Farewell to British Airways’ Queen of the Skies

On the morning of 8 October 2020, British Airways retired the last of its two Boeing 747 jumbo jets. Two of the “Queens of the Skies” took off from Heathrow, after a ceremony starting at 7:47, and made their way to their final destinations. I followed the second of the planes on Flightradar.com and also…

“Climber’s High”

Of all the disaster narratives that I studied for my article “Disaster Narratives by Design: Is Japan Different?“, the one that I have studied in most detail is ‘Climber’s High’ (クライマーズ・ハイ) as it ties in so much with my research about the JL123 crash. As well as the novel – which is one of the…

Delighted with another 5-Star review for “Tokyo 20/20 Vision”

Delighted with another 5 star review for Tokyo 20/20 Vision, which is averaging 4.7 (out of 5.0) on Amazon. Here is the review: “I’m not a fiction lover normally, but as I’m familiar with things Japanese after having lived there for a long time, I picked this one up. The author has a fantastic grasp…

Timing Challenges in My Novels

When I started writing my first novel Hijacking Japan, I had no idea that it would take so many years to write. Nor did I realise what the consequences of this would be. When I started writing Hijacking Japan, Japan had no Ministry of Defence and the possible establishment of this featured in the Prologue….

Post 123

This is blog post number 123. For many I suspect that there is no particular significance of this number. 123. Or 1, 2, 3. But for me, I will always associate it with JL123, Japan’s and the aviation world’s Titanic, which has been one of my research areas since 2007. I have already done a…

Choosing a Character for My Novels

When writing novels, one of the hardest things can be creating characters and choosing names. This gets particularly complicated when the character is not only going to appear in one novel, but a whole series. My second novel was going to be the starting point for such a series. Tokyo 20/20 Vision marks the official…

Yuzawa

Yuzawa (湯沢) in Niigata prefecture is a small town (population of less than 8,000) that I have visited many times – but never stayed at. That I have been there so many times is thanks to the fact that it has a shinkansen station and is only about 90 minutes from Tokyo Station. If you…

Reflections on writing Tokyo 20/20 Vision

This is, apparently, my 100th blog post. After writing about my busiest research trip, I thought this time I would write a bit about how some of my research has come into my novel writing, and specifically my latest book, Tokyo 20/20 Vision. Many aspects of location choices and characters have been inspired by personal…

Ebook “Tokyo 20/20 Vision” Free Today

When I started writing Tokyo 20/20 Vision, the concept of having it based around the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the title were fixed. I wanted to get the book out before the Olympics themselves. Even in January this year, as the book was published, it was hard to imagine the way the new coronavirus COVID-19…

The significance of the isho (last messages) on JL123

I’ve recently moved my website. Whilst many things have changed, one thing has remained the same. Consistently one of the most popular pages (on many days, the most popular) is the one that contains my translations of the isho (last messages) written on JL123 (JAL 123). I have written in my book Dealing with Disaster…