Posts Tagged ‘the flight plan less traveled’

I’m thrilled to welcome Leigh Dreyer, author of the modern Pride and Prejudice variation The Best Laid Flight Plans, back to Diary of an Eccentric. This time Leigh is here to celebrate the release of the sequel, The Flight Plan Less Traveled. Leigh was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about the book and her writing in general, and she’s come with a gift for one lucky reader. Please give her a warm welcome!


What was your inspiration for the series?

My inspiration for the series starts at home. My dad is a fighter pilot (he instructs in the T-38, just like Darcy in the The Best Laid Flight Plans and The Flight Path Less Traveled). I met my husband when he was in pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, which is the base Meryton Air Base is inspired by.  He flies “heavies” which means he flies passenger and cargo jets. We’ve been stationed across the United States (literally from Washington, D.C. to Hawaii and all through the middle of the country. I traveled through the Finger Lakes area of New York a few years ago and fell in love with it. When I needed a place for Pemberley, that region of New York seemed like the most idyllic, beautiful place to set it.

Generally, people say “write what you know.” I know pilots and Air Force life, I’ve lived it as an Air Force brat and a spouse. Luckily, with my dad, husband, and father in law, I have more than fifty-five years of combined Air Force pilot experience to draw from when I have questions.  This second novel has been interesting research-wise because I had a lot more specific medical timelines to figure out. I needed to speak to a few doctors and was lucky enough to have a lot of assistance from my mother who is a Nurse Practitioner. Many of the medical board scenes are based on friends and family’s experiences going through the same thing.

Did you find it hard to adapt P&P into the modern day?

The Flight Path Less Traveled was inspired by P&P while The Best Laid Flight Plans is really a modern P&P retelling. For Flight Path I pulled some characters from other Austen works, you’ll find Miss Bates, Mrs. Jennings, and John Willoughby throughout the book. In my mind, I like to think that all of Jane Austen’s works take place at the same time and that the characters might have known each other. I’ve tried to bring a little of that to this series.

Bringing individual characters from Sense and Sensibility into a world of Pride and Prejudice was exhilarating. Miss Bates, for example, is Elizabeth’s physical therapist. I dream cast her as Octavia Spencer and picture her being talkative (obviously), but also a little wise, and caring. I’ve been in biweekly physical therapy for the past 7 years and have a great relationship with my therapists. I know how incredible and valuable they are to any trauma recovery. I wanted to throw a little appreciation for the amazing care my three therapists have given me over the years so I needed Miss Bates to be the best. I could just picture how Miss Bates’ personality would grate on someone so purpose-driven as Elizabeth and thought that the dynamic between the two were some of the most interesting scenes to write.

The hardest thing I’ve found about modernizing the story is the various rules of etiquette that are so prevalent and vital to propelling the story forward. In some ways, I’ve mitigated this by setting the story in the modern Air Force. Darcy and Elizabeth are literally not allowed to have a relationship because that would be a fraternization issue. As an interesting point of fact, I was nearly banned from Laughlin Air Force Base last year because my first book has a kiss at the end. I was accused of encouraging fraternization between instructors and students. Later that year, there were several people removed from command because of several problems in this area. It really is a huge issue that plays throughout the first two novels in the series.

Would you write a Regency?

Writing a Regency terrifies me, to be honest. I have a plan to write a P&P-based time travel novel next which will at least begin in the Regency period. Frankly, fans are incredibly knowledgeable and I am so afraid of making a slight etiquette mistake that gets me raked across the coals. I am still a fairly new writer, so I tried to begin with a world I was comfortable in. I practice my Regency skills as I write Mr. Bennet and I hope to write a Regency after doing a little more extensive research and feeling better prepared to make fans happy and give them a novel with the quality I have come to expect.


About The Flight Path Less Traveled

In this modern Pride and Prejudice continuation and sequel to The Best Laid Flight Plans, 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Bennet and Captain William Darcy are facing trials after the events of Elizabeth’s last flight. Darcy’s proposal lingers between them as Elizabeth becomes almost single sighted to her rehabilitation and her return to pilot training. A secret is revealed to Elizabeth about Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s past that throws all she has known to be true into a tail spin. The romance between our hero and heroine begins to blossom through military separations, sisterly pranks, and miscommunications. Can Darcy and Elizabeth come together or will flying in the Air Force keep them apart?

Buy on Amazon


About the Author

Leigh Dreyer is a huge fan of Jane Austen variations and the JAFF community. She is blessed to have multi-generational military connections through herself and her husband, who she met in pilot training. She often describes her formative years in this way: “You know the ‘Great Balls of Fire’ scene in Top Gun (‘Goose, you big stud!’), where Goose and Meg Ryan have their kid on the piano? I was that kid.” Leigh lives with her pilot husband, a plane-obsessed son, a daughter who will one day be old enough to watch romantic movies with her, and another little one expected in September 2019.

Connect with Leigh: Website | Goodreads | Facebook



Leigh is generously offering one ebook copy of The Flight Path Less Traveled to a lucky reader, open internationally. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Friday, April 5, 2019. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Leigh, for being my guest today and for taking the time to answer my questions. I look forward to reading both books. Congratulations!

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