Penguin Michael Joseph scoops Tremelling's fighter pilot memoir

Penguin Michael Joseph scoops Tremelling's fighter pilot memoir

An “exhilarating and insightful” memoir of life as a fighter pilot from Commander Paul Tremelling has been signed by Penguin Michael Joseph (PMJ).

Rowland White, publishing director at Penguin Michael Joseph, acquired world rights directly from the author. Harrier: How To Be A Fighter Pilot will be released in hardback and e-book on 28th April 2022 retailing at £20 in hardback. 

Scheduled for 28th April 2022, the memoir is a “vivid, unapologetic, and blisteringly authentic account of what it takes to become a fighter pilot, shining a light on the demanding and unforgiving world of fast jet combat like never before,” the publisher said.  

The blurb reads: “Whether landing on a pitching aircraft carrier deck at midnight, or saving troops under fire in Afghanistan, this is a world in which there is no room for self-doubt or delusion; only unshakeable confidence and hard truth. In return, Paul Tremelling and his comrades enjoyed levels of exhilaration unimaginable in any other line of work.  

“Combining visceral action with sharp intelligence, and laced with acerbic humour, Harrier: How To Be A Fighter Pilot takes readers into a rarefied world with personality and unflinching candour.” 

Tremelling joined the Royal Navy in 1996, specialising as a fighter pilot flying the Sea Harrier and Harrier II. During his career in the Navy, he was mentioned in despatches following action in Afghanistan, undertook operational duties off Libya, served aboard the French Navy aircraft carrier 'Charles de Gaulle' and completed a frontline tour with the US Navy flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet. He was inspired to become a fighter pilot by the Sea Harrier’s success in the Falklands War and now, 40 years on from the anniversary of that conflict, he reflects on his own 21 years of service.

He said: “I was lucky enough to fly and fight with some of the finest people on the planet. All of us were lucky we had the opportunity to do so from the cockpit of a true British icon: the Harrier. In the face of the inherent challenges of operating fast jets at sea I made it my business to try to simply keep going. By keeping going I got up to things that seemed worthy of writing down – the highs, lows, professionalism, buffoonery, battle-winning precision and near disaster. Harrier is the result.” 

White commented: “Vivid, front-footed and often very funny, Paul’s book pulls no punches in bringing to life the high-stakes, high-octane world of air combat. It provides one of the most memorable and distinctive insights into a fighter pilot’s mindset that I’ve come across. I’m so pleased to see Paul – and Harrier — come to PMJ. And at a time when the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War will remind readers of how the legendary jump jet first earned its spurs and the long-awaited release of 'Top Gun: Maverick' will once again make us all wish we were flying fast jets off the deck of an aircraft carrier. Or is that just me?”