“Spitfire Girl” by Birchington’s FJ Beerling

Birchington author Faye Beerling has a new book called “Spitfire Girl” – the story of pioneering pilot Jackie Moggridge.

 

Joining the Air Transport Auxiliary when she was just a teenager, Jackie Moggridge flew aircraft from the factories to the front line during the Second World War. We spoke to Faye to find out more.

 

What inspired you to write “Spitfire Girl”?

I was fortunate enough to be commissioned by her daughter, Candida Adkins. Candida read Little Wings: The Story Of Amy Johnson (another of my books), and wanted to reach out to younger readers and thought I was the best person to do the job.

 

How did you research the book?

Working in partnership with Candy, she was so lovely to work with. I was privileged to access original photographs from Jackie’s own private collection, and I had long chats with her daughter Candy, so it was a wonderful time and a great experience.

 

Was it intimidating taking on the story of a real-life hero?

No, not at all. It was so rewarding; it was an honour and I hope that I have done her justice.

 

Do you have a favourite story or fact about Jackie that you discovered?

Yes, which is shown in the book:

Male fighter pilots and engineering weren’t used to seeing women in the cockpits. “By Jove, you’re a girl!” said one engineer when Jackie climbed out of the cockpit.
“Yes,” she replied brightly.

I just love the way Jackie played it down, as if to say why wouldn’t a girl be ferrying a bomber aircraft during World War Two?

 

Who do you hope will enjoy the book?

Readers from all backgrounds and of all ages. I want it to reach out and inspire other girls and women to consider a life in flight.

 

Spitfire Girl by F.J. Beerling is available to buy from Amazon and Blackwell’s. Keep up to date with Birchington’s Faye by following her on Facebook @fairyfayeb.

by Alice Smales

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