The end of an Era: China’s Wings goes to the garage…

I’m re-organizing the office this week, moving out all the files related to the creation of China’s Wings in the hopes of making room for an (as-yet) unknown story to move in.

CNAC-related documents, photocopies, 4×6 cards, interview transcripts, and handwritten rough drafts…

This process makes me feel pretty sad — I’m going to miss this story. I’m going to miss all these marvelous people and their incredible adventures living in my head. I’m going to miss thinking about them, pondering their actions and decisions and difficulties and loves, and trying to envision the world in which they lived and bring it to literary life. And I’m also really, really intimidated by the thought of having to do it all over again if I’m going to write another book — which, granted, I very much want to do. It’s such a lot of work.

The volume of material and the colossal volume of work these boxes of documents and writings represent is pretty daunting. Especially knowing that I’ve got to summon the bile to do it all 0ver again.

Notebooks, and some of my handwritten rough drafts. I paged through one of those yellow legal pads yesterday — 49 pages, NOT ONE WORD of which made it into China’s Wings.


Transcribed interviews: Rosbert, Goutiere, McBride, Rossi, Frieda and TT Chen, Al and Ced Mah, Bill Maher, Langhorne Bond, and Moon Chin









All that stuff above cooked down into this…

So, does anybody know a good story? I’m interested in finding a good one…




  1. Yes – one of two pilots who had a mid air collision during the Viet Nam war and survived. The greater context would be the war, but this would be a fine story. And a good follow on theme to China’s Wings.

    Come to Houston and we’ll set up a fine weekend for a first interview with the pilot. Plus there are a number of people here who have read China’s Wings and woud love to talk to you. And maybe a talk on your Iran venture?

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