Goodreads asked Antoni Joe Podolski:

How do you get inspired to write?

Antoni Joe Podolski An excerpt from the book - Joe's own words to describe why he decided to write this book, 23 days.


At long last I have decided to put something on paper. As I begin to write this the year is 1984, nearly half a century after the start of the Second World War and the times I wish to recall. It is also a significant year for anybody who has read George Orwell's novel describing what he predicted would happen to our society. Fortunately it has not turned out that way but if events had been different during that War maybe Orwell's predictions would have been a lot closer to the truth.

In many ways I feel I have been bullied by others into this crazy idea of writing my life story. I have given it very deep thought. The majority of people who tried to persuade me to write are expecting me to include something about my flying career, as most people know me from my flying circles. Maybe one day I will venture into that field as I have done some exciting flying in my life. But frankly, so many books have covered this subject so thoroughly that I feel I have very little to add. All my experiences as a flyer in a Polish Air Force Fighter Squadron have already been written down over and over again. The magic of the shout, “squadron scramble!”, has been experienced and explained by so many people to so many readers, that I feel it has been worn out, just like a pair of old socks. I was fortunate enough to be the Chief Flying Instructor in a local gliding club for many years, but so many excellent books have been written on this subject for me to be able to add to. I am nowhere near a good enough writer to compete with the literary geniuses who already written about those subjects.

However there is one part of my life that very few people can say they experienced, and that I can record, and that is the horror of some five months at the beginning of the Second World War in 1939 trapped between two armies in the middle of Poland. It was my own private nightmare and I have relived it so many times over and over again during the past forty years.

At times I feel that these experiences made it more difficult for people to deal with me than it would have been otherwise, but that is all water under the bridge. Having eventually resolved to write this book I recently asked my long-standing friend, my solicitor, “Where do I begin?” "At the beginning", he simply replied. OK then, but where is the beginning?

More Answered Questions

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more