An award-winning Vernon author celebrated his 80th birthday with a 10,000-foot leap.
James Osborne, author of the Amazon bestseller The Ultimate Threat, was in fact 82 years old when on Sunday (May 22) he went skydiving to mark the occasion, as the pandemic and wildfire smoke delayed the jump in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
It’s becoming a once-every-decade tradition for Osborne, who first went skydiving to ring in his 70s.
“My first jump was 12 years ago to celebrate my 70th birthday,” he said. “And after this one the next time I jump out of a perfectly good airplane will be to celebrate my 90th birthday. It’s probably a little early to make a reservation just yet, and I suppose that applies to the jump after that, for my 100th birthday.”
Asked why he’s chosen skydiving to mark his milestone birthdays, Osborne recalled a quote he recently heard.
“‘Our biggest regrets in our lives are not for the things we have done but for the things we haven’t done.’ A parachute jump reflects that sentiment rather nicely.”
The jump involved free-falling for the first 5,000 feet and then parachuting down the remaining 5,000 feet.
“Don’t be surprised if that skydive becomes a segment in my next novel,” he joked.
The Ultimate Threat, Osborne’s debut novel, cracked the Amazon bestseller list twice, the first time at No. 1 and the second at No. 2 between reprints of Tom Clancy books.
“Nice company,” he said.
His other books include The Maidstone Conspiracy, the first in a suspense trilogy and winner of a Best Suspense Novel award from McGrath House Agency in Lindon, UK. He also published a collection of short stories called Encounters – Tales of Living, Loving & Laughter, which won first place in an international competition sponsored by The Critique Group.
His most recent novel, The Plot to Assassinate Secret Shepherd, is the second book in the trilogy.
Osborne said some segments in the plots for his novels were inspired by experiences from his storied career background, including investigative journalist, army officer, college teacher, vice-president of a Fortune 500 company, business owner and parent.