Sometime last summer, Nathan Crowder and I began a conversation about the "night witches," the Soviet women who flew combat missions during World War II. We both find their history intriguing and discussed the endless possibilities for a novel.
Nathan wanted to do something historical, a departure from his urban fantasy/mystery novels. I was inclined to the more fantastical, something that weaved Russian mythology and folklore into this piece of aviation history.
So last summer we both pledged to start a novel about the night witches. To give ourselves a deadline, and little motivating competition, we both signed up for NaNoWriMo. You can follow our adventures at the NaNoWriMo website. Find my story "Night Witch" here and Nathan's "Flight of the Black Swan" here.
Want to learn more about the real flyers?
There's a number of articles on the web, including the Wiki article linked above. But for a great read, try A Dance with Death by Anna Noggle. Packed with interviews with the women who flew mission after mission, and returned home alive while many of their companions perished, this book captures the passion, the fear, and the courage of the women who flew to save their country.