Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flying the friendly skies with Heather Poole...plus a book giveaway

**Giveaway is now closed**

Today we welcome Heather Poole, real life flight attendant who has written a charming and funny insider’s account of life and work in the not-always-friendly skies called "Cruising Attitude." Heather Poole has been published in The Best Women's Travel Writing 2010. Her regular online column, "Galley Gossip: Confessions from the Jumpseat with Heather Poole," has received more than two million views and is featured on AOL's award-winning travel website, Gadling.com.

Thanks to HarperCollins we have one copy of "Cruising Attitude" to give away to a lucky reader anywhere in the US.

Visit Heather at her website and on Facebook and Twitter.

What was the most challenging part of writing "Cruising Attitude?"
Finding time to write. I’ve been talking about writing a book for years. After awhile even close friends and family didn’t take me seriously when I’d talk about it. I’m a flight attendant, wife and mother. It’s not easy balancing all that without also trying to find time to work on a book. When I was writing I’d feel guilty about not spending time with my family. When I was spending time with my family I’d feel guilty about not writing. I should also mention it took a few years to realize the first book I was working on was the wrong book, even though every agent and publishing house told me this multiple times. I didn’t believe them. Turns out they were right! Blogging helped me find my way. When you blog you get immediate feedback from readers. You learn what they like and what they want to know more about. It’s why I now tell struggling writers to know who their market is and to give them what they want.

Who are two authors who inspired you to write?
Writing really starts with reading. The first author who truly captured my attention was Judy Blume. In grade school I checked out every single one of her books after reading "Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret." I couldn’t get enough of her. That’s how my love of books with a strong female voice began. The book that inspired me to start writing was "Catcher In the Rye," although as I read it I don’t think I was completely conscious that I wanted to write. But the conversational tone is what got me thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could do that - on a much lower level of course! Sarah Dunn’s "The Big Love" is the book I kept on my writing desk to use as motivation when I first began writing, the perfect combination of "Catcher in the Rye" meets the best of chicklit.

What do you think the key is to a successful chick lit novel? Lots of sexiness? A studly hero? Plenty of angst?
A strong voice people can relate to. Although we’re more connected because of cell phones, Facebook, twitter and the like, we’re also more disconnected than ever before. This is why I think reality TV is so popular today. Writing something that’s real and true, something that people can relate to on an emotional level, is more important than ever before.

What did you do to celebrate when you first heard that you were going to be published?
Because I got my book deal before I’d finished writing my book, I decided not to celebrate until I had typed The End. Then when I finished writing the book I decided not to celebrate until I saw my book at the bookstore sitting on a shelf. When that day finally came I took about 100 photographs of myself holding it in the aisle.

TV series that feels most like chick lit:
I miss Sex and the City so much! Which reminds me to DVR that new show Girls.

If "Cruising Attitude" was made into a movie, who would you cast yourself?
Emma Stone would be my fantasy me!

Favorite chick lit novel you ever read:
"Bridget Jones's Diary," of course! Which reminds me I need to read that book again. I want to channel a little bit of that energy in my next book.

What about your flight attendant career inspired you to write?
I don’t know if I would have been as persistent and patience if not for the woman who walked on board my flight and claimed not to be a “psychic” but instead possess a gift she enjoyed giving away. She told me I had a message and my name would be well known. “I’m an actress!” I exclaimed in first class. “You’re a writer,” she corrected. I figured if I was supposed to be a writer I should probably start writing. That’s what I did as soon as got to my Seattle layover hotel. Pen in hand I started writing the first book, which now might become the third book, Stewardeath, about a serial killing flight attendant. After reading the manuscript an agent who is famous for being snarky scribbled on the bottom of a form letter rejection letter that she hoped to never have me on one of her flights. HA!

Can you share any advice for aspiring authors?
Write, write, write, write.... Doesn’t matter how long it takes to finish the book, just keep writing. Do something every day that gets you one step closer to your ultimate goal. If that means you only have time to write one sentence, than write that sentence! It took me 10 years to get to where I am now. I’m pretty sure most of my friends and family never thought I’d ever finish the book, let alone have that book end up on the New York Times bestseller list a week after it was released! (I still can’t believe that happened.) Take it from me, dreams really do come true.

Special thanks to Heather for giving us the flight insight with "Cruising Attitude" and to HarperCollins for sharing this book with our readers.

How to win "Cruising Attitude":
Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What is the craziest thing that happened to you on an airplane? OR What is your favorite chick lit novel about traveling?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

US only. Giveaway ends May 28th at midnight EST.


Cyndee said...

Heather Poole sounds like a positive person,as a flight attendant and writer. Once I was flying to see my Aunt,when a young boy was saying hello to everyone. That was cute. When I leaned over to tell the Parents "what a nice greeting" they said "oh, He learned that word last week" at daycare. He does not say "Good bye" oh, he'll learn the Mother said. Everyone laughed and I felt silly!
Cyndee Thomas

rhonda said...

Was on flight from Ny to la. One of the stewerdass flirted madly with male passenger. She only had eyes for him annoyed if anyone else dared interrupt them.I am follower liked on fb and will tweet. At rhondareads.

Unknown said...

SOunds liek a fun book.

My child vomitted on me, on a plain:(.

I am a follower, here and on FB and I tweeted:)


BRN2SHOP9 said...

When I was little I was reading quietly to my mother. The guy in the seat in front of me turned around and started to screaming that he "gave me half the flight now it's his turn so shut up!"

I follow via gfc, twitter and facebook

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

bas1chs said...

The worst thing to happen to me on a flight was coming back to the states from France. I had changed my seat and was put on the aisle at the back of the plane on the way to the lavatory. About two hours into the flight, an elderly lady was walking to the lav, passed out, and fell over on me. After they got her off of me, we had to give up our row of seat so she could be laid down across them. I didn't have a seat for the next three hours...

I'm a GFC follower.
I'm a member on facebook.
I follow on twitter.
I tweeted about the post:

bas1chsemail at gmail dot com

Debbie said...

1. I think that the strangest thing that happened to me was not on a flight but 6 months afterwards. A flight attendant actually came up to me and recognized me that long after the flight.

2. I follow you through GFC

3. I'm a member on FB

4. I tweeted this: https://twitter.com/#!/LibraryOfOurOwn/status/205044111407984640

alibraryofourown at gmail dot com

Erica said...

I was coming back from the bathroom and I guess I fainted. I woke up lying face down in the aisle with everyone shouting at me. I had to stay on the floor during the landing. Ugh!

I am a follower on twitter and FB.

wordywon at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

The annoying thing was the adult behind me kicking my chair the entire flight, even after being politely asked to stop

I follow the flight.


bn100 said...

The annoying thing was the adult behind me kicking my chair the entire flight, even after being politely asked to stop

I follow the blog.


Bridget O'Neill said...

The first time I flew with my daughter, she was 10 months old. We flew from Philly to Milwaukee at night. The plane was diverted to Green Bay, and I didn't think we'd be diverted, and did not pack enough diapers. Luckily I found a diaper hidden in my carry on, or we would have had a disaster!

I follow the blog.

I'm a follower on Facebook.


Nina said...

Don't make fun, but my favorite chick-lit travel book would have to be...Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I know, I know, but I can't help myself!!

dapper_dude said...

Heather ...

You're da' bomb! Great perspective ... you would make a wonderful neighbor.

Too many travel stories to tell, but the one that comes to mind: Imagine landing in a 767 at EWR only to be escorted by firetrucks to the far end of the airport, and then have the entire plane shut down. No power, no fans, no nothing. From up front, you could hear a pin drop in the back. That's what fuel gushing out of the wing will do for you. :)

It was a long walk back to the terminal.

Tried to follow the Chick Lit blog, but Google put me into a nasty loop, bouncing between signon screens. I give up. Fortunately, I'm following the wordpress blog, so I won't miss anything.

Keep up the great work!

vendors -at- tpsoft.com

susieqlaw said...

sendsusanmail AT gmail DOT com

I subscribe to this blog and CLC on Facebook and twitter.

Craziest airplane experience: flying from Europe to USA. Most of the passengers were mingling, drinking lots of alcohol, and having a big party in the sky. Surreal. Wild times.

Jeryl M. said...

I would like to read this book.


Jeryl M. said...

The craziest thing that happened to me on an airplance was that this guy tried to pick me up on a flight to Denver.

I am a Facebook fan.

I am a subscriber.


pokeydog said...

I think your writing is great!!
It is real, it is funny, and you are a great storyteller in the process!!

EFC Chrissy said...

This sounds like a great book! (I am also a GFC follower - The Every Free Chance Reader)Thanks for the giveaway! everyfreechance@gmail.com

Unknown said...

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
The Outdoor Women