One of the main characters in Swallow, Hans Philipp, is based on a real-life Luftwaffe pilot. Although his role is pure fiction, much about Hans is based on factual information readily available on the internet - refer links below.
What inspires someone to write a story about a female fighter pilot in Nazi Germany?
Inspiration comes from many sources and mine came to me while in a medical waiting room randomly skimming through magazines - you know - the depressingly outdated hand-me-downs that look like they could infect you with some serious germ if you dare to touch any of their grubby pages. Well, I dared and came across an article on German Luftwaffe Aces. Don't ask me what magazine it was - suffice to say, it was at the bottom of the pile.
Surprisingly, I found the article fascinating and after delving deeper into the subject with the help of my best buddy Google, my suppressed creative juices began to flow - well, not literally flow ...oh you know what I mean. Anyway, I discovered that female pilots in WW2 were not as rare as one might think. In fact, Russia had two female ace fighter pilots and the WAF had scores of brave women piloting transporters. Germany too, had a number of female pilots in test and transport roles so the idea of a female Luftwaffe Jagdflieger was feasible, if not entirely factual.
But was the character of Gabi in Swallow convincing? I'd love to read your thoughts.......