Monday, August 1, 2016

PUYB Chats with 'Scapegoat' Emilio Corsetti III

Emilio Corsetti III is a professional pilot and author. Emilio has written for both regional and national publications including the Chicago Tribune, Multimedia Producer, and Professional Pilot magazine. Emilio is the author of the book 35 Miles From Shore: The Ditching and Rescue of ALM Flight 980. The upcoming book Scapegoat: A Flight Crew's Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption tells the true story of an airline crew wrongly blamed for causing a near-fatal accident and the captain's decades-long battle to clear his name. Emilio is a graduate of St. Louis University. He and his wife Lynn reside in Dallas, TX.

For More Information
About the Book:

"This is the kind of case the Board has never had to deal with-a head-on collision between the credibility of a flight crew versus the airworthiness of the aircraft." NTSB Investigator-in-Charge Leslie Dean Kampschror

On April 4, 1979, a Boeing 727 with 82 passengers and a crew of 7 rolled over and plummeted from an altitude of 39,000 feet to within seconds of crashing were it not for the crew's actions to save the plane. The cause of the unexplained dive was the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations at

While the crew's efforts to save TWA 841 were initially hailed as heroic, that all changed when safety inspectors found twenty-one minutes of the thirty-minute cockpit voice recorder tape blank. The captain of the flight, Harvey "Hoot" Gibson, subsequently came under suspicion for deliberately erasing the tape in an effort to hide incriminating evidence. The voice recorder was never evaluated for any deficiencies.

From that moment on, the investigation was focused on the crew to the exclusion of all other evidence. It was an investigation based on rumors, innuendos, and speculation. Eventually the NTSB, despite sworn testimony to the contrary, blamed the crew for the incident by having improperly manipulated the controls, leading to the dive.

This is the story of an NTSB investigation gone awry and one pilot's decades-long battle to clear his name.
that time.

Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption is available at Amazon and B&N.

Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

This story involves an NTSB investigation that wrongly blamed a flight crew for causing a near-fatal accident. So I began with the official accident report and then followed that up with one of the four petitions for reconsideration. Once I had a grasp of the facts, I started interviewing investigators, crew, passengers, and anyone who could shed light on the story. The most significant source, however, came from the thousands of pages of documentation provided to me by the captain. The extensive documentation included hearing transcripts, trial transcripts, depositions, investigative material, notes, newspaper articles, magazine articles, correspondence, etc. I also watched a documentary in which the crew participated.

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

I began contacting literary agents as soon as I had a good idea of the story and was able to write a proposal. I continued contacting literary agents during the writing process, updating the proposal as necessary.

Out of over fifty literary agents that I contacted, only six requested the proposal. None of those six requested additional material. Three of those agents never even replied back.

I finally convinced a book promoter to represent the book to publishers. Out of some two dozen publishers contacted, not one requested to see the manuscript.

If self-published, did you hire someone to format the ebook version for you or did you do it yourself?  Can you tell us what that was like?

This book has been through the same editorial and design process as any book from a major publisher. In fact, I think in some regards this book and eBook surpass anything from a major publisher.

If self-published, how did you determine the price?

I priced the book based on the cost of the print run along with the costs to my distributor.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

I completed the book in February 2016. I decided that an August release would give me enough time to not only produce a professional book but have an opportunity to market it to book buyers and reviewers.

I was also aware of the September release of the Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks movie Sully, about Chesley Sullenberger. Sully is another story about a hero pilot. I thought having my book out one month before that film's release would be beneficial.

How did you choose your cover?

I gave the designer several ideas and asked him to include at least two of his own. Ultimately we decided to use my idea, but I also did a poll on my website of the various design ideas. The winning cover in the poll is what we used. You can see the three design ideas in the post help pick a book cover.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

My process is to write and then reread and rewrite as I go. I'll only reread the previous one or two chapters before moving on. At some point, I will end up with a first draft, but that first draft has already been rewritten numerous times. I'll do several more drafts and then bring in readers to get their input. After that, I will probably do several more rewrites. I'll know that I have something if I can read the entire manuscript four or five times and still feel good about it.

Another thing I do is reread the manuscript in different formats: computer screen, hard copy, and on an eReader. I'll pick up mistakes from each of the different formats

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book? 

I did print some bookmarks, which I include in review copies and giveaways.

Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book?  If so, what’s the link?

The book trailer for Scapegoat includes animation, images with VO, interview footage, and a soundtrack. I edited the trailer myself. You can see the book trailer on the Scapegoat Book page.

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

It's a great idea. I've given away over thirty-five ARC's and over forty e-galleys. It gets the book into the hands of potential reviewers.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

Seek out reviews. Do at least one marketing related task every day. Use social media sparingly.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out?

I advertised in book industry publications, did giveaways with Goodreads, put the eBook up on Netgalley, sent ARC copies to reviewers, and also did a blog tour. Blog tours are important because they show up when someone does a search on Google or Bing. If I'm interested in a book and I do a search on the book or author, I pay attention to how many search results show up. If it's only one or two, then that author isn't doing very much to promote his or her book.

Do you have a long-term plan with your book?

My first book has been out for eight years and is still selling. So I know that this book will have a long life thanks to digital. I'll release a paperback sometime in 2017. Over time I will participate in various marketing initiatives.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

A lot of authors will say that their book is unlike anything else on the market. Most of the time that's not true. In this case, it is true. This story reads like a wrongful conviction story. It's also a mystery. Scapegoat will appeal to readers who enjoy nonfiction narratives and true stories.


  1. Thanks Dorothy. Looking forward to the blog tour.