Monday, March 31, 2014

Official beginning of the Deadly Echoes book tour!

The book is released tomorrow, today I did an appearance on KARE11 television here in Minneapolis.

Let the games begin.  The appearance schedule is up on the website, and I hope to see as many of you as I possibly can.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A little piece of my past.

Pratt Kansas, is a small community about a hundred miles west of where I was raised in Wichita Kansas.  My Grandparents are both gone, but the memories remain.  Thanks Pratt!

By Carol Bronson: Pratt Tribune 
Posted Mar. 29, 2014 @ 12:01 am

Pratt, Kan.
A Kansas author claims ties to Pratt. He didn’t grow up here, but his mother did, and he visited his grandparents frequently. The time he spent in Pratt was important.
“Your community molded me in some small way and I appreciate it,” said Philip Donlay, whose fourth book, “Deadly Echoes,” will be released in April.
He claims two distinct events that shaped his life. At the age of 17, he earned a pilot’s license and at 18, he was published in a national aviation magazine.
His love of flying was fostered in Pratt County. His grandfather, Dwight Hardy, was a farmer, educator, acting president of Pratt Junior College in 1969, and a pilot.
“He’d take me flying,” Donlay said. “The first time scared me to death, but I was hooked for life.”
Growing up in Wichita, he considered Pratt to be “kind of a second home.” The swimming pool, fish hatchery, sledding down Cherry Street and spending time at the farm near Wellsford are favorite memories.
Between his junior and senior years in high school, he worked on the farm to earn enough money to take flying lessons.
At the same time, he took a journalism class in high school, liked it and discovered he had some talent for writing. A creative writing teacher encouraged him to pursue writing as a career. He graduated from college as a journalism major, but when it came time to decide between writing and flying for a living, flying won.
Donlay was a flight instructor before becoming copilot of a private jet based in Jeddah, flying for a Saudi prince. After several months, he returned to the United States and flew a corporate jet for a Fortune 500 company for the next 28 years, traveling to 40 countries on five continents.
He always kept writing in the back of his mind, and vowed someday he would write a novel.
“It’s harder than it looks,” Donlay said about writing. “Getting published is harder, but I’m pretty stubborn and I kept at it.”
His protagonist is Donovan Nash, the founder of Eco-Watch, a fictional scientific research organization. In “Deadly Echoes,” Nash is being blamed for a series of violent eco-atrocities that ignite protests around the world.
Advance praise from the industry includes words like heart-thumping, well researched, supremely entertaining, and commanding thriller.
“A Donlay thriller is as sleek and fast as a Gulfstream. Buckle up,” wrote Brian Freeman, author of “Spilled Blood.”
Donlay’s fifth book in the series is due out in March 2015, and after he finishes a book tour this spring, and if his agent has his way, he’ll start writing book number six.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I'm dismayed by the media coverage of the missing Malaysia Boeing 777.   I've tried to stay out of the conversation, but I finally came across an article that mirrors what I've thought all along.  It's well written, carefully thought out, and the man knows what he's talking about.  The best part is you can read it--quietly.

FYI:  The latest theory that was sent to me is that there were possibly two airplanes.  You can read about how complicated that maneuver is in my novel, Zero Separation.  It comes out in paperback April 1, 2014. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fresh Fiction Review

"A riveting adventure to catch a murderer before he creates another deadly disaster."

Deadly Echoes
Philip Donlay

Reviewed by Viki Ferrell
Posted March 13, 2014

Donovan Nash, the head of scientific research company Eco- Watch, receives a threatening phone call saying that everything important to him is going to be destroyed. He can't identify the raspy voice on the other end, but the YouTube video he's told to watch identifies the first step in finding the man behind this mysterious voice. Donovan's first phone call is to his estranged wife, now living in Paris with their three-year-old daughter. He learns they are alright for now, but time will change that situation.
As Donovan arrives in Hawaii at the initial crime scene, he finds the first of several pictures left for him by the man behind the raspy voice. After the second murder of an associate in California, and the second picture, Donovan knows who's behind trying to destroy Eco-Watch. But can he get to this murderer before he destroys everything and everyone important to Donovan? Will deadly echoes from Donovan's past destroy his future?
Philip Donlay gives us another fast-paced, action- packed thriller in DEADLY ECHOES. This is my second visit with Donovan Nash and company, and it is more riveting than the first. Nautical and aviation buffs will love all the technical jargon, as well as the daredevil maneuvering of boats, planes and helicopters. From Hawaii to Los Angeles and up the Pacific coast to Alaska, this story zips along at breakneck speed. Not only are the local police involved, but the FBI, CIA, Coast Guard, Navy and even MOSSAD want in on the action. Donovan finds himself a hostage of his own past, and his house of cards is coming down around him. DEADLY ECHOES is a dynamic thriller in every sense of the word.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

As a former international jet captain, every time an airliner makes the front page I sigh heavily for the people on board, their families, and for the resulting media hysteria.

I had a reader write me today and ask me about the vanishing Malaysian 777.  My reader suspects the latest news, that the airliner changed course, makes this a conspiracy...that it might be on the ground somewhere.  Which would actually be an interesting plot for a novel, but from what I've read, I doubt that's what's happened:

Here are a few things I do know: 

A 777 in the ocean is very hard to find.  A 777 on the ground is extremely hard to miss.  Having made many oceanic crossings, I'd like to calmly impart some facts about procedures aboard a  transport category jet.

As to the reported course change: There are three reasons to change course and altitude without first getting clearance to do so from Air Traffic Control.

1. Severe weather

2. Catastrophic airplane problems

3. The guy with the gun/bomb tells you to do it.

The likeliest scenario is a mechanical one--the percentage of crashes caused by terrorists, crazed pilots, or conspiracies are low.  

If I were tasked with finding this aircraft, I would do exactly what the authorities are doing.  Searching the ocean for debris, and listening for the pinging from the "black boxes."  The 777 is out there somewhere and will be found. 

The truth is, this airplane was in massive trouble from something gone horribly wrong.  It lost communication, possibly tried to turn around, and then started a descent.  What I am positive of, is that the crew did everything possible to get every soul home safe--and couldn't.  My best advice to everyone is to turn off the televised hysteria and wait to read about the facts--when there are facts.  Oh, and maybe say a prayer for the missing, as well as those who are out looking for them.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

As a writer, I'm always on the lookout for coincidences, disassociated tidbits that shouldn't correlate, yet somehow do.  It's habit.  At this moment, my life is complete chaos.  Book release for Deadly Echoes is in three weeks.  I'm neck-deep in boxes of books, the next six weeks involve living in hotels, travel, and being at certain places at specific times.  Something I rarely do the other months of the year.  In two weeks, I'm attending Left Coast Crime, a writers conference in Monterey California.
My life is compete chaos--self inflicted for sure--but when I sit in my office (which looks much like the one pictured below) I entertain wild thoughts like running away.  So when I ran across these two images--I couldn't help but make the correlation:

 Enough said--it's the weekend.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Another cool gadget:

Not long ago I wrote a blog about the "black boxes" found aboard almost every jet airplane flying today.  Another technology that isn't as common, but very cool, is the EVS, or Enhanced Vision System.  Using infrared technology, similar to night vision goggles, the system allows pilots to see objects such as terrain and buildings in night and poor weather.  The image below is Aspen Colorado, a challenging airport in broad daylight.  The EVS image is on the left.  The image on the right is what the naked eye sees.

Now, imagine flying a Gulfstream jet at 300 knots, below the mountaintops, just above the valley floor--at night.  That's just a tiny hint of what happens in the skies in my third thriller, Zero Separation, which will be released in paperback on April 1st, 2014.   Oh, and one last thought: I dare you to read it on a plane.