Shropshire Star

Author Ron Powell thought audio book deal offer was a scam

An author with strong links to Ludlow mistakenly thought an offer to purchase the audio book rights to two of his titles was a scam.

Ron Powell at Castle Bookshop

Luckily Ron Powell was able to reveal that Tantor Media is a major American publisher of audio books with an amazing selection of prize-winning authors and narrators, plus a good reputation among its authors.

Although the deal at $1,000 for both books won't change his life, he is in line to receive more from future sales.

Retired RAF pilot, Mr Powell, whose brother Brian works in Ludlow station ticket office, said: "When I self-published Wings Over Summer and Wings Over Malta on Amazon eight and five years ago respectively, they both did well, especially in the United States.

"But inevitably over the years sales slowed; that is until December 2019 when, for some reason, both titles suddenly took off again. A few months later, Tantor made their approach and, to cut a long story short, I went for it."

Wings Over Summer opens with Spitfire pilot, Alex, leaving Ludlow for RAF Biggin Hill, where he joins the fight against the Luftwaffe in the skies over southern England at the height of the Battle of Britain.

Mr Powell added: "Having signed with an American publisher, I was a bit worried the British characters might sound like Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins, or worse still, be turned into Americans. But I needn’t have worried. The voice artist chosen, Hannibal Hills, is fantastic, capturing all the accents with ease.

"I couldn’t have asked for a more authentic rendition of my words. It’s as if Hannibal’s read my mind and, even if I do say so myself, the end result is amazing."

Wings Over Summer has just been published as an audio book on Amazon and other major platforms, with Wings Over Malta to follow in mid June.

All Mr Powell’s titles are also available from Ludlow’s Castle Book Shop and railway station, and you can find out more on his website,

Mr Powell was born April 4, 1955, and grew up in Ludlow, where he attended the grammar school and was a member of 333 (Ludlow) Squadron of the Air Training Corps.

He joined the RAF as a Halton Apprentice in 1973 and retired 32 years later as a group captain commanding the first stage of flying training for the Army, Navy and RAF.

In between, highlights included working as an airframe/propulsion fitter on Vulcan nuclear bombers; flying the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft during and after the Falklands War; becoming a flying instructor and instructor of instructors on the staff of the RAF Central Flying School; and commanding two University Air Squadrons (Wales at St Athan, and London) and a Harrier detachment in southern Italy during the Balkan crisis.

The father of two and grandfather of one now lives in south Wales with his wife, Geraldine, but returns to Ludlow regularly.

Since retirement, he has published five books: an illustrated history of the Battle of Britain, Hitler’s First Bloody Nose; a novel, Wings Over Summer, set in the same period; a sequel, Wings Over Malta; and two volumes of memoir, Shropshire Blue; the first, Preparation For Flight, about growing up in the border town of Ludlow and his early years in the RAF; the second, On The Buffet, about his RAF pilot training. All are on sale in Castle Book Shop as well as on Amazon.

Ron has also written numerous short stories and articles, many of which have been published and/or broadcast, and several of which have won prizes.

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