.

Mostly I helped intelligence collectors and analysts learn to do their jobs more effectively.

I fantasize about doing the Indiana Jones thing—only my version would involve tromping through the jungles of New Guinea, finding the wrecks of World War II aircraft, and restoring them to airworthiness. In truth, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing than making up and telling stories. It definitely beats working for a living!