Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why the Title "Forcing the Hand of God"?

With the release of my latest book Forcing the Hand of God, I am often asked if this is a religious book. The answer is no, although it does have some elements of spiritualism, but mostly from a fighter pilot's perspective.

The title actually came to me while I was writing my college thesis, which was about flying and World War II. I discovered that the fighter pilots who flew in WWII--and those that fly in every war--know that every time they go up in the air to wage battle, they are challenging God and forcing him to choose the outcome of their life and mission. Engaging in air battle is a game of survival. With all the strength, knowledge and control the pilots seemingly have, in the end they really don't decide who lives or does...God does.

Roger, the main character in the book, struggles with the idea that God actually has the final say. He feels the need to continually challenge this possibility. It is what drives his passion for being a fighter pilot as well as what causes him great internal unrest because he is also a husband, father and son. His character is truly conflicted. Must he give up his passion for flying and living on the edge to be with the people he loves and end up living a sedentary life?

I'd love to hear from other fighter pilots, military personnel, and their family and friends about living with this kind of daily struggle. Are we all Forcing the Hand of God?