Friday, 13 May 2016

New audio book launch

ARAPAHO is now available on audio.  Once again, Silverton Audio did a great job with the production and its now available through, Amazon, Audible and Itunes.  Best I get working on Boghammer now.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

For a limited time only

A quick announcement.  My book sales have been ticking over reasonably well but in order to maybe get up the Amazon listings a bit more and hence increase my visibility - for the next two weeks all the Kindle versions of my books are at 99p or 99cents or 99 something or another's around the world. I feel a little like the guys from DFS or Allied carpets but in this case they will be going back up again in due course.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Royal sensibilities

Had to laugh today.  I sent the manuscript of my Lynx book to Buckingham Palace today with a letter asking if Prince Andrew would provide a foreword.  He was a Lynx pilot for many years and my publisher really likes the idea of him adding a few words - fair enough.  So off goes the email and and automated reply comes straight back saying:
'Your recent message was not delivered because it violates our acceptable use policy on profanity. You are advised to amend your message and resend it as appropriate.'

So I had a good canter through the text and did find two b*****s and three s***s - its about military flying after all, so that's pretty mild.  Off it goes again and gets bounced with the same response.  I revert to the old fashioned system of using the telephone and get told to send it through to a Gmail address.  Sure enough a couple of hours later I get a call to say that all is safely received.

Just curious, I ask - 'any idea why the royal firewall didn't like it?'
A few seconds later I get the answer - 'Er yes its probably the word -----------  cockpit'

Well bugger me.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

I must be doing something right.

After the last post, I had more hits in a day than I normally get in a month.  From the stats it is mainly from peeps on FB who saw my link and the picture of the new book cover.  Its a shame that the book is going to take so long to get published.  I know there are a lot of graphics and it has to go through an editor but it seems strange that when I publish one of my novels I can upload it for sale as a Kindle and paperback in 12 hours yet this 'mainstream' publication will take 12 months!!!  Anyway, just to remind people that I have six novels about the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Navy (including 815 Squadron in the first one), all based on bits of my own career but mainly made up to make them interesting.  So here is another gratuitous book cover - with a Lynx on it.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Lynx book cover

Well  my publishers have been quite quick in some ways and have just sent me the first draft of the cover for the new book.  I have to say I think it looks pretty good but always welcome feedback.  There is plenty of time to make changes as the actual book is going to take at least another 11 months before it appears.  I was hoping for 9 months but apparently because I put some many pictures in it, its going to take a little longer.  In some ways its not a bad thing as this will tie in with the decommission of the aircraft next March.  I've already had to send this draft back as there is one error about one of the photos - if anyone spots it just leave a comment.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Another literary milestone.

First draft of the Lynx book was despatched to the publishers today.  There is one more addition to make.  I was meant to be flying last Wednesday with 815 Squadron to have a final trip in a Mark 8 but managed to select the only day of the week with a Force 10 and low cloud.  Hopefully next Wednesday will be better.  Either way, I wanted to get things going with the publisher and the RN PR people who have to clear the book.  If I actually get airborne I can add the last bit in due course.
The book has been a labour of love and incredibly time consuming especially considering that most of it consists of contributions from other people.  The process of contacting them, 'coercing' them to contribute and then getting the input into a consistent format has not been easy.  However, I must offer a really big thank you to everyone who came up trumps.  Of course I now have to deal with the publishers and have no idea what changes etc they will want.
Publication apparently takes about 9 months which means a launch around Christmas but I am trying to tie it in with various things that the Navy are doing as the Lynx retires.  I am really hoping to get everyone together for a few beers at an appropriate time.
So on with Jon Hunt 7..................

One of my problems is that I've been given so many brilliant photos its been really hard to choose them.  Here's one that I didn't use.

Friday, 5 February 2016

I've been commiting aviation (almost)

As part of the end chapter of my book about the Lynx I want to write a personal account of what the latest Mark 8 is like compared to the Mark 2s and 3s I flew.  Yesterday I was lucky enough to get a ride in the Mark 8 simulator at Yeovilton.  I'm still working on a trip in a real one but the sim was very useful at letting me see all the new electronic gizmos in action.  In the earlier machine, the radar was pure analog and to plot targets the Observer literally had to use a chinagraph pencil on a plastic overlay over the screen and join of the dots over a period of time.  Also the Sea Skua missile could be fired at 9 miles which was great for keeping out of the way of a target's self defence systems but meant you couldn't actually identify what you were firing at - not good.  The Mark 8 now has the radar digitised and fed into a large tactical display which can also show the picture from the Passive Electro Optic thingy on the nose which can easily identify ships at 9 miles.
It was great fun seeing all this working and made me realise how bloody easy it would be for the poor old pilot to get stuck into watching what was on the displays to the detriment of what was going on outside - which is a long winded way of saying I almost flew the thing into the water! I'm not sure that the workload is any higher than in my day but without doubt the results are going to be far more comprehensive and effective.
But of course the real problem with the simulator was that the visuals can only be seen through the main windows and the overhead panels are blank.  This may not seem like much of an issue but when returning to your ship and beating her up, you really need to be able to see the ship when you are almost completely inverted in a wingover, in order to line up properly!!  It was nice to find out I hadn't forgotten how to fly the thing completely..........

There were lots of ways to re-join the ship but it was always worth waking up the bridge staff.