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You are now entering the world of my thoughts.

This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Author Interview + Book Giveaway: Flight For Control by Karlene Petitt

Happy Thursday everyone!!! Welcome to another author interview. Today I would like to introduce you all to Karlene Petitt. Karlene is the author of Flight For Control, her debut aviation thriller novel released last month!

Airliners are crashing throughout the world, 
and nobody kows why...

Kathryn Jacobs was on a fast track in a career that she loved with the National Transportation Safety Board until her life took a different direction. Now, ten years later she lives with her husband, Captain Bill Jacobs, and their twin daughters in Seattle Washington.

Haunted by her past, and yearning for the career she'd given up, Kathryn’s offered an opportunity of a lifetime—to return to the N.T.S.B. to investigate a series of airline accidents. Unfortunately, Bill has other plans. 
While her husband is campaigning for his airline pilots' union presidency, Kathryn secretly investigates the mystery of these unexplained crashes. And the only thing stopping her from discovering the truth is a trail of deception paved by her husband.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a wife of 31 years. A mother of three daughters, a Grandmother of 5 with number 6 arriving any day. I'm also an International Airline Pilot and have flown for 8 airlines, Type-rated and have instructed and or flown on the Boeing aircraft - B744, B747, B767, B757, B737, and B727. I currently fly the Airbus A330 for a major airline, and I'm based in Seattle. I've got two masters degrees: MBA and MHS. I'm kind of a do it yourself grandma, bake cookies, tile floors, mow the lawn, weed the garden, and paint trees on the ceiling. 

What were your earliest memories of writing?
My earliest memory was my mother trying to correct my paper telling me I used the word "I" too much. But today I'm breaking free of that and planning my next book in first person.

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural?
I was never encouraged to write. But I love to learn so when I returned to school to obtain my masters degrees knowing how to write was a must. I also have been writing articles and training programs for the airlines for many years. But fiction was another story. I'm so thankful I attended William Bernhardt's writing seminar to learn the basics.

What inspired you to write "Flight for Control"? 
The inspiration came from a pilot who’d said, "I would rather see the airline shutdown, than give them anything!" during negotiations. I wondered... “What if?” How far could a pilot go in the name of passion and anger? This novel is wrapped around the industry and the current environment—fatigue, stress, proficiency issues, automation, recent crashes, etc., We never think a pilot would be anything but stable. But with the current economy and stresses, pilots are still people, and I'm wondering how far can they be pushed before they break? During my Masters in Human Services I took a majority of psychology courses, and love to know why people do things. I've also worked in training in the majority of the airlines I've worked, and I know what is going on behind the scenes. This was a story that had to come out. I've been working on it for two and a half years. 

What was the most difficult part of writing your?
The most difficult part was definitely finding the time in my busy schedule. There were times I set my alarm at 330 in the morning to get up before the day started. Sometimes bed comes at 1 am. I didn't put the rest of my life on hold, I just worked around my life. 

Do you have a favorite character?  
 I have two favorite characters: Kathryn and Darby. Kathryn had given up a career that she loved to raise a family, but yearns to get back to the NTSB. She struggles with that guilt between work and family, and a husband who doesn't support her dreams. Then I love Darby. She is so much fun. She is the airline captain with a sense of humor. These two women are a great pair. Can you see the female theme in what appears to be a male book? Yes, women and men love this. I'm thinking I might have created a new genre.

What was the most difficult chapter to write? How did you get through it? 
The sex chapter was the most difficult. I attended the Hawaii's writers’ retreat and we had to share our chapters each day. I was so embarrassed and fearful with this one. But one thing I learned in the early stage of writing was not to write to be safe, but to be free to say anything. I wrote this chapter on purpose to break through my fear. Once I did this, and knew everyone read it, I was okay. I worked through the fearful feelings. I really liked that all the women loved it. 

What has been the most challenging part publishing "Flight for Control?" 
The most challenging thing was knowing it was out there to be judged. I was out there to be judged. I had to realize that "I wrote a book." And despite anything that anyone says, I still can feel pride. I am so thankful that (so far) everyone loves my book. So much positive, it's overwhelming. My youngest daughter even sent me a text, "Mom, this is soooo good. I can't believe you wrote it! I love it!" But being on stage is a challenge.

What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books?
I'm usually spending my spare time with my grandkids, or husband. Or doing something crafty in the house. Last week I put ferries in the ceiling of the tree room. Yes, I painted a room like a magic forest with branches over the ceiling for the grandkids to sleep, with glow in the dark stars in the branches. I also make Sunday dinner for the family. You can often find me on a plane to Austin to visit my youngest daughter, and grandson too. And I do all this while working my full time job.  I sit reserve, meaning I'm on call for the airline. When they call, I jump into my uniform and fly to Osaka, Amsterdam, or wherever in the world they send me. Lots of time to think about plot points while I fly.

What author inspires you the most and why?
Knowing that I can make a difference in the life of someone. I've always searched for the meaning of life. I knew there was something out there I was supposed to be doing. I just never knew what. So I just kept doing and going.  What I've realized by my doing so much, I've been able to give others courage to step outside their box, and help them through my experiences. I guess my inspiration comes from the joy in helping other people reach their dreams, and giving them wings to fly. Just being there to say "you can" makes a difference.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding writing schedules, goals, etc.? In addition to getting up at very early hours, I make sure I work on a project every day. Now that my book is published email could keep me all day, so I get up early, make a cup of coffee, turn on my music and write for a few hours before I visit the internet.

What is one book every writer, new or seasoned, should read?
Noah Lukeman's The First Five Pages.

What advice do you have for new writers?
If you have a goal, all you have to do is a little bit toward it daily. For all of you who are putting off writing a book because of time constraints, all you have to do is write one page a day and then in a year they will have a first draft.  24 hours a day is the only thing we have equal to each other. It's how we use it that counts. And surround yourself with other writers, there is a bond that transcends everything else.

Thank you Karlene for stopping by and sharing your journey to publication with us. :)
Saba, Thank you so very much!!!

To find out more about Karlene and her book, go to her website, Flight To Success. And now it is time for the giveaway!!!! Please fill out the form below for a chance to win a copy of Karlene Petitt's debut thriller, Flight For Control.


Karlene Petitt said...

Thank you so much for the fabulous post and the honor. I really appreciate the shout about my book!

Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

You are very welcome Karlene!!! :D

Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators