Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Behind the Book- Fly Me to the Moon!!

Back when I was a kid, right before I wanted to be Judy Blume, I wanted to be Eloise-that iconic, naughty, six year old who lived in New York City’s Plaza Hotel. It seemed so glamorous, hotel living. To reside in a place where others make the bed, where skating in the lobby is a choice, and where ice-cream sundaes are delivered right to your door.

I told my mom as much, making the announcement the day she refused to let me eat chocolate chip cookie dough for dinner: “Someday I’m going to live in a hotel,” I’d said. “And then you’ll be sorry.”

Years later, when I found myself spending yet another night in some anonymous, low budget, roach motel, the kind where the sheets are suspect, and showering in your shoes is a must, I realized that this is where my Eloise fantasy had led me. This is where my dream had gotten me. Into a bunion building, flammable skirt wearing, bag dragging, Buh-Bye chanting, not so glamorous career as a flight attendant. One where I spent more time in hotels than I did at home. One where I never, not once, got to skate down the hall.

Of course I’d been warned that it wouldn’t be all coffee, tea, or me, that I’d spend most of my time just picking up other people’s trash. But I refused to listen to that sort of heresy. I mean, how could it not be the greatest job in the world when they paid you to layover in Paris?

Let me count the ways. . .

Still I hung in there. Logging in over a decade’s worth of flying, partly because of all that free travel, but mostly because it provided lots of time for writing. My debut novel, Faking 19, was cribbed during boring layovers and long weather delays. And even though I followed it up with two more YA’s, the flight attendant story was always there, patiently waiting, occasionally giving me a gentle nudge and saying- Hey, what about me? When do I get a say?

Fly Me to the Moon is that book. It’s the result of eleven years spent “researching” life behind the navy blue suit, the control top pantyhose, and the little plastic wings. It’s a revealing, insider look at what it’s really like to work in a metal tube, hurling through the sky, at 37,000 feet.

It’s also the story of Hailey Lane, a lovable, bumbling, flight attendant/aspiring novelist, whose life undergoes a traumatic, unexpected reroute that propels her on a worldwide journey to fix her broken heart. A journey filled with mojitos at every layover, outrageous passengers in every seat, and a cute guy at every gate, as Hailey ultimately discovers she has more options than she ever could’ve imagined.

Publisher’s Weekly calls it- “Sex in the City at 37,000 feet.”

I call it my Valentine to flight attendants, and anyone who’s ever been curious about them.


Alyson Noel said...

Thanks Susan- You made my day!

sdpenson said...


I read your teen book excerpts and they look really great!

I buy my granddaughter books all the time..almost 14 and these look terrific. I just bought her How to be Popular (Meg Cabot) and will surely buy her your books too.

Having had MY children in the OC and raised at the beach...these will be fun reads for her.

Much success on your new book!


Alyson Noel said...

Hi Sandy-
Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope your granddaughter likes my books! I'm also a big Meg Cabot fan!
Have a fun weekend!

audela said...


I've been a flight attendant for a major airline for 7 years... FLY ME TO THE MOON had me in tears by the fourth page. You were able to put in words what we, "stewardess", experience in our everyday life.

I thank you, you made my day. I laughed non-stop on board, in waiting lounges and hotel rooms until I was sad the book was over...

Congratulations! I'll be recommanding it to my all my F/A' friends so it can brighten their days as well.

Alyson Noel said...

Hi Audela-
Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm thrilled you liked Fly Me, as I really wanted to tell it like it is, but also show how funny it can be too! Call me crazy, but sometimes I miss all that wackiness!
Thanks again, and happy flying!

Brandi said...

Thank you, just thank you. From one broken hearted flight attendant who grabbed your book in the over-priced, delayed driven Newark airport last night. You've written a book I've laughed out loud to sitting next to a grumpy paseenger just trying to catch a peak at my hidden enjoyment.

The heart ain't so broken anymore.


Alyson Noel said...

Hey Brandi-
So glad I could make your day a little better because you sure made mine!

Anonymous said...

I am half way through Fly Me to the Moon, and I'm already grieving the inevitable end of this amazing book. As a former NWA F/A, I have read every book out there about the crazy airline industry. This book has me laughing until I almost pee my pants! From the gay best friend to the lingo like "slam-clicker" you have really told Our Story! Thank you so much! I've been furloughed for a few years and have moved on to a Nursing career, but in a sick and strange way I will always miss picking up trash in that horrible poly uniform! I look forward to reading every word you publish! Please keep writing!

Alyson Noel said...

Hey Holly-
I'm sorry to reply to your post so late- blogger stopped telling me when people drop by :-)
Thanks so much for taking the time to write- I am thrilled you liked Fly Me!
I think flight attendants- past, present, and future- all share a similar experience, and it's one I wouldn't trade for anything!
Glad to hear you've moved on to a really rewarding career, and crazy as it sounds- sometimes I miss it too!
Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

I finished FLY ME TO THE MOON and thought that it was fantastic! I told a few of my friends about it and they also shared my opinions on it. I think many of the characters relate to many of us. I did a project on the book for my AP English class and my teacher thought it was great because it was so easy to relate to. It's just like reality with a twist of fairytale to it! GREAT JOB! I'm reading your other books now, but I still think FLY ME TO THE MOON is best

Alyson Noel said...

Hi Anna-
Wow, that's so cool you used it for a paper in school--and that your teacher liked it too!
I'm thrilled you liked FLY ME and I hope you enjoy my other books too!
Thanks so much for stopping by-