Chicklitisnotdead.com is giving away FIVE copies of my book, Cruising Attitude! All you have to do is scroll down to the bottom of the interview posted on the Chicklitisnotdead.com website (just click the highlighted link above), leave a comment – any comment!- and you’ll be entered to win. They’ll choose the winners on Sunday April 8th after 3pm PST. Here’s an excerpt from the interview that focused on my journey to becoming a published author….
2. What’s a line from your “favorite” rejection letter? An agent who’s famous for being snarky once scribbled a personal note at the bottom of one of those generic rejection form letters that after reading my book about flight attendants she hoped to never have me on one of her flights. HA! I should mention the book was about a serial killing flight attendant. I called it Stewardeath. Almost every agent who read the manuscript said they liked the voice, but wished I could make it more “fun.” I stuck to my guns and….well…you guessed it. I never sold it. That’s when I started blogging. The book business is a business after all, so I figured if I could get a following and be able to show just how many people come to my blog, maybe, just maybe, I could sell a book. 10 years and 7 million hits later an editor from HarperCollins read my blog and asked if I’d be willing to write a book for them about flight attendants.
3. What was the hardest part about writing your debut novel? Finding the time. I’m a flight attendant. I’m also a wife and mother to a five year old. There were times I thought I might have a nervous breakdown because I wasn’t going to make my deadline. 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 think the hardest thing for most writers is not giving up. Being patient but also persistent. Recently someone asked me for writing advice. I told him to just sit down and start writing. It can’t be that easy, he wrote back. Certainly there’s more to it, he added. That’s when I informed him that it took me 10 years of writing every single day to get where I am now. He was shocked. Another writer came up to me at a conference to let me know she’d been querying agents for six months. She couldn’t believe she didn’t have a book deal yet. I tried not to laugh. Most people get discouraged if they don’t sell their book within a year – one year! It took me ten.
4. What is the best/worst advice you received while you were trying to break into the book biz? A passenger who turned out to be a television show writer once told me there’s no such thing as writers block, that writing is work and some days are just harder than others. If writing were easy all those people who say they’re going to write a book someday would have already written it. You have to put in the time. Every. Single. Day. Doesn’t matter if all you have is an hour each day and it takes 10 years to get to those oh-so-precious two little words, The End. That time is going to go by anyway, so why not have a finished book to show in the end?
5. How did you celebrate your book deal? I didn’t. In the beginning of my writing career I dreamed about launch parties and celebrating at a special restaurant in Beverly Hills. I read about in People Magazine, which turned out to be right next door to my second agent’s office. But when my book finally published, just spending time with my family without feeling guilty about not writing was celebration enough. To be honest, writing a book is so much more than the final product. People have no idea what it truly takes to not only write a book, but then also sell the book, and then market the book to readers I never dreamed my book would make theNew York Times bestseller list, but it did, and I still didn’t celebrate. I did, however, stare at the newspaper for a few hours in an effort to let it sink in. It still doesn’t feel real.
I love this! Thank you for working so hard towards a goal and telling us the reality of what you put in! So many people are looking for the easy way to do everything these days. Can’t wait to read your book!!!
If it’s free, then it’s for me.
Honestly, I cannot wait to read this book. My aim is to become a flight attendant, and I am curious whether I will still be that eager after having read your book.
I cant wait to read the book! As a flight attendant for 25 years, I can RELATE!
That’s so neat, I’ve been looking forward to reading your book almost as much as I look forward to reading your posts!
So cool, Heather!
I’m looking forward to reading your book just as much as I look forward to reading your blog posts!
Way to go!
Heather, Thanks so much for being on the site! xoxoxo, Liz and Lisa
That was a brilliant piece there Heather. Despite the obvious pitfalls,you actually seemed so encouraging. You have proved beyond a doubt that it IS possible to write a book even with a busy life and I am waiting for its release in the UK which is next week I think. I wasn’t actually intending writing a book but you know what, I have plenty of time so I have no excuse. I reckon I’m going to do it. Thank You.
Brilliant encouraging words Heather. Despite the pitfalls you have proved that you just keep plugging away at writing and selling. Like the idea of the blog to prove your point, 7million hits cant be wrong!
I wasn’t going to write a book, but you know what, I’ve got plenty of time and therefore no excuse not to, so I reckon I’m going to do it and who knows, I might even end up with some extra cash for my retirement fund. Thank you! Look forward to reading your book which is available in UK next week, I think.
I am fascinated with your fun read
Book looking forwarding to meet U.
I can’t wait to read this! I’ve been following you since early last year, while I was researching becoming a flight attendant. Now I’ve been one for a year..and silly me decided to start my family right in the middle of it:p Thanks for keeping us entertained in the galley:)
Was a flight attendant for TWA and love everything airline! Can’t wait to read your book. It will bring back fond memories, I’m sure!
I am excited to read your book!
I was a road warrior for a few years. Interesting world.
I am writing to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog….I check it daily to see if you have a new post. I am soooo excited to say that I am one of the five winners of your new book!!! I am elated, to say the least!!! I leave this coming Tues. for training for my dream job of a F/A. I cannot wait to read your book. This will be a new chapter in life, as I turned 54 in Feb. It’s never too late to pursue one’s dream. Thanks again Heather…..you are an inspiration!
See you in the skies!!!
That is so nice to hear! And congratulations! You’re one of the lucky few who actually make it to training. GOOD LUCK. Best advice I can give is don’t quit! Give it at least 6 months before making any rash decisions. Read the book and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Hey Heather: Recently heard your interview on DNTO on CBC radio. Very interesting. I have been working on a book about life in the sky, doing research on plane construction, safety, the culture of flight, and of course the realities of life for flight attendants. Just finished reading Working the Skies by Drew Whitelegg, which really unfolds to view a lot of the issues you deal with. He refers to your book, and I would love to read it. So count me in as interested in a copy. Have not read your blog posts, yet, but will do so with great interest. Would like to be in touch with you as I complete my research and start writing. All the best! – Dan Rubin, Pouch Cove, Newfoundland
My book was just released last month, so I’m kind of surprised to learn there’s another book out there that refers to it. Thanks for the heads up.
Hi Heather: maybe I am confused and the reference was to a different book. Have already returned that book to the library.
Brilliant book! Very funny…