Douglas L Perry, The Author blog

March 31, 2009

Unwanted Encounter

Filed under: Stories — douglaslperry @ 12:11 am
Tags: , , , ,

I decided that since my first novel is an airplane story, I should relate some of my flying stories. This happened about 10 years ago, but it’s still fresh in my memory. It was the day that I almost had a twin as a hood ornament.

I had rented a Cessna 172 from the local FBO at Reid Hillview airport in San Jose, CA. It was kind of a clunker, but the engine was strong, and the wings seemed to be attached pretty well, so I decided to head south for some landing practice.

About 20 miles South is an airport known in the local pilot circles as South County. I think it relates to the fact that it is at the southern edge of Santa Clara county, but I could be wrong about that. It’s located right next to Highway 101 in the city of San Martin.94-sm-south_county

The airport has a fair bit of local traffic, but not enough to warrant a control tower. It’s therefore known as an uncontrolled airport. Traffic to and from the airport talk to each other on a common frequency that’s been assigned to that airport. 

As I got within a few miles of the airport I dialed in the appropriate frequency and announced that I was approaching the airport on the 45 for runway 32. I waited for a response, but heard nothing. I scanned the immediate area but I saw no other planes in any direction. 

I scanned down below and located the windsock so that I could verify the wind direction. I saw that the direction of the wind favored landing on runway 14. I changed course to fly parallel to the runway so that I could enter the 45 for runway 14 and started my descent to pattern altitude. As I entered the downwind leg of my landing I got on the radio again and announced my position. At the base turn I did the same. When I was on final I yakked on the radio one final time letting everyone in the area know my position. 

I greased the wheels on the runway, applied full power, slowly removed the flaps, and prepared to climb out. I was just doing touch and goes today, so there was no reason to land completely. After about 5 touch and goes, announcing my position on the radio every time, I prepared for my sixth landing. 

I once again announced on the radio I was downwind, turning base, and finally on final. I was about 100 ft altitude, airplane fully dirty (power off, flaps at 30 degrees, airspeed at 1.3Vso), when I noticed something at the far end of the runway. There was a medium size twin engine plane landing the other way, coming directly at me. 

Luckily I didn’t hesitate, but jammed in full power, slowly dumped the flaps, and started a climbing turn to the right. At first the other pilot must not have seen me, but when he did, it was like he didn’t know which way to go. I was taught to always go right, and that’s what I did. The other guy jinked left, right, left again, and finally turned right. By this time I was away from the airport and climbing, but it was still kind of funny to watch. 

Amazingly enough all of the sudden I now hear someone on the radio asking which runway was in use. Well imagine that, now he wants to talk on the radio. I didn’t get upset, though maybe I should have, but told him that the windsock favored 14. A few minutes later I see him in the pattern lining up for 14. He landed and parked his plane in one of the tiedowns close to the runway. On another practice landing I could see that he was an elderly gentleman, alone in the big twin. 

On another flight when I landed at the airport I talked to one of the locals, and he said that there were a number of “experienced pilots” that seemed to disregard talking on the radio and routinely made straight in approaches to the runway from miles away. Not the safest thing I’ve heard of today. 

If you want to live vicariously through an even scarier landing check out my latest novel. 

 

My latest book

My latest book

March 25, 2009

Exciting News – the sequel

Filed under: Books,Writing — douglaslperry @ 11:57 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I guess it helps when the president of the organization delegates a task. I received his letter just a couple of days ago and today I get an email from the editor. If you remember in my last post the president of the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Organization) said that they were going to review my book in their magazine, and I started jumping around the office in a happy dance. Then again, times are tough all over. 

Turns out that the magazine doesn’t have a book review section anymore. The editor explained that the magazine is now much more focused on just the areas of interest that affect their membership directly. Mostly this is about new restrictions and new fees that are being tossed around in congress that may significantly reduce a private aircraft’s utility and even how many can afford to fly one. It’s another example of system abusers ruining it for the rest of us. Fat cats from the auto industry fly to Washington meetings in private jets when begging for money, effectively giving the industry a black eye. Nice job guys…

Anyway he did offer to include a story in their website, which does reach a large percentage of their readership, maybe even larger than the magazine, but I kind of doubt it. 

So from my point of view, it’s all good. Yes, I would have liked to be in the magazine, but beggars can’t be choosers. Exposure is exposure, and when you are talking about an audience this large, it should be a great help. 

On another topic, I ordered a Kindle version of the book. I am not sure how long it will take to complete, but I will post up links when it arrives. 

As always get the book by clicking on the image below.

 

My latest book

My latest book

March 22, 2009

Exciting News

Filed under: Books,Writing — douglaslperry @ 4:23 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A while ago I sent out some books. I sent a few to some book contests, a few to Internet friends, and a few to an aviation organization. The contests haven’t yet been completed, so I haven’t heard anything. A few of the friends have read the book and liked it. Some haven’t finished it yet, so I don’t know what they think. I received a letter today from the aviation organization that blew me away.

It’s called AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association). It is a group that cares about and lobbies for issues relating to general aviation aircraft. You know them as the planes used for non-commercial flying. The large percentage of these are small planes built by Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft, and many others. 

These planes are usually owned by private individuals that use them for pleasure, but also for business. General aviation provides flexibility in travel that is a far cry from the crowded terminals, long security lines, and cramped quarters of economy class.

This organization publishes a magazine called AOPA Pilot that is sent out every month to their 500,000 members. In this magazine are articles about everything related to aviation. The interesting thing to me, is that they often review aviation related books. 

I sent one of my books to the president of the organization (Craig Fuller) and he liked the book enough that he is sending a copy to the editing staff for review. So my book is going to be reviewed in a future edition of the magazine. 

For me this is huge. It is exposure that I had hoped that I would get, but was kind of unexpected. To say that I am excited is an understatement, I am bouncing off the walls right now. I can’t wait to see the review. 

I’ll be sure to post a link to the online version of the review when it comes out.

Here is a link to the book

 

My latest book

My latest book

March 19, 2009

Chasing my tail

Filed under: Books,Writing — douglaslperry @ 8:02 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve reached the point in my new novel where I have to decide who’s guilty. To non-writers this might seem strange, and even to me, it does. You see, I thought I knew it from the beginning. But then, I didn’t.

I like books with twists and turns, and tend to write the same way. So I don’t know if I have left enough clues along the way that it might seem like my original idea now seems too obvious, or I’ve known it for so long that it’s too obvious to me. Seriously, I don’t know.

I have arranged the three intertwined plots so that any one of the main characters would have reason to kill off one of the other characters. That’s what has given me the flexibility to make the decision later. In fact most of books with interesting twists seem to follow that same strategy. And so now the time has come. I need to write the final scenes and reveal “who dun it?”.

I suppose I could write three endings and see which one I like the best, but that seems like too much work. Especially because I will only keep one. Most likely I am going to go back through what I have written and see what makes the most sense. Then again if it makes sense that contradicts my love of twisting things around.

So there’s my conundrum. I should know in a few days, even though I thought I knew all along. But if I knew all along then a twist would be to make it different. But if I make it too different, it might be obvious, and I don’t want obvious. I should make it obvious because then no one will suspect it to be correct, and that would be a real twist.

I see a tail that I need to chase.

As always you can get my latest aviation thriller by clicking on the book below.

My latest book

My latest book

March 18, 2009

Twitter Talk

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 12:33 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I love Twitter. I use it to talk with all kinds of people, from other authors, friends I have met on it, and friends in real life.

It’s called a microblog because you answer the question “What are you doing?”

The tricky part is that you only have 140 characters to answer. It’s all about getting your message across in the least number of characters as possible. If brevity is king, then snark is queen. Some of the most entertaining messages, or tweets as they are called, are also the snarkiest.

You can check out my snark if you like by following my tweets at twitter.com/thenextwriter.

I chose that name because I truly believe that one of these days I will be published, and not just the self publishing that I have released recently.

You can check out my latest book below.

My latest book

My latest book

March 12, 2009

Adventures in Writing

Filed under: Writing — douglaslperry @ 10:06 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I have been invited to participate in a new writers blog called Adventures in Writing. A number of us writers are going to share stories about the trials and tribulations of writing a book and getting it published. (We will be published, there is no if)

I look forward to share some of the interesting things that happen when you actually make up your mind to write. I don’t know how many times I have heard someone say “One of these days I’m going to write my book”, or “Wow, that would make a good book”, yet very few actually do it. 

It’s hard. Having the patience to actually sit for days in solitude and write down your thoughts in a meaningful composition takes a lot more effort than it seems. Lots of people can tell stories. Putting pen to paper is much harder. 

So watch this space for interesting content from a number of writers as they thrill you and chill you with breathtaking stories of the writing process. 

OK, so maybe it won’t be that thrilling or chilling, but we hope you learn something that makes you a better writer.

As always you can find my latest novel here

 

My latest book

My latest book

March 9, 2009

New Book Trailer is up

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 5:36 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I just created a new book trailer. The changes that I made are what I wanted to do from the beginning, but I didn’t have a chance to get it done the first time. I have ideas on how I want to do the next one, but I need to take a flight somewhere, and I am not scheduled to do that anytime soon. I guess it will have to wait. 

I added some live action footage of an airplane landing in San Jose. In fact an airplane very similar to the one described in the book, that might have a big problem. You’ll have to read the book to find out what went wrong. 

Here is the link for the new trailer

Here is a link to the actual book. 

 

My latest book

My latest book

March 1, 2009

Lost in the Sky book trailer

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 10:03 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I just uploaded a book trailer for my latest novel to Youtube. 

It was kind of a fun project, though after filming it about 20 times, I realize I could never be an actor. I cannot get the words out without stumbling all over myself. Worse, even though I had a set script, I still changed words here and there depending on how I felt as I filmed it. 

I could just imagine the consternation I would cause the writers of the show if I were supposed to be performing their script. You want me to say what?

I feel that it was a worthwhile activity because I think it will help expose the book to those that like a more interactive medium. 

Here is a link to the video

Click on the picture below to buy the book from Amazon. 

 

My latest book

My latest book

Blog at WordPress.com.