PatZi'S interview with Paco Chierici on July 16, 2019
A brilliant debut...
Wow! I love pilots and beautiful aircraft. So it was a thrill to read Paco Chierici's debut book, Lions of the Sky.
Paco Chierici has written a compelling story about young competitive Navy pilots training to fly one of the hottest planes in the fleet, the F-18 Super Hornet. With a great cast of characters, we follow them as they go through rigorous training to join a combat squadron on one of the newest carriers in the fleet, USS Bush.
His main character, Sam "Slammer" Richardson is a fighter pilot's pilot, a reluctant legend who has been taken off the line to do a tour as an instructor. Before he can get back into real action and rejoin the Fleet, he has to train one last class. It is a class that will force him to confront his own doubts as one of the students is a brash, carefree female pilot -- Keely Silvers, who is the embodiment of all that grates on him.
You don't have to love military fiction -- like I do -- to enjoy this exciting book. It is an international thriller with a great back story about the a potential conflict with the Chinese. It's timely and scary at the same time.
Authors always love to get great blurbs for their books and one from the former Secretary of the Navy is particularly impressive.
Paco Chierici has written a humdinger of a book. Through vividly drawn characters, he takes us inside a Navy fighter squadron showing their incredibly difficult day to day lives, including the obstacles women still face in this tight knit community....a terrific window into a world very few people see. --The Honorable Ray Mabus, 75th United States Secretary of the Navy
This is a terrific book written by someone who knows what he is writing about as he captures the joy of flying fast, the atmosphere of a carrier and the banter of the world's greatest pilots. It is a fast-paced riveting read!
Paco is one of the best pilots I know, and a damn good storyteller. Lions of the Sky is gripping, fast paced, and authentic. If you want a real, edge of the envelope thriller, look no further!-- Brandon Webb former Navy SEAL, pilot and New York Times Bestselling author.
You will enjoy this book -- which I predict will become a major motion picture.
We all know the name Baldacci -- so now we have another great Italian name - Chierici.
In Italian 'ch' is pronounced like a 'k' -- as Paco suggests, think of chianti, a rich and bold Italian wine.
The name suits him -- he's bold for sure. And, I must add, gorgeous. Of course the hero of Lions of the Sky, Slammer Richards, is based on his exciting career as a Navy pilot. The question is: Where are they going to find a 6'3" gorgeous guy like Paco to play him in the movie?
About the Author
During his ten year active duty career in the U.S. Navy, Francesco "Paco" Chierici flew A-6 Intruders and F-14 Tomcats. He was deployed to conflict zones from Somalia to Iraq, and was stationed aboard carriers including the USS Ranger, Lincoln, and Kitty Hawk.
Unwilling to give up dogfighting, he flew the F-5 Tiger II in the Navy Reserves for a further ten years as a Bandit, concurrent with his employment as a commercial pilot.
Throughout his military career, Paco accumulated nearly 3,000 tactical hours and 400 carrier landings. He received the Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Star, and three Strike/Flight Air Medals.
After leaving the military he became a 737 captain, but he hasn't given up his need for speed -- in his spare time he can be found getting his dogfighting fix in the skies above Northern California flying a Yak-50 with a group of like-minded G-hounds.
Although this is his first novel, Paco has a long history as a published author of non-fiction in magazines such as Aviation Classics and Fighter Sweep. He also created and produced an winning naval aviation documentary: Speed and Angels.
Get Paco's book...
This is going to be a great series.
Visit Paco's Webpage...
You must visit Paco's website! He has many of his articles and some great videos.
My favorite is Paco flying the Yak-50.
It is so exhilarating just to watch it and you will want to watch if over and over. The choice of music is great, too.
"The Yak is flight the way it was intended to be," Paco explains.
"It's just a stick and rudders - no automation, no modern technology.
It's flight in its purest form.