Author: Miguel Vargas-Caba
ISBN: 978-0-595-42558-7
Publisher: iUniverse

Click Here To Purchase Bear: Flight to Liberty


Today, Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is excited to have as our guest, Miguel Vargas-Caba author of Bear: Flight to Liberty.


Good day Miguel and thanks for participating in our interview.

Norm:

How did you decide you were ready to write Bear: Flight to Liberty?

Miguel:

I asked myself: “If Viktor Belenko’s defection to Japan in a MiG-25 –one man in one single airplane– caused so much noise worldwide, how much noise could generate the defection of a whole crew in a B-52-sized airplane?” After thinking about the pros and cons of such a defection, weighing the validity of the feat, and most importantly, its feasibility, I came to the conclusion that I had a very good and original subject in my hands, worthy of being penned down.

Norm:

In fiction as well as in non-fiction, writers very often take liberties with their material to tell a good story or make a point. But how much is too much?

Miguel:

It becomes too much when what could be a credible story becomes exceedingly incredible. This is not to say that we as writers cannot use our creativity, without abusing our literary license, to bend reality a little bit here or there. If that were the case, we would not have, for example, Science Fiction as a genre. I mean, it’s too much when the readers have to reach and exceed the limits of what they’d be willing to accept as
believable. The moment that happens, the readers will simply close the book and return it to the shelves.

Norm:

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Miguel:

Historical Fiction is challenging per se, as you have to be very careful not to include anachronisms into the plot. Otherwise your readers would simply crucify you on the spot. Historical Fiction about the Cold War is even more challenging. One has to be doubly careful now, in order not to include artifacts or events that do not relate to the main protagonists or to the lesser characters that took part in that war. And the whole story has
to be written, taking into account, as much as possible, the historical accuracy of the events portrayed.

Norm:

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

Miguel:

I learned that the desire to be free is ingrained in human nature. No matter what anyone may already have in material or physical terms, if a certain measure of freedom is not provided, then people will try to obtain it by any means possible, including, if necessary,
the sacrifice of one’s own life.

What I enjoyed the most was when I let the characters take a life of their own, each with their personal characteristics, idiosyncrasies, desires, and quirks; sometimes pushing the plot to totally different paths from what I had previously thought and planned. Sometimes, to my amazement, they dictated the outcome of the events they were participating in.

Norm:

Where did you get your information or ideas for Bear: Flight to Liberty?

Miguel:

I spent the 30 years between 1977 and 2007 researching every aspect of the Soviet Union: its leaders and government, its security forces, its Armed Forces in general, and specifically its Naval Aviation and all its weapons and equipment. Most of the ideas came to me on their own, based on the environment in which the Soviet military functioned. This permitted one action or another to happen while completely choking
others, such as personal initiative, for example.

Norm:

What do you think makes a good story?

Miguel:

The ability to keep the reader hooked on reading page after page after page because of the need to know what will happen next. It is the writer’s responsibility to ultimately answer the most important question: Will the heroes succeed in their quest?

Norm:

What has been your overall experience as a published author?

Miguel:

That being published is not the end of the quest, it’s just the beginning! Researching and writing, although somewhat difficult, is not even close to the struggle to be known, recognized, and accepted by the reading public. That is the real work.

Norm:

Would you say that the publication of your first novel is the culmination of a life long dream?

Miguel:

Yes, indeed! After all, why spend thirty years researching and writing if it’s not to be
published?

Norm:

Can you tell us how you found representation for your book? Did you pitch it to an agent, or query publishers who would most likely publish this type of book? Any rejections? Did you self-publish?

Miguel:

I had already seen how difficult it is for a new writer like me to break into the fiction market using the traditional publishing avenues. I also came to the conclusion that agents and publishers have no idea who is a good writer and what constitutes good writing. This was after reading what they had done to so many authors of the caliber of Ray Bradbury (1000 rejections), John Creasy (774 rejections), Jack London (600 rejections); or the comments made on their writings: “Jonathan Livingston Seagull will never make it as a paperback,” to Richard Bach. “A very bad book.." told to Pierre Boulle about his Bridge Over River Kwai. The classical “I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language,” to Rudyard Kipling. And in my own genre, what John le Carré’s writings deserved, from one publisher to another, after he submitted his first novel, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold: “You’re welcome to le Carré – he hasn’t got any future.” Since I didn’t want the whim of a publisher to deny my novel the opportunity of reaching my intended audience, I self published it. After all, it has always been the case that critics say whatever is on their minds, but it’s the reading public who in the end has the last word. To the critics, my pleasure will consist in quoting that great crooner, Frank Sinatra: “The best revenge is massive success.”

Norm:

Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We would love to hear all about them!)

Miguel:

A writer who stops writing might as well die and be done with. I have two projects on the burners right now. “Chronicles of the Bear – Stories from the Bear Crews” came sort of serendipitously. As a result of the many years of research on the Soviet Naval Aviation, I accumulated a large amount of material about the pilots and crews of the TU- 95 Bears. This material is in the form of comments, interviews, flying charts, mementos,
and dozens of photos of Soviet crewmen detailing their lives at all the airbases their military duties took them throughout the world: Cuba, Guinea, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and as they flew over our aircraft carriers and other naval vessels. After writing “BEAR – Flight to Liberty”, I realized I had enough material for a second book where the real exploits of these men –in their own words– could be read by those of
us who live in the countries belonging to their former “potential adversary,” NATO.

The second book, “K-129 is Missing”, is a historical fiction novel, based on real events, about the disappearance of the Soviet Navy submarine K-129, with 3 thermonuclear missiles aboard. Everyone knows that the wreck of this submarine was later raised to the surface from a depth of 3.5mi. by billionaire Howard Hughes, under the CIA-funded “Project Jennifer” contract, using the “Research Vessel Glomar Explorer” in May-June 1974. The nagging question has always been: How and why did K-129 end up at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean? That’s what “K-129 is Missing” attempts to answer as we sail with the crew of the ill-fated submarine, from the beginning of its fatidic journey at Avachinskaya Bay, Kamchatka, USSR, to its explosive end near Oahu, Hawaii.

Norm:

How can our readers find out more about you and Bear: Flight to Liberty?

Miguel:

They can visit the novel’s website, www.bearflighttoliberty.com, already available in English and Spanish, like the novel itself (and soon to be published in French). Here they can read more information, see photos, and watch videos about the TU-95 Bear and the events mentioned in the novel.

Another website is “Thoughts on the Cold War” at thoughtsonthecoldwar.blogspot.com, where I’m placing chapters of the second book,
“Chronicles of the Bear,” as well as other comments on this most important period in world history.

Norm:

Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?

Miguel:

Being a Hispanic, I am doubly proud to be one of the few Hispanic-Americans writing about the Cold War, and even prouder to be the first, and at the moment, perhaps the only Dominican who writes on this complex subject.

Norm:

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.

Click Here To Read Norm's Review Of Bear: Flight to Liberty


Click Here To Purchase Bear: Flight to Liberty