Author Harrison Jones with his two new novels.
Harrison Jones has figured out a way to make his previous career experience work to his advantage during retirement — through writing fiction novels.
Jones, a former commercial pilot for Delta, has penned two novels — “Equal Time Point” and “Shadow Flight” — drawing on his 27 years as a pilot.
“My wife is a genealogist,” he said. “When I retired, she wanted me to write an informal autobiography of our family history. Some people read that and thought that was pretty good and encouraged me to write a novel. That’s how I got started.”
“Equal Time Point,” Jones’ first novel, was published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC in January 2010. In the work, Jones created a fictional “what if” of a mid-ocean emergency landing that, from his knowledge, has never happened.
“The premise for ‘Equal Time Point’ is that there has never been an open-ocean ditching by an air carrier passenger jet,” Jones said. “Based on my experience as an international pilot and making many ocean crosses, I set that scene up for the book.”
The main character in the book is Captain Charlie Wells who must grapple with a multitude of decisions along with his flight crew to avoid making tragic history.
According to Jones, reading the novel will make travel aficionados take a second glance at the emergency procedure cards in the seatbacks before their next flight.
In “Shadow Flight,” Jones introduces protagonist Kyle Bennett, a small-town flight instructor who unknowingly accepts a charter flight, leading him to a huge world of trouble.
“Shadow Flight” was published in July 2011 by BluewaterPress LLC.
Although Jones produced the two novels in the past two years, he admits it was not an easy process.
Each book took roughly a year to write, and then endured a lengthy editing process.
“It has been such an educational experience for me,” he said. “I have learned many, many things.”
The key to Jones’ writing process? Quiet and seclusion.
“I do most of my writing early in the morning,” he said. “I try to write a couple hours of the day at least. I have my little private place in my house that my wife calls my writing lair.”
Jones plans to keep the ball rolling. There is a new novel in the works.
“I’m in the conceptual stage of a third novel,” he said. “I do not have the plot worked out. I will carry some of the characters from ‘Shadow Flight.’”