Close to the Sun follows the lives of fighter pilots during the Second World War. As a boy, Hank Milroy from Wyoming idealized the gallant exploits of WWI fighter aces. Karl, Fürst von Pfalz-Teuffelreich, aspires to surpass his father’s 49 Luftsiegen. Seth Braham falls in love with flying during an air show at San Francisco’s Chrissy Field.
The young men encounter friends, rivals, and exceptional women. Braxton Mobley, the hotshot, wants to outscore every man in the air force. Texas tomboy Catherine “Winty” McCabe is as good a flyer as any man. Princess Maria-Xenia, a stateless White Russian, works for the Abwehr, German Intelligence. Elfriede Wohlman is a frontline nurse with a dangerous secret. Miriam Keramopoulos is the girl from Brooklyn with a voice that will take her places.
Once the United States enter the war, Hank, Brax, and Seth experience the exhilaration of aerial combat and acedom during the unromantic reality of combat losses, tedious bomber escort, strafing runs, and the firebombing of entire cities. As one of the hated aristocrats, Karl is in as much danger from Nazis as he is from enemy fighter pilots, as he and his colleagues desperately try to stem the overwhelming tide as the war turns against Germany. Callous political decisions, disastrous mistakes, and horrific atrocities they witness at the end of WWII put a dark spin on all their dreams of glory.
Donald Michael Platt received his B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley. After two years in the Army, he went to graduate school at San Jose State where one of his short stories was published in the college’s literary magazine, The Reed, and won the following awards in the annual Senator Phelan Literary Contest: 1st & 2nd in Plays; 1st & 2nd in Essays; 1st & 3rd in Free Verse.
After teaching English and Creative Writing at Los Gatos Union High School, he moved to southern California and began his professional writing career. He sold to the TV series, Mr. Novak, ghosted Your Hair and Your Diet for health food guru, Dan Dale Alexander, and wrote for and with diverse ... (more)