Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The strange inspiration that created the SkyRyder’s Series

by Liza O'Connor

The strange inspiration that created the SkyRyder’s Series

Early in my life, I became a private pilot. Then I took up skydiving and hang-gliding.

But oddly, the inspiration to create the SkyRyder stories came from a plastic grocery bag from ACME, no less. One windy day I noticed a shopping bag about a hundred feet up, flying as fast as the wind because it was fully deployed. And because the wind was blowing over a hill, the bag (and the wind) kept climbing higher until I lost sight of it. 

It made me ponder a whole bunch of what-ifs as I built an apocalyptic world in my head.

What if after a terrible world war, where all enemies attacked each other’s oil fields with atomic bombs, we no longer had access to fossil fuels.

What if these atomic bomb attacks created havoc with our winds, leaving us with stationary hurricanes that cover most of what is left of the Americas, while rising sea water consumes all lower lying areas.

What if traveling by sea between the continents is impossible due to massive high wind sea storms and constant seismic activity.

What if solar panels don’t work so well due to winds constantly blowing dust on them, thus massive wind mill farms become our salvation.

What if we could harness the power of our winds and use it to our travel advantage.

What if we create a light weight, but very strong windcatcher that has a large main chute that catches the wind and can carry a person across the skies at high speed. Of course, we would need to control the windcatcher, so we’ll need additional panels to provide lift and descent capabilities in winds from 50 to 200 miles. Let’s make all these panels from immensely strong, but incredibly lightweight material, so the massive catchers can be folded into a large backpack at the end of the flight.

If we do all this, then we can have SkyRyders protect the region that a stationary hurricane covers. Naturally, the rich will relocate to the eye of a hurricane, since that is the calmest area. The rest of the population will have to endure fifty-mile per hour winds at ground level.

There is one region, called Flat Land, which the surrounding mountains geographically prevents a hurricane from establishing itself and that is where the mega rich and powerful people live. And that is where my ‘worst ever debutante’ heroine lives. The only wind she has experienced is in a wind tunnel at the mall. Becoming adept in a wind tunnel has given her far better understandings of the complexity of wind, far more than any SkyRyder knows. So after she goes from debutante to street girl to scavenger, where she teaches herself to fly, then enters the SkyRyders, her flying abilities are par none. But can she teach those skills to others?

Stationed on opposite coasts, Alisha and Logan must each face their own demons and challenges. On the West Coast, Alisha loses her rank for butting heads with her General and soon discovers the life of a private can be utter hell. On the East Coast, newly promoted General Logan discovers his soldiers do not recognize his authority to command. In an effort to retake control of the East Coast Corps, Logan authorizes unthinkable actions. When Alisha faces a life-threatening crisis, will Logan rise above his own troubles or will she discover love and rescue with her best friend Jack?


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  1. Thanks for letting me share how this story came to be.

  2. Liza, I love this series. The freedom the flyers feel as they soar and swoop is so well described that I can feel their enthusiasm. Best wishes on your new release.


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