Fayette County resident Harrison Jones knows a little something about Trans-Atlantic flights. Jones, an author who has just released his first novel, ‘Equal Time Point,’ was a pilot for Delta for 22 of his 32 years with the company.
He made the flight over the ocean a few times and often pondered what would happen if he had to make a water landing somewhere in the middle.
“There’s never been a ditching, mid-ocean,” Jones said, adding that he hopes one never occurs. Still, the idea was in his mind as he considered contingency plans going over the Atlantic.
Now retired, Jones had sat down to pen his autobiograpy and enjoyed the process of writing. He thought he’d try his hand at fiction and banged out the first draft of the novel in three months. He submitted the manuscript to Tate Publishing in November of 2008, heard that it had been accepted in January of 2009 and was released right before the end of the year.
“The final product is a lot different,” Jones said adding that he had a great editor and that the suggestions were all good. “It was an educational experience.”
Jones enjoys reading suspense and action adventure stories by authors like Clive Cussler, W.E.B. Griffin and Tom Clancy and stated that his experience in writing fiction has given him a better aprreciation for what he reads.
One piece of advice that every fledgling author gets is to “write what you know,” and Jones definitely knows flying. His research for a lot of the details in “Equal Time Point,” came right out of his flight kit. One piece of software that he used creates an actual flight plan for an airliner, including time, distance and altitude. What wasn’t just in his head from his real-life experience, was right at his fingertips in maps and manuals.
“It did come easy and natural,” Jones said. “I know the mechanics and emotion of flying.” Jones tried to avoid putting much of him in his characters and enjoyed the exercise of going where they might want to go and saying what they want to say.
The first audience for the book were his friends and colleagues in the aviation industry and it was a hit.
“They were all people who could relate and their responses were all very positive,” said Jones.
The book is now starting to find a wider audience and Jones is making several appearances locally to sign copies of the book. He continues to write, every day, and enjoys spending time with his wife and grandkids. Jones’ next book will feature some of the same characters from “Equal Time Point,” and will feature flying into South America as one of the major plot points.
“Large parts of that region are non-radar environments,” Jones said, offering a taste of what may be involved in the novel.
Jones knows a little something about being at the right place at the right time. He was an electrician for Delta with G.I. benefits from the Navy. He used those to take flying lessons and transitioned to becoming a Ground School Instructor. From there, he was accepted as a pilot and that career led him to having the knowledge to write “Equal Time Point.” With a world to fly his characters around and plenty of time to write about their adventures, Jones feels, once again, that he is right where he ought to be doing what he should do.
“Equal Time Point” is available at Books-A-Million, on Amazon.com, Borders.com among other locations. For more information on Jones and his novel, visit www.tatepublishing.com.