Saturday, December 18, 2021

Interview With Author Dave “Bio” Baranek





1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?

This is my third book, and the inspiration is slightly different. When I wrote my first book, Topgun Days, I wanted to tell the story of some of my high-profile experiences in Naval Aviation: ejecting from an F-14, becoming a Topgun instructor, and helping to make the movie “Top Gun.” I felt that people would be interested in a more complete story about topics shown in the movie – which is still popular. Since publishing that book I’ve met many people and found continuing interest in stories related to Naval Aviation: excitement, challenges, humor, teamwork, and more. Tomcat RIO has some of my favorite stories and also some of my favorite photos.


2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?

Tomcat RIO is a memoir of my years in Naval Aviation after serving as a Topgun instructor. I returned to an F-14 Tomcat squadron and experienced success in flying missions and helping to run the squadron. Several years later I was selected to command an F-14 squadron and I describe the challenges and rewards associated with that responsibility. There are healthy doses of teamwork and flying excitement throughout the book.

I think my primary audience is the aviation enthusiast, female or male, of almost any age. But I ensured the book will be of interest to the lay person who doesn’t know much about aviation.


3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?

I didn’t think too much about that when I was writing the book, but since you asked … I hope they take away an understanding that Naval Aviation requires skill, commitment, and teamwork by everyone involved. This includes the aircrews in the aircraft, as well as maintenance personnel, aircraft carrier crewmen – everyone. I also hope readers realize the book adds depth to what they may imagine from the characters in “Top Gun.” Finally, I hope they realize that sacrifices are necessary to realize a career in Naval Aviation, but that career is very rewarding.


4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?

Don’t give up. If a person is thinking of writing a book, I encourage them to do it. Writing a book is an enjoyable process; it’s something you can do at your own pace and in your own way. Completing the book will give them a feeling of accomplishment. The next phase for me, getting published by a traditional publishing house, was quite a different challenge but also one that I enjoyed. Writers these days have many options as far as publishing their books, so they should select the one that works for their personal goals.


5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?

That’s a tough question because I’m not really a student of the publishing world, and my crystal ball is not very good. I think the e-book market will remain strong, but I also think there will be a continuing market for physical books, much like the vinyl record album has made a comeback, because some people like a real book: the feel and smell of the paper, the experience of holding it while they read. In fact, Tomcat RIO is printed on larger paper so the reading experience is more enjoyable: the type is a bit larger and the photos are almost twice as large as in my previous books.


6. What challenges did you overcome to write your book?

As mentioned before, writing the book for me was enjoyable. I had good memories of the events I wanted to describe, and was able to corroborate them with notes, training records, logbooks, and other records. My challenge was getting published, for which I sought the assistance of a literary agent. I expected my book to be appealing to any publisher (doesn’t every author?), so it was a surprised when I had to write more than a few query letters and proposals. But I persevered and it all worked out.


7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?

Tomcat RIO will take readers along on the uncommon adventures associated with life in a Navy fighter squadron: flying from aircraft carriers, dogfighting with adversaries, and more. But I was also sure to include plenty of humorous elements and many personal stories, as well as the “eye candy” of more than 50 color photos.


Author Bio:

Dave Baranek enjoyed a successful and satisfying twenty-year career in the United States Navy, starting with assignments to F-14 Tomcat squadrons and the elite Topgun training program, and on to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the US 7th Fleet. Baranek retired from the Navy in 1999 and is now a defense contractor. He is married and lives in Florida. For more information, please see:

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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.

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Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: 



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