Flight Manual

A bit of shameless self-promotion here. (Is there any other kind?)

Early in my writing career — back when I was drafting cover copy for children’s books and laboring over desktop roleplaying game statistics — I was also chipping away on that great American novel to which most naive writers aspire. The main protagonist was an NYC bike messenger who finds himself embroiled in a near-textbook MacGuffin story.

The missus and I were eking out an existence (barely) in Manhattan, and so I took a (third) job working part-time as a bike messenger … killing two birds (rent and research) with two wheels. Nothing says “dedication” like some honest-to-goodness field research! I learned a lot on that job, got to know the city better than most natives, got into a few scrapes, and executed all the recon I needed to breathe into my magnum opus the realism I so desired.

After we returned to California and I wandered off into the wilderness to pen the trail guide to end all trail guides, I would still revisit Flight Manual on occasion with the intent to gain representation and — eventually — see it published. Finally, a few years ago, I shuttered myself from all contact (phone, internet, even the kind company of a microwave) for a whisky- and Rolling Stones-fueled marathon that saw the manuscript completed.

But the print industry isn’t what it once was; iPads, blogs, and Kindle have ushered in a new generation of literature and access that nearly every lit or tech blog and pseudo-news site has already discussed/lamented/lauded. Kindle e-books outsell paperbacks on Amazon. Am I mercenary? Yes I am.

So now — finally, and with little fanfare — I’m happy to announce Flight Manual has been published as a Kindle e-book. No physical form! How you like them apples, Abbie Hoffman?

At Long Last


4 responses to “Flight Manual”

  1. I read it two sittings: New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day. A masterly crafted thrill ride complete with Bullitt-like chases and a superb instance of a Hitchcockian MacGuffin. And so many things personally familiar to me which I listed in my FB comment. I think the late Abbie Hoffman would have read it and said (what else): “Yippie.”

  2. I’ll have to take a look. I don’t think there has ever been a better time to make money writing. I started to say “a better time to be a writer,” but being a writer and selling what you write are different things. I put up an embarrassingly pathetic ebook on Kindle several years ago and I am still surprised to see that I sell a few copies a month and have even sold enough to receive a few checks.

    I think it was a great idea to publish to Kindle. You should spread it around and publish it to some of the other ebook platforms in a open source format.

  3. G’day there, Craig:

    I thought of you when our local speciality liquor store here in Tucson offered Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt (how improbable):

    Anyhoow, was interested to learn you were a bike messenger back in NYC, as my son is a fixie fan and we obtained a legendary track bike in Santa Barbara of all places.

    It is hand-bulit San Rensho by the master Yoshi Konno and sat in the downtown Velopro basement as NOS for many years before I snagged it. One sweet ride;

    There is a picture here:

    Cheers from the Aussie Cobber,


    1. Thanks for checking in, Rok Rover! The first I’d ever heard of Yoshi Konno was his early-1980s Allez designed for Specialized — to find that one in the basement is an almost-surreal find.

      Of course, closer to my heart is finding Glenfarclas! We recently had a BevMo move into town, and they have carried it from time to time. I’ll need to sell blood plasma or something soon if I’m to continue supporting the single malt collection. 😉

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