• R.D. Kardon

Updated: Jan 18


o·pin·ion /əˈpinyən/

noun a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge "Every reader is entitled to their opinion of your book--whether they've read it or not."


You thought about it. You slaved over it. You finished it. And, by cracky, you published it. Then you wonder, "What have I done?"


It took me 25 years from when I first conceived my debut novel Flygirl to see it published. The book was inspired by actual unpleasant events I experienced during my professional flying career. In that sense, it was very personal to me.


But it was never my "baby." I didn't feel the kind of attachment to it that one might to a child or a favored relative or pet. I remember thinking, "Here we go. Bring on the haters!"


Fortunately, they must have been walking or had car trouble, since it took them almost two years to arrive. I recently did a world-wide promotion to celebrate Flygirl's second anniversary. It began on a Wednesday.


By early Thursday morning, I had received a terse one-star review from a reader in the UK which read, in part, "I don't think there is anything to recommend about this book." Ah. Sorry you wasted your 99 pence.


I suspect this reader never finished the book, and maybe didn't read past the first few pages before deciding it wasn't for them. And that's just fine.


I wrote Flygirl because I wanted to tell the story. I published it because I wanted to share the story with others. There was never a moment when I assumed everyone would love it.


That's my message to all of you would-be published novelists out there. Yes, you are making art. Surely you've seen a painting or photograph you didn't care for, or picked up a book you couldn't finish. We are all entitled to not like something. Some readers won't enjoy your book. It's not the end of the world.


I feel compelled to add that this review was one of 110, so it didn't effect my 4.4 star rating. I guess there's that.

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  • R.D. Kardon

Updated: Jun 16, 2020


crack·le

/ˈkrak(ə)l/

verb

make a rapid succession of slight cracking noises

“I could hear the aurora crackle, even when I couldn’t see it.”


I’m all about fulfilling my dreams. And one of them was to witness the Aurora Borealis, the famous Northern Lights, in person.

In January 2016, I flew up to Fairbanks, Alaska. Statistics told me that in January, to have an 80% chance of seeing the Aurora, I had to stay in town for four days. Planning to stay for eight, I was leaving nothing to chance.

On my second night in Fairbanks, I saw them for the first time. They danced in the sky, tickling the tops of trees and shimmying across the horizon. More than enchanting, it was intoxicating.

I needed more. Up near Cleary Summit, atop the fog layer that sometimes hung over the City of Fairbanks, was the Aurora Borealis Lodge. Complete with huge picture windows and an unobstructed view of the sky, I spent four nights and five mornings mesmerized by those lights.

More than see, I heard them. The sky was alive, protons and electrons disturbed by solar wind complaining in the form of undulating bright colors. The faster the wind, the more “excited” the particles, the more complex their shifting shapes.

I am not religious. I believe in something more than what we can see here on earth, but before I went to Fairbanks, that belief was based solely on an intellectual form of faith.

Now I know for sure there is something more, something moving all the time, something that is there whether I can see it or not.

I live in Southern California where there is no chance I’ll ever look up and see those Northern Lights. Still, I sit outside in the middle of the night…and listen.

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  • R.D. Kardon


Aspire

as·pire

/əˈspī(ə)r/

verb

direct one's hopes or ambitions toward achieving something

“I aspire to make my second novel better than Flygirl.”


Writing a novel is hard. Writing two novels is ridiculously hard, especially when the first one is successful.


Flygirl was a debut novel from an unknown, first-time author. I had no idea if anyone I didn’t know, or anyone within three degrees of my supporters and contacts, would ever read it.


But read it they did. And they wrote reviews, good ones. I bow my head in gratitude over some of the positive comments readers have made about their experience with my work.


“So,” I said to myself, “make the next one even better.” ‘Cause that’s how I roll—I mean really, if I don’t pressure myself to live up to my own ridiculously high standards, no one else will.


Such was my burden as I wrote my new novel, Angel Flight. I stressed over this book in ways I never did over Flygirl.


Angel Flight takes Tris Miles’s story to places I didn’t even think it could go. With her career back on track, she’s plagued with insecurity over a new relationship she doesn’t completely trust. Tris struggles to navigate her inner world with the help of a therapist she can’t admit to seeing, or else put her flying career in jeopardy. And the man she’s falling in love with has secrets that may ultimately end both of their lives.


Every paragraph, every sentence, every single word of Angel Flight is intended to bring the reader even closer to the sometimes heart-pumping, occasionally wearying, but always fascinating world Tris and her friends, colleagues and passengers inhabit. And just like Flygirl, it might very well take you on a journey to someplace you’ve never been before.


Angel Flight. Coming September 2020.

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