#MH370 The man who knows what happened….former Malaysian PM, Dr Mahathir Mohammed: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/mh370-dr-mahathir-mohamed

April 28, 2014

Well, the mystery over the missing flight MH370 continues but my guess is that it’s on the bottom of the Indian Ocean, following some catastrophic failure, yet to be discovered, coinciding with some other problem.  The sad fact is that none of the possible scenarios that have been proposed is really convincing.  Now, a blast from the past,  Dr Mahathir Mohammed was Malaysia’s 4th PM.   To put it in perspective, this was a span that included all of Ronald Reagan’s time in office, plus that of the first George Bush, plus all of Bill Clinton’s, plus much of George W. Bush’s first term.

He has a reputation for being a bit off-the-wall and of accusing the West of perfidy but, when he talks people listen, whether he is well-informed or not.  I contest a lot of what he says but some of his points are valid and need answers.  I leave it to you to come to a conclusion.  Here is what he says:

“APRIl 26 — I am very upset over MAS employees being held hostage in Beijing by the relatives of the passengers of MH 370. I am upset because they are blaming the wrong people. The loss of the plane is due to the makers Boeing.

How can Boeing produce a plane that is so easily disabled? Normally it is entirely possible for the crew, the pilots and co-pilots to communicate even with KLIA. Maybe the captain did not want to. But surely the co-pilot would want to inform ground stations that the plane was not flying according to the scheduled route.

The passengers may not notice but the co-pilot would. So would the cabin crew. They are all trained to deal with emergencies if not immediately, at least later.

But none of them seemed to have tried. It must be because the whole communication system has been disabled. It must take some effort if the pilot tried to disable the system. The co-pilot would notice and for his own life he would have tried to do something. Was he disabled? Were all the crew members and the passengers disabled?

The flight of all passenger planes can be tracked even on a personal mobile phone. I can do it on my phone. If the plane landed I can watch it landing and taxiing. I can even get information on any plane anywhere — what make and model, who it belongs to and where it is flying from and its destination.

I believe there are equipments on the plane which allows it to be tracked — probably by Global Positioning System.

Sophisticated cameras on the spy-satellites operated by some countries can actually photograph a man on the ground and even identify him. Surely the cameras can see and photograph a 63-metre aircraft.

But the aircraft disappeared completely. I think on everyone’s mobile it has disappeared. Some equipment on the aircraft must have been disabled. Even the backup must have been disabled.

Boeing built this aircraft. Boeing must explain how all these means of tracking the plane can be disabled, can fail. Either Boeing technology is poor or it is not fail-safe. I would not like to fly in Boeing aircraft unless Boeing can explain how all its system can fail or be disabled.

Remote control technology is now very sophisticated and powerful. Is it true that Boeing has installed remote control equipment on the aircraft to prevent hijacking? If it did why did it not direct the aircraft to land safely? Is it possible for third parties to take control of the aircraft remotely?

When a plane crashes on land or sea there would be debris or oil slick. None has been found so far. Can it be that the plane remained intact on crashing and sank with no trace and no one launching the lifeboat doors as we are told all these aircrafts are equipped with?

Can one believe this plane quietly floated down into the raging sea and sank conveniently in the deepest part (7miles deep) of the Indian Ocean?  It is standard practice that when a plane crashes, a team of experts would arrive at the scene soonest so as to find the cause of the crash. Boeing and the authorities in the manufacturing country should be looking out for the plane. Maybe the plane type should be grounded. But Boeing has shown no interest and had said practically nothing.

MAS has been flying numerous kinds of aircrafts and has a good record. The pilots are well-trained. Even if the pilot wants to commit suicide the co-pilot and the cabin crew would not allow him to do so without trying something. But no one, not even the passengers did anything. Maybe it is because they have been somehow incapacitated.

Boeing must answer all these questions. Boeing must demonstrate possible ways for the communications system to be disabled. Boeing must accept responsibility for building an aircraft that can disappear in mid-air so completely.

MAS is not at fault, lax security or not. MAS flew a plane fully expecting it to perform the task. But the plane has somehow behaved differently. Who is responsible? Not MAS but certainly the makers of the plane — Boeing Aircraft Corporation.”

See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/mh370-dr-mahathir-mohamed#sthash.JIYWz6a0.dpuf

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Great! Here’s my author interview on Indie Author News! http://www.indieauthornews.com/2014/04/indie-author-interview-roger-hardy.html

April 24, 2014

I mentioned before that this month is to test the effectiveness of Alan Kealey’s Indie Author News in association  with twitter and a little blogging  but with no Amazon countdown cut-price reductions (next month, again…..).  So here’s the interview:  http://www.indieauthornews.com/2014/04/indie-author-interview-roger-hardy.html

Or, for those too lazy to visit….

Indie Author Interview: Roger Hardy

 Indie Author Interview with Roger Hardy – Author of the Political Thriller Flight Into Darkness.

Roger Hardy is an aviation man, pilot, aircraft designer and safety regulator. He was born into a service family just before his noble Monarch ascended the throne and has worked in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany before finally settling in Portugal.

Interview with Roger Hardy

Author Roger Hardy
Author Roger Hardy

Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Roger Hardy: I’ve always wanted to write but it was the experience of my first novel (2008) that really taught me how to write. Rather, I should say that it was my wonderful editor, Debi Alper. Her surgical scalpel and incisive critiques taught me more than any number of self-help books. Basically, my first draft of my first book was so bad that the only way was up. After a year, it was publishable. Now I’ve written four more. Learning can be such fun!

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
As a kid, Biggles (British kid’s aviation adventure stories) and Neville Shute. More recently, Ian McEwan, C J Sansome, J G Ballard, F Scott Fitzgerald, Philippa Gregory, Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka….the list goes on. As you can see, there’s no particular trend apart from excellence. For relaxation, I love historical fiction. For mental stimulation, Ian McEwan and Kafka.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
At school, we were set a task to write a short story. I wrote a complete novel. It was rubbish.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was a Biggles-style adventure concerning a pilot and the Nazis in the 1930s. They get their hands on a nuke. Lots of derring-do. Our hero saves the world. Oops, that sounds familiar!

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
The only common thread is inspiration. Once I have that, I just go for it, any time, any place.

“I need complete silence to write.”

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
I can write anywhere but have a small office with laptop, printers, scanner, etc plus internet access for research on Wikipedia and a dog. I need complete silence to write. I cannot even have music playing in the background

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
It’s easiest when I know exactly where I’m going. Then reading it the next day, amazed at how good/bad it is. The hardest bit is when I come to a plot crossroads where a bum decision can cause a lot of unneccessary work and retracing my steps.

“I love the mental flow and the absence of a sense of passing time.”

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the mental flow and the absence of a sense of passing time. That feeling when you look at your watch and realise it’s three in the morning and you’ve forgotten to eat.

Roger, please tell us a little about your Political Thriller Flight Into Darkness.
This is my fifth book, but the earlier ones were mixed genre and I wanted to write a strict genre book to maximise its marketing chances. I decided to write what I knew about; aviation, and I was on my way. As I wrote it I got better and better ideas for a unique political motivation and a neat circular plot that I was really pleased with, but the plot developed as I was writing. It has a great bad guy as well. I like writing bad guys.

Flight Into Darkness (Roger Hardy)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
I was an aviation safety regulator and was aware that most modern aircraft accidents have elements of human involvement, whether criminal or stupidity. This, associated with the increasingly complex electronic hearts where computers fly the aircraft provided the essential technical background. This was inspired by a real small jet aircraft that I was working on with an all-electric cockpit. ‘It can never fail,’ the manufacturers said. But, you never say ‘never’ in aviation.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
Anyone who likes thoughtful thrillers as opposed to action thrillers. I publish hard copy on Lulu but this is mosty for me as I am totally committed to ebooks and the Kindle which I think is the future for paperbacks. Therefore go to Amazon.

What makes your book special?
The political background and premise is unique but credible and centres around the possibility of Arabs and Israelis working together, even if they aren’t aware of it. This is not something that you hear about but is surely as likely as the former warring European states now mutually defending one another. In addition, it is technically correct but not too ‘techie’ so that the layman is not bogglred by technicalities. I tried to play these down whist maintaining credibility.

“I had an agent but he wanted me to rewrite[…]”

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
It’s a long slog but I’ve had a number of great reviews. I had an agent but he wanted me to rewrite my MC as James Bond (which he’s not), so I opted for self-publication rather then make changes I didn’t agree with. When you self-publish, you’re on your own and that’s hard work. Fortunately, there are people like Alan Kealey who can help. The most difficult bit is getting people to leave reviews. No one is going to download a book by an unknown writer unless they can read good reviews. Overall, it’s nice to know that a few hundred people have read the book but it needs to be a few thousand!

How long did it take it to write the book?
I write fast but take long breaks when I reach plot crossroads. I do my research as I write. Overall, I can normally write around 3000 words a day but the total time to write my normal-length novel (around 80,000 words) is around 3 months for the first draft, then a further six months for editing and revisions. I normally have three iterations, that it, the final version is the second rewrite.

“Just write what you want but use a professional editor[…]”

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
Just write what you want but use a professional editor; you need an objective alternative viewpoint. Oh, yes: DON’T LEAVE THE DAY JOB!

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m working on a few ideas, a children’s book, illustrated by my son, a sequel to Flight Into Darkess, a short ghost story and some more esoteric stuff concerning Enoch, Noah.

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
Yes, it’s inevitable. I think that paperbacks will die away and be replaced by ebooks. There will always be a market for beautiful books and for much-loved books. Mostly, I regard paperbacks as consumable items and give them away after I’ve read them. If I love a book, I’ll get a hardback copy so that I can love it some more. There will always be great book shops where you can brouse, read and drink coffee.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
Amazon’s Kindle. I’ve never considered any other alternative.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I write when I am inspired. I am technically retired but have a small guesthouse in Portugal which keeps me busy in the summer. Apart from that, I paint watercolours and build model aircraft. Just a kid at heart!

How can readers connect with you?
email: rogerjhardy100@yahoo.co.uk
website: http://rogerhardynovels.info/
blog: https://rogerjhardy.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21338786-flight-into-darkness?from_search=true

Thank you very much for the Interview, Roger.

 


Stop press! Flight Into Darkness is featured in Indie Author News this week! http://www.indieauthornews.com/

April 14, 2014

I mentioned before that Flight Into Darkness is featured in Indie Author News this week.  The article is at http://www.indieauthornews.com/ and I’ll be interested to see how many additional downloads result.  I am not combining this promotion with a KDP Countdown deal, so the price remains as before, a very reasonable £1.99 or $2.99.  Grab ’em while they’re still fresh!

Here’s the blurb:

Featured Indie Book: Flight Into Darkness (Roger Hardy)

Flight Into Darkness (Roger Hardy)

Featured Indie Book on Indie Author News: Political Thriller Flight Into Darkness by Roger Hardy.

Flight Into Darkness – a novel for our time – provides a completely new take on the possible political future for the Middle East. Is it a given that the Arabs and Israelis will forever be enemies or can former foes work towards a common cause? This story is a fast-paced and thought-provoking thriller.

The Book has been published via Amazon and Lulu and is available as eBook and Paperback – 262 pages.

About the Book

A shiny new personal jet is lost at night over the vast Saudi desert and air accident investigator James Hayward is assigned to find out why; it was touted as the world’s safest light aircraft and safe aircraft don’t just disappear from radar screens, do they?

He and his ex-fighter pilot boss, Katja, are faced with a wall of obstruction, almost denial. However, what they subsequently discover leads them into a web of intrigue and political corruption.

They find themselves alone, pitted against a new brand of terrorist; one that is ruthless, resourceful and organized with friends in high places.

Flight Into Darkness (Roger Hardy)
Click to Read an Excerpt

Reviews (Excerpts)

– “Once you get into the story you can’t put it down. Mr. Hardy weaves a very believable tale. the world and characters are well developed. A airplane with a perfect record crashes, but there’s good reason it does. It wasn’t an accident. Plenty of action and political intrigue, not just a book for the aviation enthusiast.” – Rodney Carlson

– “From the opening sentence, the author pulls you into this past-paced thriller. Political corruption, secrets and intrigue combine to make story that keeps you wanting to find out more. A great read for those who enjoy suspense-filled adventures. “ – Shanna Hatfield

– “There are technical details but just enough to make the story believable and have confidence in the authors credentials. He must have worked overtime on his research. The characters well thought out and Hayward I want on my side if there is going to be trouble! It’s a story about now and was a great pleasure to read.” – Mr. B. Berry

– “A very good book. I recommend it if you want an interesting story with credible characters, easy to read and not obvious as most of these books are. This is, in my opinion the best of the book and what makes it different. It takes you to different locations, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy … with a perfect balance between technical explanations and chapters full of action.” – Christina (Amazon)

– “The author has clearly done a lot of research […] regarding the places and people who inhabit the plot. Having worked in the aviation world all my life I found the aviation related details particularly convincing. Highly recommended “ – John Farley

About the Author

Author Roger Hardy
Author Roger Hardy

Roger Hardy is an aviation man, pilot, aircraft designer and safety regulator. He was born into a service family just before his noble Monarch ascended the throne and has worked in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany before finally settling in Portugal.

Although British by birth, he is European by instinct and inclination and currently runs his guesthouse business in the holiday village of Carvoeiro in the Algarve.

He has two grown-up children and, having completed five novels (see http://rogerhardynovels.info/), has now set sail into eBook waters. Outside of reading and writing, he can get a trifle boring on the subject of the operas of Richard Strauss, given half a chance.


Links to the Author and the Book

Connect via the Author’s Website

Connect with the Author via Facebook

Connect with the Author via Twitter: @rogerjhardy100

Link to the eBook Flight Into Darkness on Amazon UK with Excerpt

Link to the eBook Flight Into Darkness on Amazon US with Excerpt

Flight Into Darkness (Roger Hardy)

 


The Wolf – graphic novel on Kickstarter – http://kck.st/1mo2RQ1

April 3, 2014

A slight change of tack today as I stop promoting my own stuff and make a plug for a piece of work that I think justifies support.  it is a graphic novel, ‘The Wolf’ and is currently on Kickstarter:   http://kck.st/1mo2RQ1.  The story is edgy and the artwork is really different, almost medieval woodcut.  Quite different from the normal fantasy graphic novel.  Here’s what the writer and artist say:

Hi there…

I’m Daniel, he’s called Steve and thank you for taking the time to check out our Kickstarter project. I like to write and Steve likes to draw so we thought we’d combine our unholy powers and create something special. That something is: The Wolf.

Title page
Title page
Page 1
Page 1

The Wolf started off as a prose short story inspired by a news article in Fortean Times but a passion for comics and graphic novels piqued an interest in trying to write my own. With Steve’s amazing talents as an artist we’ve started bringing this project to life.

Page 2
Page 2

The Wolf is the story of a small, isolated town existing in the Arctic tundra. One night an army of wolves descend upon the town and begin to terrorise the townspeople. Amidst the chaos we follow a man called Stieg as he attempts to rescue his friend Antov from the wolves’ attack.

Page 3
Page 3

It is a dark story about the magic and fury of nature, the trials of one soul willing to save another and, above all, the power of forgiveness.

Page 4
Page 4

The aim of our Kickstarter is to raise enough money to finish The Wolf and to see it in print and digital format so we can share it with the world through book shops, comic conventions and (hopefully) through a publisher.

The finished book will be 50 pages in length, A4 size and in paperback with a limited number in hardback.

Page 5
Page 5
Page 6
Page 6

Each page is delicately hand drawn by Steve using traditional materials. So far he has completed the first six pages of the novella. It takes him roughly one week to complete each page meaning this project will take roughly twelve months to complete.

The money raised via Kickstarter will be used for the following…

– Printing – Steve’s labour/materials – Acquiring ISBN numbers – Shipping rewards to our backers – the Kickstarter fee

Possible stretch goals…

Should our project raise more than its original goal we are considering the following options as potential stretch goals:

– An increase in the overall print run of paperback and hardback copies

– Extra stories written by Daniel and illustrated by Steve that’ll turn The Wolf into a graphic anthology!

About our rewards…

Everyone likes rewards and we’re offering copies of The Wolf in digital and print format along with some signed goodies such as A4 prints of Steve’s artwork and an exclusive prequel comic. Following a request on our Facebook page we’re going to do a limited print run of hardback editions of The Wolf.