“An absorbing read.” -Kirkus Reviews

Coming November 2015

Coming November 2015

From Kirkus Reviews: On the evening before Thanksgiving, an airplane shuttling Perry’s ex-husband and three small children crashed into a mountainside, killing them instantly. This biography charts Perry’s journey to, and eventually beyond, that “agonizing night.”

Perry, herself an aviator, became a national figure following the 2011 crash, first as the object of sympathy and later as a model of resilience whose grieving process was captured by an Oprah Winfrey Network film crew. It’s a credit to Napoleon’s diligent reporting (Burning Shield: The Jason Schechterle Story, 2014) that readers here are treated to a much fuller portrayal of Perry.

After starting her pilot training at age 19, Perry spent nearly two decades breaking barriers to pursue a career in the male-dominated field. Then, at age 38, she discovered she was pregnant, an instant “game changer” for a woman who thought she was unable to have children. Perry and her husband, Shawn, welcomed daughter Morgan in 2002; sons Logan and Luke came along soon after. But along with its joys, motherhood introduced new strains. Both Morgan and Luke were autistic. The family was told that Morgan, who also suffered from epilepsy and developmental delays, would never be able to live independently. Perry and her husband divorced in 2010. A little over a year later, the crash occurred, leaving her utterly heartbroken and in search of answers.

Napoleon has a knack for capturing and distilling minutiae, a skill on display as he dissects crash reports and court documents. But the real beauty here is when he uses those same skills to render Perry and her children as more than just tragic victims. Although Napoleon’s use of aviation metaphors is at times a bit heavy-handed, his portrayals of Perry and her children are genuine.

Along with a collection of black-and-white family photos, his vivid details help readers experience the clan’s happier times. We see Morgan snuggle in the lap of a family friend, learn Luke was a prodigious photographer, and laugh along with Logan as he delights in his Easy Bake Oven.

An absorbing read that serves as a reminder to cherish every moment.

Pre-order “Angels Three: The Karen Perry Story”

Beginning July 31, the ebook edition of Angels Three: The Karen Perry Story will be available for pre-order exclusively on Apple iBooks.

Coming November 2015

Coming November 2015

Coming November 2015

Angels Three

Coming November 2015 (Avery Press)

“I read Angels Three: The Karen Perry Story with a heavy heart. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) had concerns with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airspace changes before this tragedy occurred. I applaud Karen for her bravery in writing this book and sharing the lessons to be learned. By telling her story I am hopeful the memory of the six victims—including her three children and their father—will make a difference by educating pilots and policymakers so this kind of tragedy never happens again.” • Mark Baker, President and CEO, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

High Praise for “Burning Shield”

PWThis gripping biography of Jason Schechterle’s battle for life and justice celebrates the resilience of the human spirit while condemning corporate greed. In the telling of Schechterle’s story—from his becoming a Phoenix police officer to the March 26, 2001, auto accident that nearly killed him—Napoleon offers up suspenseful prose replete with all the crucial elements of a legal thriller. Schechterle’s accident—a taxi hit his police cruiser, which inexplicably burst into flames—turned out to be part of a nationwide spate of similar auto explosions. Legal crusader Patrick J. McGroder, who worked with Schechterle in his case against Ford Motor Company, is depicted as a feisty, down-home everyman.

This enthralling biography injects the intimacy of fiction into a true story of human endurance. Readers are continuously reminded that Jason Schechterle is flesh, bones, and blood, not a fictional character, and they are invited to experience his terror, frustration, and ultimate triumph.

—From Publishers Weekly, June 27, 2014

National Book Tour and Media 2014

Coming late January 2014

Amazon TOP 100 Second week of release

• February 26 Casa Blanca Book Club: Scottsdale AZ

• March 2 Feature profile as “The Arizona Republic Recommends” selection

• March 12 & 13 Corporate Event: Baltimore, Maryland

• March 26 National Public Radio “Here and Now” 11-noon: KJZZ Phoenix AZ


• March 28 Worldwide Launch, Changing Hands Bookstore: Tempe AZ

Former Arizona Governor Endorses Book


From Avery Press 2014

“This book is a powerful, inspiring story of one man’s will to survive and to thrive in the face of horrific injuries.  It is also a keen look into the workings of our police men and women and the close bonds that knit them together.  We admire them, and we especially admire Jason Schechterle.”

Janet Napolitano, former Arizona Governor (2002-2009) and Arizona Attorney General (1998-2002).

Coming February 2014

Coming late January 2014

From Avery Press 2014

“Sad, exciting, life-changing and emotional, Burning Shield: The Jason Schechterle Story is an amazing story of one man’s triumph over tragedy with the support of an entire community.”

—Jack Ballentine, former homicide detective and author of Murder for Hire

“Faithfully documented… This true story reads like a novel.”

That’s an advance review excerpt from my new book, a nonfiction biography, that’s now in production and scheduled for release in February 2014 by Avery Press. The book tells the amazing story of a rare individual; that’s all for now. Stay tuned!

New Book Debut

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In addition to my own works, I write for-hire books, memoirs and corporate histories. On Saturday night, February 16, 2013, one of those corporate clients rolled out the red carpet and, for a night, gave me the celebrity author treatment. The project and the big book launch imparted several other valuable lessons.

The book I wrote for Leslie’s swimming pool supplies, an 800-plus store national retail chain, began in November 2010 and was finally rolled out to 1,000 of the company’s managers and executives at a hotel on Harbor Island in San Diego. The book documents the 50-year history of the company from inception in 1963, by the namesake Phil Leslie himself, through to the modern era. If the subject matter seems obscure, these are five-figure book commissions that are also a lot of fun to research and write. It’s storytelling with a steady paycheck.

The culmination of the company’s 50th anniversary celebration on Saturday night came when the CEO called me to the stage and told each of the 1,000 people they’d be receiving the hardcover book, and that I would be available to sign them. Then, without warning, the CEO turned to me and said, “Would you like to say a few words?” I was under the glare of the bright lights, with no “Oscar acceptance speech” notes, and 1,000 people quietly waiting for me to say something witty and insightful. And this was a rare opportunity: A 20-city book tour with 50 people every night would net me the same audience of 1,000 people.

Herein were two lessons:

• When you go out to promote your book, be prepared for the unexpected.

• Get comfortable with public speaking.

For me, public speaking used to invoke severe nervousness and butterflies. In terms of both lessons, over the years I started giving writing workshops. At some point in there, the nerves disappeared: I was prepared for any audience, any time. I stepped to the lectern, grabbed the book I wrote that was perched there and pretended that I was reading the opening. I said, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

That got a good laugh from the crowd, which put me further at ease, and then I just spoke from my heart. That led me to another lesson: Always Be Closing. It’s the old ABC sales adage as I ended with a plug for my other novels available online. I got another laugh when I told the audience of 1,000 that book royalties are how we’ll send our kids through college. When trying to move copies of your book, it never hurts to beg.

After my successful impromptu speech, I was whisked through a mob of people to my signing table where I put my name to hundreds of books. All the lessons were in play as I interacted with the multitudes and answered questions about my other books. Overall, Lesson #5 is the most important: Have fun with it all.

Authors and creative artists live the 95/5 life: Our work is 95 percent working our craft in isolation and five percent under the spotlight. So when the spotlight comes, soak it up, enjoy it and revel in it. There’s nothing to be nervous about: The creative life is both a difficult and privileged existence. When good tidings come your way, breathe in and enjoy the wonderful and brief vistas from the mountaintops.


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