'Black' Robertson

'Black' Robertson

Article, Author of books, Ghostwriter, Non-fiction

Also writes as

Booking enquiry
'Black' Robertson - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Talk, Reading, Interview, Commission a book




Biography, History, Memoir, Narrative, Non-Fiction

Book types

Non-fiction for adults



Numerous TV/radio appearances and talks, including one at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, have brought the confidence to relate to any audience. I particularly enjoy the interplay of Q&A sessions - often the most revealing and rewarding element of an event. The brief testimonials below bear this out.

'What a splendid evening you gave us yesterday - Mary and I are most grateful to you. We thought your talk immensely entertaining; it was perfectly pitched and delivered with great style. The audience reaction (not to mention the book sales) will have told you how well it went down.'

Lord Stirrup, talk at Brydges Place Club, London

'Black is an engaging and passionate speaker, with the right balance of thoughtful reflection and humour. After the two talks Black has conducted for the Royal Air Force Museum the feedback has been immensely positive and guests have particularly commented on how interesting the talks were and what a good speaker he is.'

Vicki Hibbert, Head of Events & Catering, RAF Museum

'Thank you very much for agreeing to speak to Club members about your book; your talk proved to be an excellent addition to our Events programme.  You will be pleased to know we have had very good feedback . . . with many commenting that they found you both informative and entertaining. Having read your book myself, this comes as no surprise!'

Air Cdre (Retd) Dai Whittingham, Chair of Events Committee, RAF Club

As at the 2021 Cheltenham Literature Festival, I can provide talks and lead discussion on becoming a writer - how to get started, what it takes, even the pitfalls.

Leadership is another topic that fascinates me. I've learned from experience, and not just in the military - getting things wrong as much as getting them right - that ultimately it all comes down to the human factor, the individual. I'm ready to share these experiences either through talks or discussion groups. 


Books by 'Black' Robertson

I've produced four well-received books - as a writer, ghostwriter and editor. They're notable for their authenticity, excitement and easy-to-read style.
Fighters in the Blood

Fighters in the Blood

Two stories with fascinating parallels unfold in this unique memoir. One of a WWII Spitfire ace, the other of his progeny, a second generation fighter pilot. The author's reminiscences are interwoven with those of his father in an intensely personal, revealing and at times controversial story. Anyone interested to know more about flying, about the RAF, about leadership, about character even, need look no further than this beautifully crafted, immensely readable account. 
A Spitfire Named Connie

A Spitfire Named Connie

‘A Spitfire Named Connie’ is an exciting, rollercoaster of a story. Through hundreds of his letters, the prequel to ‘Fighters in the Blood’ tells the tale of decorated Spitfire ace ‘Robbie’ Robertson’s two great loves: flying and the schoolgirl he eventually marries, Together with diaries, correspondence from RAF colleagues and Robbie’s flying logbook, they bring a unique authenticity to this highly-charged tale. It reads like a novel, filled with excitement, pathos and compassion, yet, incredible as it may seem, almost every word is true. 
From Spitfires to Vampires and Beyond - A Kiwi Ace's RAF Journey

From Spitfires to Vampires and Beyond - A Kiwi Ace's RAF Journey

Spitfire pilot Owen Hardy was probably the last New Zealand ace to tell his story. He left home at 18 bent on joining the RAF; by 1942, aged only 20, he was at Biggin Hill with 72 Squadron under Brian Kingcome. D-Day found him flying over the Normandy beaches with 485 (New Zealand) Squadron. That he survived the war unharmed owed as much to luck as to his ability as a fighter pilot. Unable to settle in civilian life in New Zealand afterwards, he rejoined the RAF for the second phase of a remarkable career. Converting to jets, Hardy went on to command 71 Squadron, leading a Vampire aerobatic team in displays across Europe – dodging MiGs at the same time! But adapting to peacetime service wasn’t easy. Previously stimulated by the wartime environment and still passionate about flying, he was less enamoured with staff work. Then a fateful decision, to turn down a Javelin posting and follow his mentor, led finally to disillusionment. Hardy pulls no punches in this forthright and refreshingly honest autobiography. In retelling his story, editor Black Robertson shines a light not just on what it was like to fly in combat, but also on the changing face of the post-war RAF. 
13 978-19117141
Flying Through the Ranks

Flying Through the Ranks

Flying Through the Ranks is genuine five-star stuff, with nearly 40 contributors from a marshal of the RAF to a junior technician. Their stories run the gamut of risk-taking - Cold War to the Balkans. A Lightning first-tourist succumbs to the ‘press-on’ spirit. Later, in the Falklands, calculated gambles put tanker and helicopter crews in danger. A brilliant, almost equally risky piece of improvisation averts potential disaster for a Hunter pilot, while for a split-second a Harrier aviator stares death in the face. A Typhoon pilot meets aggressive Russians and a Phantom flyer who tries the Navy for size finds he rather likes it. He eventually transfers his allegiance – unlike the Buccaneer navigator who happily returns to the fold after his own carrier experiences. And from Kosovo there's a tale of an astonishing helicopter escape. Engineer stories abound too – in fact, a Phantom engineer becomes the first woman to fly operationally in the RAF. There are accounts of unlikely escapades in Cyprus, fighting in the Dhofar War, a UK base prone to serious accidents. Finally, a Suez incident exemplifies the bond between those who fly and those who support them on the ground. 

Upcoming events

Friday, 08 Nov 2024: Phew - That Was Close!

Phew - That Was Close!

Morning talk

Wednesday, 16 Oct 2024: Reflections on the Battle of Britain

Reflections on the Battle of Britain

Evening talk

Thursday, 03 Oct 2024: Phew - That Was Close!

Phew - That Was Close!

Morning talk

Wednesday, 11 Sept 2024: The Story of a Spitfire Ace

The Story of a Spitfire Ace

Evening talk

Wednesday, 04 Sept 2024: Reflections of the Battle of Britain

Reflections of the Battle of Britain

Afternoon talk