A long time ago, Microsoft turned up at several ISPs doors with a distribution of their latest browser, Internet Explorer 6. Around a week later, CDs of a completely customised version of Demon’s trial experience landed on over 180,000 customers desks. The speed at which every team executed was phenomenal (even leading to complaints from BT that we must have been given an unfair advantage; we hadn’t). A key part of this execution being the web team then led by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley.
Since the time we both worked there, she’s learnt to fly, runs her “Fear of Landing” blog and has written another book (Why Planes Crash: 2001) that catalogued several air accidents.
It looks like she’s just repeated the same scale of feat as the one she pulled off at Demon, writing a book about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the whole book written in 4 weeks. I know she was interviewed by Russian Television about MH370 long before she’d written the book, given some of her excellent work pulling together some of the threads of the investigation. As she recounted on her Facebook feed:
So, yes, I wrote a book in a month. To be fair, I became obsessed with it the month before, so a lot of the research was already done. I wrote like CRAZY. I also kept spreadsheets to track *everything* so that I would be able to share stats. Here you go:
Idea conceived: 1st of April
First word written: 2nd of April
First draft done: 19th of April
Book launched: 27th of April
Spreadsheets created for random tracking: 12
Days where I wondered if I was crazy: 26
Total words: 46,173
Words per day high score: 6,095
Max words per hour: 820
Most played song on iTunes: Red Lights
Best arbitrary reward for hitting wordcount goals: Wonka Nerds imported from US
Packets of Nerds eaten: 6
Gym visits: 4
Pounds gained: 6
Vows to go to gym every single day if I can just get this goddamn book done: 37
Days that my loving boyfriend left town because I was unbearable to live with: 10
Naps taken: 30
Baths needed: 27
Baths taken: 4
Victory dances around the living room when I achieved a round number on my wordcount: 7
Conversations dominated by MH370: all of them
I’ve forwarded this news (of the book that is!) to various people in the USA who have been left practically crawling up the wall with the many hours of otherwise content-free coverage of MH370 on CNN. I hope this will provide them with some much needed escape from that monotony!
So, to leave you with the summary:
In this age of constant surveillance, it shouldn’t be possible to lose a Boeing 777 carrying 239 passengers. It’s inconceivable that the aircraft flew for seven hours without anyone noticing that it was up there, completely off track. Yet, that’s exactly what happened. Sylvia Wrigley, pilot and aviation expert, explores the possibilities in the pages of The Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Wrigley is a pilot and aviation writer who has been obsessing about aviation safety for ten years.
Understand every aspect of the mystery
- Flying with Malaysia Airlines
- MH370 Disappears
- Popular Theories
- A Deep Sea Search
- The Aftermath
You can buy your copy of the book (as I have) from several places via Sylvia’s own link here.