Contract Airline Services


"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Deadstick Dawn


Sharon Menear

''How My Pilot Career Ended 
and My Author Career Began"


"I was the sort of person who enjoyed high-adrenaline sports and high-speed cars, motorcycles, boats, and airplanes. All those rushes of adrenaline may have caused the rare eye disease I developed, Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR). The exciting activities and stress caused eye damage and advanced the disease.

I was warned to take an early retirement from my airline pilot career and avoid stress and high-adrenaline activities or I would soon be blind. My early retirement from USAirways was effective in December of 1998, but my last airline flight had been in March of 1993 before I went on medical leave, not knowing at the time I’d never be back. I missed the final flight fanfare and retirement party.


Before my eye disease, flying had been my whole life. My retirement in 1998 coincided with a divorce and a move to another state. I felt lost. It took a while for me to accept that my aviation days were over. My life had no direction. That’s when my mother stepped in and encouraged me to write a novel. She said I had always been a good story teller. But telling and writing are quite different. I had never taken any writing courses and knew nothing about how to write a novel. I loved reading action thrillers and decided to study the way they were written.

Dreaming up stories in my head was never a problem for me, so I sat down in front of my computer and started typing the plot that was in my head. Writing became my passion. I joined a weekly critique group and learned I was making every mistake a new writer could make. The criticism stung. I had gone from being a well respected captain at the top of my profession to a know-nothing new writer. The members were ruthless in their critiques of my work, but I swallowed my pride and attended the meetings every week for two years. Slowly and steadily, my writing improved as I rewrote every chapter no less than fifty times. Another two years were spent tweaking the plot and prose.

When my novel was as good as I could make it, I hired a professional editor to give it a final polish. Then I entered my book in the Royal Palm Literary Competition and won the award for Best Unpublished Thriller in 2011. The next step was finding a literary agent. All the agents I met at writers’ conferences were fresh-out-of-college and looking for hot young authors in their twenties and thirties. The publishers’ representatives were polite but not interested.


After two years of rejections, I was almost ready to give up and self-publish. A dear friend I had helped with her book, Angel Heat, convinced her publisher, Suspense Publishing, to look at my action thriller with a female airline pilot as the main character. Author Leslie A. Borghini compared reading fast-paced Deadstick Dawn to flying at Mach 2 with your hair on fire. Her publisher loved my book, gave me a contract, and released the book August 13, 2013.

I used the gender-neutral author name S.L. Menear, instead of Sharon Menear, in the hope that men will buy the book, too. All my test readers, including men, loved it. Deadstick Dawn will be available online at Amazon, B&N, and in select bookstores.


DEADSTICK DAWN: The Belfast Agreement is about to be shattered by Operation Blue Blood. One young American stands in the way, airline pilot Samantha Starr. She is catapulted into a deadly chess match with police, assassins, and British Special Forces, all who want her dead. The fate of nine noble bloodlines depends on Samantha and a boy whose hero is a wizard. Stranded in Scotland where she is accused of kidnapping and murder, where can she run? When a US Navy fighter pilot and a SEAL join the hunt and every choice can get her killed and start a bloody war in Northern Ireland, on whom should she rely? The line between trust and betrayal is razor sharp, and it is cut at Deadstick Dawn.

Now I’m busy writing Book Two in the Samantha Starr Series. It is rare when a person is given the privilege of enjoying two careers in one lifetime. I am thrilled beyond belief."


Sharon, Thank you for sharing your story.

We may not have control of what happens to us in our life, but we do have control of how we deal with those events. We can either feel sorry for ourselves, or reinvent another version.

I have yet to read Sharon's novel, but felt compelled to share her journey. Please join me in wishing her the greatest success in her new career.

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

19 comments:

  1. Well, Heck Yes! I too wish Capt. Menear a great success with her just-released first novel. One full career as an experienced pilot has given her more than plenty to write about and, as we have learned from Karlene's blogged experiences, developing a good story into a published novel is not an easy task. I look forward to reading Sharon's first and Karlene's second books. Congratulations, ladies, one trembling page after another. Best regards to you both. -Craig

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Craig, thanks for all the kind comments. I hope you enjoy DEADSTICK DAWN.- Sharon L. Menear

      Delete
    2. Craig, Thank you so much for the great comment. As always you are there with the gift of wind beneath our wings!

      Delete
    3. Ha! Too often the benefit of Hot Wind from here, but my pleasure in reading well crafted books is from the heart. After reading some of your posts and exchanging a few back channel notes, I've developed a profound respect for the effort that goes into a good book. Thanks Karlene and Sharon. -C.


      Delete
    4. Well.. then we'll be balloon pilots!!!

      Delete
  2. Karlene you are absolutely right. We can either feel sorry for ourselves or do the reinventing.. I'll choose reinventing.

    Sharon's story is a amazing from top to bottom and so is that book to which I will put on my reading/fly list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the comment Jeremy. I choose to reinvent too!!

      Delete
    2. Jeremy, thanks for putting Deadstick Dawn on your reading list. I hope you enjoy it.
      Sharon L. Menear

      Delete
  3. Sharon story reminds me somewhat of mine, I'm so happy she was able to find another passion! Her book is now next on my list to order on Kindle. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Victoria, I thought about you as I read her story. Amazing stories...and all of success. Keep flying strong!

      Delete
    2. Victoria, thanks for ordering Deadstick Dawn on Kindle. I hope you enjoy reading it. - Sharon L. Menear

      Delete
  4. From one former Pan Am flight attendant, turned author to another, I can't wait to read your release. Wishing you many sales.

    Marcia King-Gamble

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marcia, thank you so much for your comment! A Pan Am flight attendant too... such an exciting career!

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Marcia. I'll see you at the FRW meeting in September. I hope you enjoy reading Deadstick Dawn.
      Sharon L. Menear

      Delete
  5. Sharon,

    This is a great lesson for everyone.

    NEVER GIVE UP!

    Way to go Captain. I will have to add it to the list of books I need to read. Thank you for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Rob! NEVER EVER GIVE UP... For sure!!!

      Delete
    2. Rob, thanks for adding Deadstick Dawn to the list of books you will read. I hope you enjoy it. - Sharon L. Menear

      Delete
  6. Sharon, I was privileged to read a major part of the book as you were editing. Very exciting does not come close to conveying the excitement! Always eager to hear the next chapter, I am looking forward to reading the entire book straight through with no interruptions! Pat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always fun to be part of the process. Thanks for the comment Pat!!

      Delete

Thank you for your comment! If your comment doesn't appear immediately, it will after I land. Enjoy the journey!