Going Out of Business, Going Crazy Like Fox

HootersAirB757200Most airline stories (except for the ones I tell, obviously) are best taken with a grain of salt.  Any tale  that opens with “I flew with a girl whose roommate from training once flew with a guy…” is as likely to be an airline urban legend as any kind of True.  Did a flight attendant really ever stand in the aisle and loudly spank what a frequent flyer complained was a “bad potato?”  Or tell the guy who threw a fit about not getting his meal choice, “Sir, I said we’re out of chicken, not fuel.”?  Or tell the snooty lady who claimed to be a Princess, “Yeah, well, in my country I’m considered a Queen, so I outrank you.”? Maybe, maybe not, but I’ve been hearing all of these stories since I started flying, so it probably didn’t happen on the flight your girlfriend worked last week.  (Naturally, as previously discussed, different standards apply if the story turns out to be about you.)

I came to the airline industry after much of the more famous post-deregulation upheaval.  Bankruptcy and greed had already leveled Pan Am, a strike had brought down Eastern, and start-up airlines like PeoplExpress and Hooters Air were coming and going faster than airport sign hangers could keep up with.  As much as I love to wax nostalgic about The Good Old Days of Flying (that I never saw), I have few regrets about missing out on these seismic events, some of the more spectacular of which are reputed to even have led to employee suicides.  But I’ve heard some stories.  When some of these airlines went out of business, they did so quite suddenly, stranding crews and passengers wherever they happened to wake up to the news that they would need to find their own way home. I flew with a girl (see what I mean?) who recounts charging tickets on a Chinese airline for her entire crew to her husband’s credit card, and another whose Honolulu-based crew ended up sailing home from the Philippines two-to-a-bunk on a cargo ship.

True or not, these stories were certainly gripping and colorful, and they eventually inspired me to trap a handsome man far from home and see if and how he would extract himself from a similar jam.  In the pages of my next short novel, I obviously mean.


Fox McHardy leads a charmed life. Puget Sound penthouse, gorgeous boyfriend, jet-setting job—everything he’s ever wanted, he’s gotten, including the heck out of the small Iowa town he grew up in.  Even the trip he takes to Miami to surprise his boyfriend Jeremy is something of a long-shot wish fulfilled.  Until he arrives in South Florida.  Once things start to unravel, they do so with alarming speed, and he finds himself riding shotgun in a rented convertible with his new worst enemy faster than you can say “I want my old life back.”

For all that he’s self-centered and something of a slow learner, Fox is one of my favorite protagonists.  Crazy Like Fox is the story of his long journey Home, which he finds in the one place he was sure he hadn’t left it.  Like my Author Page on Facebook to RSVP for the online release party, which will include fabulous giveaways, and get the eBook on August 25th for only $5.99 from JMS Books!  It’s funny, it’s sexy, and, like all good airline stories… inspired by stuff that really happened, but totally made up.

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