Kermit Weeks, founder and owner of Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Fla., has just released his second children’s book, “The Spirit of Lindy.”
Weeks’ first book, “All of Life is a School,” which was published in 2008, won a Bronze IPPY Award in the 13th Annual Independent Publisher Book Awards. Weeks won the Bronze Award in the category “Children’s Books, Ages 7 and Under,” placing in a field of approximately 50 contenders. A total of 3,380 books were entered in 65 categories in the national contest. “All of Life is a School” has sold more than 6,000 copies online, at airshows, and through the Fantasy of Flight gift store.
The author, aviator and attraction owner feels his second book, which has been in the works for two years, has even more potential than his first. “It’s a great story based on the famous flight Charles Lindbergh made from New York to Paris to win the Orteig Prize in 1927,” he explained. “I came up with the concept, wrote the story, and had two incredibly talented Disney-trained artists, Dominic Carola (pencils), and Ryan Feltman (paint), do the artwork.”
“The Spirit of Lindy” introduces two new airplane-based characters, Geoffrey D. H., an enthusiastic DeHavilland 4 Mailplane with a grand idea, and Lindy, based on Lindbergh’s plane, Spirit of St. Louis. The story takes place at Fantasy of Flight where familiar characters from “All of Life is a School” — Gee Bee Zee, Puff, and all their friends — work together to help Geoffrey pursue his dream and learn a valuable life lesson in the process.
As in his first book, “The Spirit of Lindy” emphasizes the importance of “going beyond ourselves,” said the author. “Everyone can relate to the metaphor of reaching for the sky and the stars. Within us all, we soar in our imaginations and fly in our dreams.”
Weeks, who is a former world aerobatics champion, an avid aircraft designer and a collector of more than 160 rare and vintage aircraft, owns and displays the planes on which the characters in his newest book are based, the DeHavilland 4 Mailplane and a Ryan M-2 single engine monoplane which was adapted by Lindbergh’s team to make the trans-Atlantic flight.
“I got smart this time,” explained Weeks. “While creating ‘The Spirit of Lindy’ I made sure I created characters based on planes I already had in the collection!”
Weeks currently owns seven of the 10 characters in “All of Life is a School,” hopes to acquire two more and build a replica of the third, a Curtiss of which only one exists and is housed in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. He intends to use other planes from his extensive private collection as the inspiration for characters in future books.
“The Spirit of Lindy” may be purchased at the Fantasy of Flight gift shop or online for $19.95 plus applicable sales taxes and shipping at FantasyOfFlight.com