The Big Drop

Guess what I did last week?

If you guessed ‘skydiving’, you’re right… and oh-so-wrong.

Yes, I got trussed into a tandem skydiving harness by Gord from Skydive Vancouver Island. But that’s as far as it went; although I did have a moment of panic when he finished tightening the harness and said, “So, we’ll be taking you up now?”

He took one look at my expression and burst out laughing as I yelped, “No!”

Why did I get into the harness if I wasn’t going to jump, you ask? (Okay, maybe you didn’t ask; but I’m going to tell you anyway.) Because… *drumroll* …I was doing the cover art for Book 16, which will be available for pre-order in only a few short days, hooray! The only ‘drop’ was the impending drop of the book.

Digression: I’m not sure why everybody uses ‘drop’ when referring to the release of movies or music or books these days, but here we are. I was tempted to title this post ‘The Long Drop’, but since ‘long drop’ is Aussie slang for a hole-in-the-ground toilet, I refrained. (Barely.)

Anyhow, in SPY IN THE SKY, Aydan unwillingly goes skydiving. I had a lot of fun writing those scenes, but I have to admit that my chief enjoyment came from the fact that I didn’t actually have to experience it. I’ve done most of the stunts Aydan tries in my books, but I draw the line at skydiving.

Gord told me the attachment points on the harness will hold a combined weight of 1500 pounds, and statistics say skydiving is actually safer than the drive to the airport. If I could completely, 100%, trust that the parachute would open and I’d stay attached to my instructor, I’d probably give it a try. But I have serious trust issues, so I don’t think I’ll ever jump out of a perfectly good airplane at any altitude greater than two feet.

I’m pretty sure my depiction of the experience is close, though, because Gord was kind enough to give me a crash course (sorry, couldn’t resist) in what it’s like to skydive. Many thanks to Gord and Allison for the generous donation of their time and expertise!

Would you ever skydive? Have you? Inquiring minds want to know!

To be released May 7, 2021:

When secret agent Aydan Kelly investigates a disgraced CIA agent, he insists he was only following orders.  Four days later he mysteriously dies while in custody.

Aydan suspects that a CIA director committed murder to hide his profitable connection with an international arms dealer.  As she digs deeper, Aydan knows she’s on the right track when assassins start trying to kill her.  But when the arms dealer deposits twenty million dollars in her bank account, suspicion veers toward Aydan.

With only three days left before she’s jailed for treason, Aydan fights to stay alive, capture the elusive arms dealer, and clear her name.

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40 thoughts on “The Big Drop

  1. Hope the book drop goes well, Diane.
    I’m having a few reader issues, hence my late comment here. I’m trying to fix it… I’m diving in! Not literally, mind, skydivin’s not ferry me…


  2. My mouth dropped open at the sight of you in the first photo! You definitely had me on the edge of my seat. The book cover is fabulous! Congrats on number 16.
    As to sky diving I won’t say no. I keep thinking I’ll save it for a big birthday, like 80 or 90. 🙂


  3. I have to start with “Excited for the Book!!” I have a fear of heights, but have always wanted to sky dive…go figure! As close as I have gotten was with my oldest daughter many years ago. She wanted me to do a photoshoot of her “first jump” as she was fulfilling one of her dreams. I loved the whole process and came so close to doing it myself, but it required a reservation as they were fully booked. Ugh…..I got busy with life again and never followed through!!


    • Sounds like maybe next time your daughter should do a photoshoot of your dive. And Gord tells me that a fear of heights doesn’t really come into play for most people, because you’re far enough off the ground that it doesn’t register. (Or maybe you’re just so distracted at the thought of jumping out of a plane that the fear of heights fades into insignificance.) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes I have done one tandem jump and I will say it was one of the most terrifying but equally exhilarating things I’ve done.
    Yes I would love to do another. I’ve also done indoor skydiving.
    No I don’t have much in the way of self preservation but it is slowly increasing with age!!


    • Ha! It’s funny how we become a little more cautious as we become a little less ‘bendy’. Indoor skydiving? Is that where you’re hovering in a wind tunnel? That would be a blast — I’d love to give it a try!


  5. Wow, you were sooo close skydiving. And you are soooo close releasing book #16. Amazing! What a fun exercise for the cover art. And so nice you know all your dialects and cultural language differences, too. I wonder how many mistakes I have made with Aussie (or other) expressions I am not aware of.

    Have I ever skydived? What do you think? 🙂


    • You’re such an adventurer, I’d be shocked if you hadn’t gone skydiving! And I have great fun with the slang from various English-speaking countries. I wish I knew it all, because I’m sure I’ve made some blush-worthy mistakes; but at least I know some of the basics. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The long drop also refers to being hanged.
    My nephew is an accomplished skydiver out of Calgary. Also wing suits and base jumping. You really ought to try it.
    I would love to skydive. I figured if they can find parachutes big enough to throw tanks out of airplanes, they should be able to find one for me. My son did comment that, “to be fair, Dad, they only attach one tank at a time”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OUCH! Offspring can be so cruel. But I bet your nephew could find a way to make it work if he knew you were serious about it. I like the idea of going two hundred miles per hour (which is what you hit in a tandem setup in freefall), but I’d prefer to do it horizontally, in a conveyance with safety harnesses and a roll cage. One of these days I’m going to figure out how to get a ride in a drag car out on the salt flats. 🙂

      I didn’t realize the association of ‘long drop’ with hanging. Yikes. I definitely prefer the toilet option.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My kids love to insult their father. Yes, Andrew could fix me up but I would want a safely line on the airplane that would automatically pull the chute. No 200 MPH stuff for me. I’ve done 150 in a Mercedes with someone else driving and that is enough


  7. Oooooh. You are getting so close now, and this greedy reader is excited.
    Yes, I probably would skydive if the opportunity presented itself. Which is odd because I am not a fan of planes, particularly small planes. Ballooning was truly marvellous and if I could clamber into the basket I would happily go again. And now you have me wondering whether I should pursue the skydiving thing. Perhaps…


  8. Hi,
    Do it. Go skydiving. I went just before I started college and it changed the me I was to the me I am. I was a good convent school girl. I arrived at college 1st day 3hrs late. My excuse “I had really bad hitches.” I’d hitched overnight from the jump centre. By the end of the first day I’d been banned from the pub for fire eating in their garden. This was not me.
    Good news on the next book, but I’d just like to say that if Arnie isn’t a main character I’m coming over to make you skydive.
    Oh, a good way to get over it is to learn to pack the canopies. This will help fund the jumping and is a seriously hard exam that focuses you off the height.


    • “Banned from the pub for fire-eating”?!? OMG, I want that on my personal list of “Things I Should Be Ashamed Of But Secretly Gloat Over”! But I’m afraid that if I packed my own canopy I’d be even more terrified of skydiving. I’m not afraid of heights — that part wouldn’t bother me. My biggest fear is dying of my own stupidity, and it seems to me that packing my own canopy would be a prime opportunity for that.

      But whew; you won’t have to come over here, and I won’t have to skydive. If you’re an Arnie fan, I think you’re gonna like this one. 🙂


  9. So I’m geeking out a little because the book sounds fantastic and I can’t wait for it!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! On the other hand, skydiving is on my bucket list. Love the feel of free falling, which so far I only indulge in through rollercoasters. Hopefully, before my aging knees totally give out, I will be able to cross that one off the list. I admit, even thinking about it I get the smallest surge of adrenaline…. aahhh.
    And you know the most oddball slang uses! I guess all that research makes the inside of your brain a very interesting place. I think I might have to try my hand at researching for a book I’ll never write just to see what comes up in the process. That would be fun! As evidenced by my dream of skydiving, my sense of adventure is a little askew from the norm. I don’t apologize anymore , I embrace it.
    Anyway, thanks for the teaser!! I still think you should have “taken them up” on the skydiving offer, hahaha!


    • You know, there’s a small part of me that wishes I had jumped, just for the bragging rights. But I’ve been trying to tame my competitive nature as my body parts start to wear out, and this time I succeeded (aided by news articles about people plummeting to their death). But hey, it’s never too late! In my research, I also came across an article about a man who took his first skydiving jump at 100 years old. He was still in one piece when he landed, so there you go. Embrace your dreams and your magnificent askew-ness!

      The inside of my brain is definitely an interesting place… if you define ‘interesting’ as ‘weird, crowded, frequently inappropriate, and occasionally disturbing’. 😉


  10. I would have watched a pay-per-view video of that skydive. 🤣

    I don’t get the term “drop” either. I drop calls, companies drop support for software, and dogs drop turds. And it’s that latter “drop” that I think of when someone is about to say their new recording is going to “drop.” What, are they going to s**t one out for me? 🤔

    I guess it’s better than text-speak, or ending every sentence with “lol” instead of, you know, real punctuation…


    • LOL! (Couldn’t resist.) Now every time I hear about a new recording “drop”, I’m going to think ‘dump’. But hey, maybe it’s appropriate in some cases. Some of the new releases I’ve encountered lately have certainly been steaming malodorous heaps. 😉

      And I had great fun writing about Aydan’s reaction to skydiving. Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to be inside the spewing radius…


      • Aaaah, I detect a “projectile” outcome (output?) is in the works…? (So the spewing would not be profanities, I take it.) I have to say it makes for a cool book cover though! The skydiving suit. Not the spewing. All I can think of now is, “Shields up, Keptin!” when I get to that part in the book.

        I saw your reply about the vaccinations–glad you’re finally getting them up there. A few friends of mine up in Canada have similarly been waiting to get theirs. I have jab #2 this coming Saturday, whereupon I’ll be fully Pfizered and ready to travel later this year. I had wanted to take my youngest to Alberta and visit the national parks, but we’re going to do that another year instead–we’d planned to get passports last year but that of course was delayed. And now that they’re processing passports again, it will take a while for the gub’mint to get caught up. Instead, we’re going to hit a few favorites in Utah and Colorado this year.


        • Fully Pfizered, hooray! That will be a relief, I’m sure. I can hardly wait to get vaccinated; not because it’s really going to change our daily lifestyle until everyone else has had their shots, but just because it’ll be one less thing to stress about.

          And yep, there’s spewing involved in Aydan’s skydiving adventure. Profanities and, erm… other things. (Chekhov was one of my favourite characters on the original Star Trek!)

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Love it can’t wait to get my paws on it and read it. I can honestly say that I haven’t picked up a book in a long time. And I need a fix and why not get a fix of a favourite.

    I never seen the appeal of jumping out of a plane, I miss travelling but at the moment I am in no rush to go anywhere at all. I might be ready to travel in a few years when I have to renew my passport.

    Hope you are staying safe and well, have you any news on vaccinations in Canada?


    • Thanks, Karen! We were allowed to register for our vaccine yesterday, so hopefully that means we’ll be eligible for a shot within a couple of weeks. It’s been a very slow and frustrating rollout here — first they couldn’t get enough vaccines, and now they’re working the kinks out of the deployment. Things are starting to move a little more efficiently, though, so we have high hopes. Have you had your vaccination?

      I’m not in a hurry to travel, either; but it would sure be nice not to have to go through the whole mask/sanitizer rigamarole every time we leave the yard. Patience isn’t my best thing. 😉


      • Yes I’ve had my first jab, the second is due in May 4 weeks tomorrow. I can’t say I had too many ill effects from it I felt like I was hit by a truck for about 36 hours but I was still working unlike some. I decided carpets are the new holidays OK that sounds odd but basically the money I would have spent on holidays is going on new carpets, I get measured up on Friday and Saturday I’ll have to organise the fitting after the measurements are done.


        • What a great way to spend your ‘holiday’ money! You’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of your new carpets. They might not be as much fun as a vacation, but at least they’ll last longer. 😉


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