By June Mathews
Trussville resident Mike Jenne has spent a good part of the past decade creating a fictional account of a secret military space mission during the Cold War, and his work is finally paying off. Yucca Publishing released his first novel, “Blue Gemini”, on May 5. Two other installments, “Blue Darker than Black” and “Pale Blue” will be released at six-month intervals.
A writer of historical fiction and techno-thrillers, Jenne is a licensed pilot, aerospace aficionado and amateur space historian. As a child growing up in Huntsville, he attended school with the children of Wernher von Braun’s German rocket scientists and often felt the ground shudder as the Saturn V moon rockets were test at Marshall Space Flight Center.
Jenne is also a former Special Forces officer who has served around the world, including deployments to Central America, Haiti, the Middle East and Afghanistan, so the military and outer space aspects of his story are familiar territory for him.
“My training as a pilot helped immensely,” he said, “and while I’ve never been to space – obviously – I have personally spent time in many of the places described in the trilogy, mostly as a result of my Special Forces background.”
Jenne is also well versed in the history of the Gemini two-man spacecraft used to validate all the procedures necessary for man to ultimately travel to the moon.
“The Air Force actually had plans to continue flying the Gemini, in much the same manner that’s described in the book, after NASA had finished the Gemini missions,” Jenne said. “But by the time the Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the moon, the Air Force’s plans had been cancelled, and the Gemini never flew again.
“So the idea for my story was that the Air Force continued to fly the Gemini in secret, to intercept and destroy Soviet satellites suspected of being armed with nuclear weapons.”
Jenne dedicated “Blue Gemini” to granddaughter Anna Kate, a seventh grader at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School, who grew from a preschooler into a talented young actress during the time her grandfather created “Blue Gemini” series.
“(My wife) Adele and I have been taking her to plays since she was three, and she was in her first show at ACTA when she was four,” he said. “We’ve both been bitten by the creative bug, so it’s fun and rewarding to watch her talent grow.
“For Anna Kate, I want this book to stand as a tangible example that if you tenaciously pursue your dreams, then someday you will see them come to fruition.”
“Blue Gemini” is available online at Amazon.com, Google Books, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.