Flight of fancy for flydubai engineer

When David Farrell isn't working as an engineer for the airline flydubai, he's often enjoying one his favourite pastimes: writing science fiction.
Dave Farrell, an engineer with flydubai, finds time to write science fiction.
Dave Farrell, an engineer with flydubai, finds time to write science fiction.

David Farrell works at flydubai airline as an "avionic technical services engineer". While his job title sounds highly technical, it is nowhere as out of this world as one of his favourite pastimes: writing science fiction.

What does your job entail?

I work on routine maintenance and engineering to keep flydubai's fleet in prime condition. We have a very robust maintenance schedule to comply with our strict safety standards.

One of your hobbies includes writing a science fiction novel. What is it about?

The book is called Jupiter's Secret and is based 600 years from now when mankind has taken to the stars. This was not driven by the human nature for exploration, but by the stronger basic desire of greed. The planets in our solar system have large untapped resources and the race to find the best to exploit is on. I have been in touch with a publisher who has asked to see [it] once it's finished.

Are any of your characters inspired by people you work with or know?

There are quite a few characters related in some way to friends, family or people I have worked with, while others are a combination of different personalities. One character is based on an ex-engineering teacher of mine, in both his mannerisms and attitudes, and I'm sure he will recognise himself straight away if he ever reads Jupiter's Secret.

Your job sounds highly technical, while writing can be very creative. Do you see any parallels between the two?

Yes, I see many parallels. In engineering, you have to be very detailed in the work you're doing and assemble the facts of a defect to come up with a cause and solution. In writing, you have to give details of a situation and scenario, so the reader can view the world through your eyes.

Where do you work on your book?

I can write at any time, anywhere. I remember travelling on a train from Manchester one rainy day and writing a chapter of the book on the back of some photocopies of a wiring diagram I had in my laptop case. I have tried the normal approach of sitting in front of the [computer] screen waiting for the words to appear, but this doesn't work for me. I work better when there are people about and lots of distractions.

And when do you write?

Every day. A name or part of a conversation I've had can pop into my head at any time and I have to write it down there and then. Recounting people's reactions to a conversation, including their facial expressions, can make the fictional characters come to life.

Would you ever want to work full-time writing novels?

I would like to spend more time on it, but I would always have a day job. I'm too active to just do one thing.

Published: August 12, 2011 04:00 AM

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