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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

That's How I Blogroll!

Last year (i.e., 2 weeks ago), I was invited by pilot-author Karlene Petitt ( to participate in a "Blogroll."  Basically, you answer a few Q's about your next book, and then pass it on to the next author-blogger.  Since I just released The Last Bush Pilots, I answered the Q's about it.  

But first, a bit about Karlene . . .

Karlene Petitt —International Airline Pilot, Author, mentor, motivator, speaker, wife, mother of three and grandmother of six.
Ultra-prolific blogger and author/airline pilot Karlene Petitt scribbles away over at Flight To Success (
Ms. Petitt is author of the award-winning and highly-acclaimed novel Flight For Control.

Check out her "Next Big Thing" interview HERE.

Recently, I was honored to be the subject of Ms. Petitt's “Friday's Fabulous Flyer" blog feature, which weekly profiles pilots around the globe, from grizzled airline Cap’n types to pre-solo fledgelings.  Read that interview HERE.

And now, for my Blogroll interview . . .

Give us a synopsis of your book in one or two sentences.

"Two young pilots, one bold dream.  But if Alaska doesn't beat them, their friendship may."

How long did it take to write the First Draft of your manuscript?

It took about a year to finish the first draft of The Last Bush Pilots.

For me, writing the first draft is the easy part.  It's where all the magic happens.  While staring at a blank page might be a bit intimidating at first, once you create a few compelling characters and throw them into a situation, you get to see what happens.  Like giving birth to your own child, it's magical to watch them grow and develop and take over to write their own story!

Then comes the hard part.  I spent the next five years "workshopping" the story with other writers, whacking, honing, pruning, and editing-editing-editing.  That's what whips your manuscript into a readable book.

What genre is your book?

Mainstream fiction, action & adventure.

To what other books would you compare this story within your genre?

I always wanted to be the next "Tom Clancy of aviation," so I was ecstatic when noted author Tawni Waters said exactly that about my novel!

I like the "technothriller" genre that Mr. Clancy basically created, where, in the course of telling of your story, you also regale the reader with some of the esoteric, technical details of complex machines and systems, whether it be airplanes, tanks or battleships.

I also was inspired by his use of multiple short stories told within even one chapter, sometimes only a paragraph long.  It makes the action and pacing jump quite nicely, like a roller coaster always changing course.  That dovetailed well with my concept of the "short stories woven into a whole."  (see next Q.)

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was astounded by all the tall tales, wild characters and gorgeous scenery I encountered while flying the Alaskan bush in the Summer of '87, so I whipped up several short stories inspired by them, and wove them into a cohesive novel.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

For the lead of DC, me of course!  Well...25 years earlier!  Now I'm closer to the role of grizzled Chief Pilot Dusty Tucker!

Check out my rig at
Speaking of which, Harrison Ford is perfect for Dusty.  He's even got his own de Havilland Beaver airplane!

You want me to strap on a friggin' Alaska bush plane?  Dude, I fly Starships for a living!
Seriously, though, I'd have to say Chris Pine (the new Captain Kirk) would be awesome for DC.  He's got that clean cut, all-American boyish look to him, but with surprising depth and intelligence.

"That's right, baby.  Dark is my middle name."

Allen, a bit of a darker character, would work well for Colin Farrell (perhaps a few years his junior.)

"I'll take the part, already.  Just get me off this damn Ice Wall!"
If Colin is too busy shooting Total Recall 2, Kit Harrison (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones) should do nicely.

"You mean I get to date Chris Pine AND Colin Farrell and then dump them?  SIGN ME UP!!"

Mischievous Native Alaskan Tonya Hunter, the boys' love interest, might work well for Slumdog Millionaire actress Frieda Pinto.  But, really, it would be a great breakout role for an alluring, upcoming actress with mischievous, daring eyes!

"Can I be in your movie, Eric?  I got the cool aviator shades!"
Brad Pitt would be perfect for ladies' man Jake "Crash" Whitakker.  He also has the depth to play more than just a pretty boy pilot.

"Sure, I'll fly your plane.  But let me slay a few more Kings first."
If we can't afford Brad's top dollar paycheck, a worthy alternate would be Game of Thrones  heartthrob Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (who plays Jaimie Lannister).  Again, looks and depth.

"Hey, Bud.  Let's go light up a volcano!"

Which makes me think of Johnny Depp for that rascally jokester-pilot Ralph Olafsen.  While women seem to swoon over Johnny in real life, he can immerse himself in the most bizarre of characters.  And Ralph is pretty dang bizarre!

"You f$%^ up, I cut your cajones off.  Capiche?"
No-nonsense Check Airman Holly Innes, an "aviatrix" fighting for respect in the notoriously macho bush pilot world, would be great for someone like Charlize Theron.  Like Johnny Depp, she can mask her stunning looks behind a much deeper character.  Ultimately a pivotal figure in the novel, Holly is very strong and complex.

"Zed, we have a bug.  Oh, wait, I mean an FAA violation!"

And finally, for Draconian FAA Inspector Frederick Bruner, Tommy Lee Jones is perfect!  Like Holly, he too is straight-laced and by-the-book, but in the end turns out to be a pivotal and deep figure.  Just like Tommy!

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

People are always asking me how much of the book is "fact" and how much "fiction."  As I wrote in my Preface, there are a lot of actual situations which inspired characters and story lines, but the "facts" end there.  For example, I really did fly a plane load of bear cubs, orphaned when a poacher killed their momma sow for her claws.  So, I wanted to write a fun story exacting poetic justice on said poacher.  Hence, the Doyle Brothers in the book!

What I love about fiction is that you can write about "truth" rather than "facts."  What is the meaning behind what is happening?  The most compelling fictional characters grow and learn as they live their story, and we as readers grow and learn with them.  The best books are those that, years later, you may not remember the characters or situations, but you still live some of the simple "truths" gleaned from their story.

The Next Big Thing

And so we pass the baton off to the next author-pilot-blogger . . .

CloudDancer flew the Alaskan Arctic bush for twenty years before becoming an airline pilot

A personal friend of mine is a very experienced airline captain who goes by the pen name of CloudDancer.  An arctic bush pilot for twenty years, he is the author of four nonfiction books about Alaska bush flying.  In fact, a quote from this revered aviator-author graces the cover of The Last Bush Pilots.

CloudDancer writes about the wild, whacky and nearly always hysterical trials and tribulations he experienced while flying the Alaskan bush.  Volume 3, however, is a brutally honest and serious book about, and dedicated to, those contemporary aviators of his whose lives were lost in the merciless Alaska bush.

Visit his site at!

We'll have more in next week's post about these intrepid author-aviators.


Here's more links to aviator-authors participating in this blogroll:
Harrison Jones, author of Equal Time Point and Shadow Flight
Rob Akers
Syd Blue


Posting Jan. 16 @ 1200 PHX:

Kick A$$ Aviation Pilot-Writers

Cap'n Aux reviews the above authors' works!


Posting Jan. 23, 12:00 PHX:
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The Top Cap'n Aux Posts of 2012!
A Recap of the most popular posts of 2012--voted on by your clicks!


  1. What a line -up of stars!! If Harrison is too busy..I say Jeff Bridges would do!!! Awesome interview!!! Still loving the book... :-)

    1. Thank you, Mary Mug! Jeff Bridges--good call!

      Let us know what you think when you finish reading--happy adventures!

  2. Fabulous line-up! But I have to say the one that hit home was Bruner. Tommy Lee was who I pictured as I read. And Johnny Depp... Perfect.

    Five years of conferences and work-shopping... well worth the effort. It shows. I loved The Last of the Bush Pilots. You can read my amazon comment here: Then a full review next week on my blog.

    And thank you so much for the great mention. I am looking forward to meeting CloudDancer, and reading his work too.

    Excellent job! Mostly... looking forward to the next Big Thing.

    1. Thanks, Karlene! I liked "Last of the Bush Pilots" too--a classic! But I didn't write it. PSYCH!!! LOL!

      Ya actually I had a blast "casting" the book. Had never thought of it b4...but what fun it would be to see Tommy Lee and Johny Depp duking it out on camera, eh?!?!?!

      I'll check out the review, thanks!

  3. Thank you for turning me in Karlene's way for reading - I have yours downloaded for my Kindle - haven't started it yet - but - now I have Karlene's book too!! Choices choices - which to read first after finishing my current book!! :)

    1. YW Mark! You've got plenty of time for both! I'd recommend reading the 1st chapter of each to decide...but I have to admit, both of our books start with a "bang!" ;)

  4. A Big ole 'Welcome' to Karlene.....!!!
    What a lovely new member to our 'Aviation family'.......!!!
    and as well, all the new folks who come to visit.....ya Cappy!!!
    and as always thank you for giving me your 'Shoutouts' is so appreciated....!!
    Can't get enough of you "Aviation" authors as well, I've purchased Karlene's book....and am looking forward to reading.......!!
    yes, it may take me.....a year, ;b 'Will' get read.........:))))
    "Cloud Dancer".......I'll be checking out as well....!!
    Now the picture of you with the wine glass..........Mmmmmm
    you've got the wrong 'wine' glass in your hand.......Grrrrr....
    Love em and leave em......LOL.......

    Thanks Cappy for shareing Karlene's with all of us.....I've been to her blog......and it's every bit as Awesome as yours......!!!!!.....
    Can't wait for Cappy's 'Year in Review' Post..........I know which one will be my favorite........I think....!!??......
    That 'post' will be Fun!!!!!
    Stay safe in your "Highchair"......

    1. Hi Getjets! You'll love Karlene's book--I know cuz u loved mine!!

      I think you'll dig CloudDancer's Chronicles too--they're just too frickin' funny!

      I dunno--I was in the heart of California wine country, at a winery...and it tasted perdy damn good from that glass, dear!!

      I know you meant to say that Karlene's blog was ALMOST as awesome as mine! I forgive you, Dear!!

      I know you're gonna go apesh*t over the Best Of post...can't wait to hear which is YOUR favorite!

    2. OH Cappy......Yes Yes............that Karlene's blog was ALMOST as awesome as yours.....Please forgive me............!!!........Smile!!
      I am ready to go apesh*t over the Best of post's.??
      I surely have a few on my top 5 list........Lets open a bottle of red............and choose.............Can't Wait.........!!

  5. Hey Cappy.........guess what I got in the mail today..........??!!.....Karlene Petitt's "Flight for Control" book..............!!!!
    and I read the the pre-face.......I'm not 100 % sure......this is going to be nice.................!!??....Time will tell......when I'm done reading...........I'll give Karlene my honeset I've done to your writings...............Its an 'Adventure'.....we all seek........but maybe a bit fearful others do the falling for us...................I'll ya know how far I

    1. It's pretty hardcore, Dear! Very intense. ....You'll love the "naughty parts" lol!


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