Writing About Plane Crashes

The last year has been an interesting journey.

More or less on a whim, Lindy and I decided last summer to try to put together a collection of stories about fellow plane crash survivors we’d met through Facebook — not just about the crash, but about how such an experience impacted their lives afterward.  I’d started down this path a few years earlier, but had a major health event and had to put the project on hold.  Then, last summer, Lindy insisted that the time was right…and she was right

At first, we thought we’d self-publish and distribute the book just to our Facebook group (which now numbers over 80 people). But before doing so, we put together a formal proposal and sent it out to about 15 publishers. Remarkably, five publishers expressed an interest — and one of them sent a contract.  We were stunned!

The next few months were a whirlwind. We only had a few months to finish the interviews, write and fact check the 200 pages that ultimately became Bracing for Impact: True Tales of Air Disasters and the People Who Survived Them. At times, it felt like we were sprinting down a platform as our train was leaving the station, trying to make sure we could jump on before it left.

The book is schedule to come out in less than two months – in October 2015. We’ve been busy proofing, collecting photographs and other such things.  It is an exciting time for use and we are grateful to everyone who took the time and courage to share their stories with us. Reliving a trauma such as a plane crash is not easy for most people (ourselves included) but perhaps the book will give others insight into what can happen during the aftermath of a crash so that they can be more understanding and empathetic to those who have had a major life trauma — whether it’s a plane crash, experience combat, battling a debilitating disease, or loss of a loved one.

Robin Holleran and Lindy Philip

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