I had the honor and privilege of talking about aviation on the Ready For Takeoff Podcast with Captain George Nolly recently. We discussed everything from military flight training to the C-130 to the upcoming release of The Devil Dragon Pilot.
George Nolly launched his aviation career at 17 while still in high school. An appointment to the Air Force Academy prepared him for his two tours in Vietnam, flying O-2s over the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos and F-4 Phantoms over Hanoi. After his service, George went into commercial aviation, flying for United Airlines as Captain and Flight Instructor for 26 years. After finishing his Doctorate in Homeland Security, George went on to conduct airline safety audits for the for International Air Transport Association on carriers throughout the globe. George continues to instruct on the Boeing 777.
Our main character Ford Stevens grew up in China with his American family, and moved around a lot due to his father’s career with the oil company. In order to explain “Jojo Rising”, it is worth mentioning the background on how the phrase was born to both Ford and his Chinese best friend, Wu Lee.
In once scene, Wu, after a life or death experience in the story, looked up at Ford from the ground. Wu then looked up at the sky, and blinked slowly. He stared off in to the abyss, thinking about what just happened. In his heart, he was forever indebted to Ford.
“Jojo rising,” Wu said, barely, with a slight smile, referring to their favorite band The Doors, and their ‘L.A. Woman’ song from the 1971 Elektra label album. The original lyrics sung by lead singer Jim Morrison were “mojo rising”, but when Wu first heard the song, he could not make out the words. So he started singing “jojo rising” instead, and it stuck.
“Jojo rising, Wu,” Ford replied.
Their private saying ‘Jojo rising’ meant to them a greater spirit and internal flame that enabled them to do things together and tackle life. It was their special sauce, the exceptional charisma and determination to accomplish goals, was their jojo rising. Wu loved the American music video of The Doors’ lead singer Jim Morrison, just cruising and driving around Los Angeles, California in his Mustang, and to Wu, it was classic America. Just driving around, taking in the palm trees and ocean and warm weather, doing what you wanted to do, when you wanted to do it. It was very American, and very different from Wu’s upbringing, which was why Wu loved it. Some critics argued Jim Morrison put a sexual connection to the phrase, but that’s not how Ford and Wu took it at all. It meant boundless, no limits, land of opportunity. Go out there and make something happen. It was, to them, simply, jojo rising.
Ford Stevens is a pilot’s pilot. All he wanted to do since he was a young was get into a cockpit. Perhaps explore the world a bit, to understand it…to experience flight in different cultures and be in the sky. He traveled globally with family as his father was moved around for his corporate career, but Ford never lost sight of his goal. Ford wanted to fly when he saw that first fighter jet years ago, and was, from that point, inspired forever. His thirst for flying was satisfied when he was first given controls to an aircraft and looking down below at the earth.
Ford Stevens never thought about another career ever again, except for flying, and his desire to fly was as strong as anyone’s on any given subject. Being part of military aviation, to him, was larger than life itself.
Which is why, you will soon read, he’s ready for the ultimate international mission in serving his country.
A Ford Stevens Military-Aviation Thriller…coming in December 2016!
Concealed deep within China’s inland borders is one of the most secretive airplanes ever flown, known as Devil Dragon. She’s sleek, unbelievably fast, and mysterious—her test pilots have one mission in mind: make her test flights successful for operational use as soon as possible. Or sooner.
But when strange transmissions of pilots are recorded without an aircraft appearing on radar, and bizarre cell phone signals are detected at towers hundreds of miles apart, the intelligence community team is set in motion, and U.S. Air Force Reserve pilot Ford Stevens is asked to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life.
What begins as a friend helping a friend explodes into a globe-trotting action packed military-aviation adventure. Against an atmosphere of Washington, DC government red tape, an intimidating Chinese General, DIA leadership, and carrier aviation, all airways lead to a stunning international plot. Crammed with deceitful government employees, smoke and mirrors tradecraft, and the blackest, most secretive aviation flight ever undertaken, you will be unable to put it down.