Tuesday, June 24, 2014

“Fly Away to The Danger Zone” by Syd Blue, Author of Circle

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Syd Blue, author of Circle, to Shelf Full of Books. First, a little about Syd, and then on to her guest post.

Syd Blue had her 1st flying lesson on her 14th birthday. What a birthday present! Now she’s a commercial pilot living a life in the skies. She started writing novels in the back of her parent’s Mooney when she was small enough to fit in the baggage compartment. Trips to grandma’s house were even more fun in a plane, especially when she could get the yoke away from her 3 brothers, all of whom are pilots too.

FlyGirl Syd has also written, edited and produced for everything from TV stations to production companies, from book publishers to national magazines. She has had over 40 articles published and screenplays optioned, and supervised writing staffs around the world at magazines and news services. She also produced an award-winning documentary, TV shows, commercials and short films.

As Chief Pilot running an aviation business specializing in aerial surveillance, she sees the expansive view from above throughout the Southwest. Home base is a cabin in the woods with her knight-in-
shining-armor husband, gigantic heating bill, and three precious hissing-fire cat-beasts (all of whom hate flying).

FlyGirl and Circle are at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and Syd is repped by Paul S. Levine, the best agent in the world.

Author Links

“Fly Away to The Danger Zone” by Syd Blue

Don’t laugh but when I was learning to fly, I sometimes needed help mustering courage to go to my flight lesson. I’d put on Top Gun and sing along to “The Danger Zone.” Conquering the air is a huge challenge. When you’re up in the sky and the winds have turned nasty, you can’t say, oh never mind, I don’t want to do this. You can’t pull over to the side of the road and get out. You have to land the plane if you want out!

When you’re flying alone and you encounter tough conditions or even an emergency, no one can climb into the plane and rescue you. It’s all up to you. You have to get yourself back on the ground somehow. I think that’s what makes the journey of becoming a pilot so empowering. It builds confidence. You have no choice but to step up and succeed.

My 1st novel, FlyGirl, has a lot of true stories in it from pilots I know. It’s about a 16 year old who learns to fly – the hard way. Similar to the main character, Jill, a pilot I know learned to fly when she was in high school. This made her an instant celebrity at school. FlyGirl Jill starts off wanting to learn to fly to get a guy’s attention, but once she’s up in the limitless sky, she discovers a love for flying. A dream is born to become a pilot.

I love to put Jill up in the sky 10,000 feet and see what she does when something goes wrong. I know what it’s like to be a ping-pong ball in the sky from the mean winds. Turbulence beats me up during my low-level flights through mountain passes. As Chief Pilot of an aerial surveillance company, I can’t avoid harsh conditions up there. After the nasty spring winds, I come home and ask my massage therapist hubby to put me back together. He keeps me in one piece.

A few aspects of the story mirror my life. One of the characters, Vern, resembles one of my first flight instructors. Up in the sky, I often caught the octogenarian snoozing during my lessons! I was terrified he would conk out or the old plane would fall apart. The flight school didn’t endear much faith with all the cracks the plane had in its fuselage. But it’s the story at the end that is really special to me, a sweet gesture from the pilot community the way I experienced it.

Transitioning to flight didn’t happen overnight for me. It took me a while to work my way up to the yoke, the control column. When I was a child, my family took trips to grandma’s house in a little airplane. But my parents had more children than seats, so they put me in the baggage compartment. There was nothing to do back there. No windows. So I wrote stories and started my 1st book at age 9. When I finally got my hands on the yoke, it was hard to learn to fly, but that’s what makes it worth it!

You won’t believe what the #1 question I get from kids who watch my videos on my channel (YouTube.com/FlyGirlFlyGirl). They ask, "Is flying hard?" I explain to them that easy is sitting on the couch. They have to be greatly encouraged to attempt "hard things." I explain that the journey of learning to fly is very empowering. And going after hard challenges helps them grow into someone they can be proud of.

There is a huge interest in flying -- so many kids write: "I want to fly so bad!" I hope to inspire them with FlyGirl's story. She actually makes it worse on herself by what she does and gets herself into misadventures. With tenacity, she tackles and overcomes many obstacles to go after her dream.

And you may think she’s pretty dumb for forgetting one little thing – gas – but 1,700 pilots have caused an accident from fuel mismanagement. At least Jill has the excuse of being a teen!

In my life, I’ve made many mistakes – some of them have even turned out good. How about you? What’s something that happened to you that you thought was a mistake and later turned out to be a blessing? Maybe all things are working together for good.

My 2nd novel Circle is about a 14-year-old couch potato who meets an extra-terrestrial girl he must help return home with the one thing her civilization needs to survive by breaking into a military base, rescuing the pilot and helping them escape Earth.

Even though Circle isn’t about flying it does have flying in it, as do most things I write. I guess Author and Aviatrix goes together. I may not be able to write from the baggage compartment any more, but the view of the world from the cockpit is inspiring. A horizon that never ends. Gorgeous expanse with unlimited possibilities. Join me for a life in the skies, whether in the book or behind the yoke.

By Syd Blue
Publisher: Syd Blue
Published: Feb. 8, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

Discovering a girl under his bed isn’t the strangest thing happening to Spencer. The real shock comes when he finds out who she is and why she is on Earth. 

Mandy, an extraterrestrial girl, has been hiding out ever since the jet she stowed away on crashed in the desert behind his home. When the pilot is captured by the Air Force, Mandy is left lost and alone. She asks Spencer to risk everything to rescue the pilot from Edwards Air Force Base and help them get back home with the one thing their civilization needs to survive.

On the run from soldiers, fighter jets and attack helicopters, Spencer and his family fall into crisis when they find out what it is that Mandy and the pilot have really come to Earth for.

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