ABOUT THOMAS BLOCK
Thomas Block has written a number of aviation-oriented novels, many which have gone on to acquire best-seller status in numerous countries. His novel writing began with the publication of “Mayday” in 1979. That novel was rewritten with novelist Nelson DeMille in 1998 and remains on DeMille’s extensive backlist. “Mayday” became a CBS Movie of the Week in October, 2005.
Several of the other novels by Block include “Orbit” (a top bestseller in Germany, among other nations), “Airship Nine”, “Forced Landing” (also done as a radio serialization drama in Japan), “Skyfall”, “Open Skies” and his latest novel, “Captain”. Thomas Block is still writing both fiction and non-fiction, and has edited and updated his earlier novels into ebooks in all the major formats and also into handsome full-sized (6″ by 9″ Trade Paperback) printed versions.
Block’s magazine writing began in 1968 and over the next five decades his work has appeared in numerous publications. He worked 20 years at FLYING Magazine as Contributing Editor, and as Contributing Editor to Plane & Pilot Magazine for 11 years. Block became Editor-at-Large for Piper Flyer Magazine and Cessna Flyer Magazine in 2001. During his long career as an aviation writer he has written on a wide array of subjects that range from involvement with government officials to evaluation reports on most everything that flies.
An airline pilot for US Airways for over 36 years before his retirement in April, 2000, Captain Thomas Block has been a pilot since 1959. Since 2002, he has lived on a ranch in Florida with his wife Sharon where they board, compete and train horses.
His latest book is the suspense/thriller novel, Captain.
Visit his website at www.thomasblocknovels.com.
To puchase a Kindle copy: http://www.amazon.com/Captain-ebook/dp/B007KQHK2I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332328330&sr=8-1
To purchase from Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/captain-thomas-block/1109625740?ean=2940014237529&itm=1&usri=thomas+block+captain
To purchase from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/160858
Could you please tell us a little about your book?
First I’ll quote the jacket copy: “Thomas Block has created Captain – his most ambitious, intricate and action-packed aviation tale yet. It is a chilling and all-too-real story about a routine Trans-Atlantic airline flight that suddenly turns absolutely insane. In the doomed airliner’s cockpit, inside the passenger cabin and on the ground, a complex array of characters have been propelled at jet speed into a sudden and frantic race for survival. Captain is about the individual and collective struggles of each of these men and women as they attempt to deal with and ultimately fight against the odds and circumstances that are stacked against them.”
Now, how about a few views from others? (all of these are extracts from various media and reader reviews; you can pinpoint the exact sources and see the complete collection of reviews at our website at www.ThomasBlockNovels.com):
“While this novel is quite entertaining on the surface as a thriller, it also runs deep with realistic emotion.”
“Thomas Block has the credentials to create an airline story that begins innocently enough but quickly turns into near disaster. An airline pilot for more than 36 years, his inside information is evident when he writes of pilots, stews, dispatchers, the FAA, TSA and the intricacies of intercontinental flight. He’s written several books, and numerous articles for major aviation magazines. This book is guaranteed to grab you from page one and hold on until your dinner is cold… you’ll tremendously enjoy the book as an action packed thriller with lots of side stories going on …if a book can really be a “page turner,” this one is.”
“I think men & women will love this book. If you love high drama and always wonder what goes on inside an airline jet that gets hijacked or has any kind of problem, well, here is about as good as it gets… Captain is a real sit-on-pins-and-needles type of book that you will not want to put down once you start reading!”
“Inviting characters, thrilling plot and a true roller coaster ride of emotions, CAPTAIN packs a walloping frolic through the ‘friendly’ skies.”
“The characters are really great…I loved the banter. I definitely suggest checking Captain out. It has its own charm about it, and the characters are just hilarious. Not in a hokey, trying-too-hard way. In a realistic way…This is one of those rare gems they speak about so often. It promises to be a unique read, a deep and complex adventure through adverse situations.”
“It is one of those books you don’t want to put down and can’t wait to get back to. It is so good, you also hate to read it too fast because you’ll finish it! Great characters, lots of suspense.”
“A great plot involving calamity, joy, sadness, triumph, horror, techno-craziness, bureaucratic BS, white-knuckle panic, commercial greed and several love-conspiracies all into one book!”
Is there an author that inspired you to write?
My life was involved with aviation and, in particular, airline flying from when I was very young until I retired as an International airline captain a dozen years ago, when I was taking widebody jets back and forth to Europe several times every month. Because of that, my greatest inspirations were the airliner stories from Ernst K. Gann (“Fate is the Hunter”, “The High and the Mighty”, “Island in the Sky”) and other great aviation tales from Guy Murchie, Neville Shute and Antoine de Saint-Expurey. I wanted to tell the sorts of stories that they did.
Who influenced you throughout your career as a writer?
Without a question, it was my childhood friend and bestselling novelist Nelson DeMille. But I was actually a ‘professional writer’ before he was, because I was working for FLYING Magazine, doing monthly columns and features, when Nelson returned from the army in the early 70’s. He decided that he wanted to become a novelist, so I began helping Nelson with all his earlier works – matter of fact, the major plotting and storyline for his big breakthrough novel ‘By the Rivers of Babylon’ was written by the two of us in a Uhaul truck while taking my furniture to western Pennsylvania after the airline I flew for moved our crew base from New York to Pittsburgh.
In 1978, with Nelson’s help and introductions, I signed a contract to produce my first airplane action/adventure novel Mayday – which went on to be an International bestseller. In 1997, Nelson and I took the out-of-print Mayday, revised and updated it together, then republished the novel with both our names as co-authors. That version became a CBS Movie of the Week in October, 2005, and is still readily available from Nelson DeMille’s extensive backlist.
During the 80’s I wrote five additional novels that had a good run of success throughout the world. For various reasons I didn’t find myself writing any novels through the 90’s, although I did do even more work with Nelson DeMille through that period and well into the new century. With all of my old novels long out of print (excepting Mayday), I realized that with the dawning of this new era of publishing for both print editions and ebooks, that I could go back to those old novels (the rights to those works had since reverted back to me), extensively revise and update them, and then send them back out to see the light of day once again — now dressed up in their modern-day clothing. All of these novels were basically airplane-theme action/adventure, although they ran a gamut from hypersonic airlines on through Airships and even a detective story. You can see all of the details of these novels — which continue to sell nicely and receive good reviews — at our website at www.ThomasBlockNovels.com.
What are you currently working on?
One the things I developed right after finishing the novel was the Captain Reader Survey (you can find it through our website at www.ThomasBlockNovels.com, or directly at www.SurveyMonkey.com/S/Captain). On it, one of the questions (and any reader who takes the survey can see the answer tally when they finish) is whether readers would like to see a sequel of Captain and, if so, which of the characters. So far, 83.4% have said yes – and you can see which characters by going to the survey! So something along those lines is what the readers want, which makes it into what I want, too.
Is there anything you regret doing/not doing?
From all I’ve seen, I’d have to agree with the cliché that ‘Life’s a journey, not a destination’. That being the case, the entire journey has been basically a satisfying trip for me (don’t get me wrong; I have bad days, too – but as the old song goes, “…too few to mention…”). On the skills side, over the years I developed myself (and with lots of help from others) into an airline pilot, a magazine writer, a novelist, and now into a ranch owner and horse-involved person. All of those directions have been satisfying and meaningful personal journeys, so I might as well be proud of all of them – especially since I can’t changes any of what has already become ancient history!
What is your favorite past-time?
My wife Sharon has been a horse-involved person her entire life, and she got me involved soon after I retired from airline flying – I rode my first horse when I was 56 years old, so I was definitely an older guy starting something totally new! I’ve enjoyed working with horses a great deal, and then got myself involved in Cowboy Mounted Shooting (a competitive sport where we shoot at balloons from horseback with old-west style guns), and I’ve found something really neat that more than fills my free time. The Cowboy Shooting organization (CMSA) has recently featured Captain in their magazine with a big spread and a rave review: “…A diversified and very realistic cast of complex characters are thrown into the chaos…one heck of a gripping saga…I found the story to be fascinating, I couldn’t put it down…” are some of the quotes from that Mounted Shooting magazine’s review.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Enjoy the story! Captain was fun to write, and many who have read the novel have said that it was an engaging and exciting ride for them, too. Take the Reader Survey, and go to our website where you can email your thoughts directly to me on what you’ve read. We’re all in this to have a good time; let me know if you did!
Thomas Block has created ‘Captain’ – his most ambitious, intricate and action-packed aviation tale yet . It is a chilling and all-too-real story about a routine Trans-Atlantic airline flight that suddenly turns absolutely insane. In the doomed airliner’s cockpit, inside the passenger cabin and on the ground, a complex array of characters have been propelled at jet speed into a sudden and frantic race for survival.
‘Captain’ is about the individual and collective struggles of each of these men and women as they attempt to deal with and ultimately fight against the odds and circumstances that are stacked against them. ‘Captain’is a novel that pits man against man while also pitting man against machine. It is a story about the need for human judgments, hard-learned experiences, gut feelings and unbridled perseverance in an effort to rise up against a world where the strict adherence to written rules, regulations and procedures have been accepted as the norm.
‘Captain’ is about the way real airline pilots think, feel and react, especially after those giant airliners that they’ve strapped themselves to have suddenly turned vicious and unpredictable.