US Army Air Corps B-25 “Mitchell” medium bomber.

Apparently I’m a historical fiction novelist now.  My initial foray into the field, When Heroes Flew, has proven surprisingly successful.  On Amazon, the novel racked up over 100 reviews in less than a month, eclipsing tallies for my previous books—even those of my flagship Eyewall—by a number of weeks!

Not only that, but the reviews for When Heroes Flew have been overwhelmingly positive. I won’t bore you with a sampling here, but if COVID-19 news has numbed your emotions to the point where you’re looking for things uplifting, try Amazon or Goodreads.  (Okay, maybe it only works for me.)

At any rate, my publisher, Severn River, seems uplifted, too.  After I mentioned I was working on another historical fiction manuscript, they phoned me.  What’s it about? they asked.  I told them.  Without seeing a proposal, synopsis, or sample chapter, they asked if I’d like a contract.  Sure, I said. 

Why you wonder, after a wham-bam debut in the field, wouldn’t I seek a bigger publishing house?  Been there, done that.  Not gonna waste my time.  You gotta remember, I’m in the don’t-purchase-any-green-bananas age category now.

When I first contacted Severn River about When Heroes Flew, I told them it was a one-off deal.  I didn’t plan to write anymore.  The bossman there, Andrew Watts, was reluctant to take on a “one-trick pony,” but did anyhow.  Then my life circumstances changed dramatically a couple of months ago, and I plunged back into writing.  The bottom line is, since Severn River Publishing did right by me—not only in taking on the manuscript but effectively marketing it—I want to reward that confidence.

Hopefully, you’ll see a manifestation of that in the spring of 2021.  That manifestation is tentatively titled The Shangri-La Raiders and will feature another legendary WWII air raid by US forces.

But look for B-25s this time, not B-24s.


  1. Meridel prideaux on May 29, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Just got When Heroes Flew and can’t wait to read it. Then will pass on to a BHS pal😷

  2. Buzz Bernard on May 29, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Hi Meridel–Great to hear from you. I hope you enjoy the novel, and if I may make my usual plea, please post a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads when you’re finished. For those of you wondering, BHS is Beaverton High School in Beaverton, Oregon. Meridel and I were classmates there shortly after the dinosaurs went extinct. Anyhow, Miss Meridel, I’d be pleased if you’d pass WHEN HEROES FLEW around to some of our old partners in crime.–Buzz

  3. Harvey Rourke on July 29, 2020 at 10:36 am

    I am an avid reader of fact based, military aviation novels and have just become aware of your novel..
    I have a friend, also an avid military aviation reader, who actually piloted some of those same missions on Ploesti in a B-24 and survived being shot down on what became his last mission. On rare occasions, he’ll discuss his experiences.
    My question, how much of your novel, “When Heroes Flew” is based on fact, fact based fiction or fiction ?? i am contemplating buying your book, reading it and then sharing it with my friend. What will his impression be ??

    • Buzz Bernard on September 15, 2020 at 12:38 pm

      Harvey–I apologize profusely for not responding to your comment sooner. There are times when I just forget about checking my website as often as I should. Perhaps your question has already been answered. But here’s my response: the details of the raid are all fact based. The protagonist and his American bomber crew are fictional, as is the German fighter pilot. But everything else is fact-based. Here’s what one reader posted on Amazon: “As an Air Force veteran myself (Viet Nam, not WWII) as well as a writer (military science fiction, not historical documentary) I appreciate all the work the author did to get the technical details right, specifically for the B-24 Liberator. Based on a true story of a raid that actually took place, he has created a compelling yarn, a real page-turner. At first, I thought maybe the Epilogue (after the main action of the story was over) was just too much detailed information, but by the time I finished it I realized that the story wouldn’t have been complete without it. Liked it well enough that now I’m going to pick up the second books in the series.”
      Again, my apologies, Harvey, for being such a tardy responder.

  4. “THE END” IS JUST THE BEGINNING - Harold Bernard on September 15, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    […] In a previous blog, I mentioned that I had a new work-in-progress (WIP) with a tentative title of The Shangri-La Raiders. I thought the title might not stick. But it has. My publisher, Severn River, decided the new book would be a nice follow-on to When Heroes Flew. Thus, the “official” title of the WIP is When Heroes Flew: The Shangri-La Raiders. […]

  5. Amelia Stephenson on May 6, 2024 at 10:47 pm

    Hi! My son is very interested in WWII history. He’s 10, finishing up the 4th grade. Would this novel be appropriate for him? Thank you!

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