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

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, 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. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

Blogging in Formation is at it once again. And this week it's all about...Truth being Stranger than Fiction, and In my case... a bit scarier too. 

Imagine me writing a novel, Flight For Control, with the theme of mental health embedded in the world of aviation. And then two months after my novel is released a Jet Blue captain is locked out of the flight deck, by his first officer, after he suffers from a mental breakdown. What if he hadn't been locked out? Answer: You have Flight For Control.

Imagine a year and a half later and I am in the final stages of the sequel Flight For Safety... A flying scene is in the hands of an A330 check airman, and an Asiana 777 crashes in San Fransisco.  The email he sent shortly after this crash was, "This chapter is surprisingly similar to Asiana." 

Two fiction stories, both mirroring reality, and now I'm afraid to write the third in the series, Flight For Survival. Truth is stranger than fiction. But it gets better.

In Flight For Safety one of my characters writes about an A330 that fell from the sky over the Pacific, after the pilots pulled it into a stall. Killing everyone on board. You've been there before with Flight For Control, and you will go there again... inside the plane during a horrendous crash.

While my character's chief pilot was ordered to put a letter in her file and forced her to remove her writing about this accident, in real life an A330 check airman had the blessing of his chief pilot to publish a book on an accident that parallels that in Flight For Safety. The real A330 crash: AF447.

While truth and fiction muddy the waters within these stories, the truth is... Understanding Air France is an excellent account of what really happened. I highly recommend the book. But isn't it weird that I write a story about yet another accident that really happened? Okay... not so strange because this accident came first. But you will experience it as if you were there. But there is more ...

In Flight For Safety, a pilot gets called into the chief pilots office for violating the chain of command. Little did she know that the company's open door policy did not apply to flight operations or her. And go figure... this exact same thing happened to a friend of mine, at another airline! Oh wait ... I might have the sequence of who got called in first, backwards. But that's not important now.

What is important is that in my character's case, she soon learns there is a reason that nobody is allowed to go outside the walls of the coveted chain of command. And like all good inciting incidents, her reaction to her violation opened a can of worms that nobody could possibly imagine. Truth is stranger than fiction! But you will get to read all about that (and more) in Flight For Safety.

The bottom line is "Truth is Stranger than Fiction" hits home for me on so many flight levels. And at this point in my writing career, I cannot control what my characters say, and or do. They have taken on a life of their own and nothing is left to imagination. Okay... maybe a little. 

Update: I have been trying to release Flight For Safety by August 24th, for a very special person's birthday. But as hard as I tried... that date is not going to be a reality. But the good news is, this 150,000 word sequel will be available by September.

I am asking everyone who has not read Flight For Control to please do so. You can purchase an autographed copy off my blog in the upper left hand corner. This will be awesome for a couple reasons. First, I can make room in my closet for the next in series. And second, you get a great story with an autograph. Flight For Control is also available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both Hardback and Paperback, Kindle and Nook too! Oh ... and Audible Books has created the audio version.

For those of you who have read it, and have yet to leave a comment on Amazon, I would really appreciate if you would. I'm standing with a 5 star rating with 69 comments, and the more the merrier!

Please enjoy my fellow "blogging in formation" bloggers. You'll be excited to read their stories of Truth is Stranger than fiction. Below is the schedule, and for what I've read so far... I know you will enjoy them as much as I have. And I have Ron and Eric to go! A fun week to be had by all.
Before you go...
Do you ever wonder how much truth is in fiction?

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 


  1. Karlene,
    I got a chill reading about the timing and similarity between your works and recent events! Truth can indeed be stranger than fiction!
    Good stuff!

  2. Hey, can you write a piece in which an unemployed wireless executive who happens to be an under-employed flight instructor, starts a new wireless business that is so successful, he resigns with his millions to be Chief Pilot in the company's booming aviation department?

    What if you are Inkheart?

  3. Looking forward to the sequel! Can't wait to read more about the harrowing adventures of my fiance-to-be (she just doesn't know it yet) Darby! ;-)

    Also looking forward to y'all reading my Blog Formation post tomorrow. It's a little game called, "Once Upon a Time"--it's a rollicking ride if I do say so myself!


  4. Ordered my signed copy just now. Can't wait to read it! And those character's do take on a life of their own.

  5. Sometimes we must slow our pace to create something greater...

    You are awesome! ;)


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