Up in the Air by Deb Tiffany

I may be the only author in the world who doesn’t really mind if she doesn’t go on book tour. That’s not to say that I don’t want to sell a gazillion copies of my book and wake up to find it posted in the top ten on a bestseller list, I just don’t want to travel to do it and the reason is because I’m terrified of flying. Really scared. Like I break out in a sweat when I get on the plane. I get sick in my stomach. And if there’s turbulence, well, I more or less completely lose my senses. My palms sweat, my heart rate skyrockets, and I hyperventilate.

This is, I realize, completely inconvenient. Modern life requires some travel. About ten years ago, in an effort to get over this fear, I went up in a plane with a friend who flies acrobatically. I was nervous but fine when he let me fly the plane. I maintained pretty well through the barrel rolls, but when he did a loop manuever, that was it. I turned white, then green, got the shakes, totally freaked out, and screamed until he landed the plane.

Even I recognize this is not acceptable behavior on a commercial airliner. Then there’s the dilemma I always face: do I medicate for the trip or face it sober? Medicating’s not an option if I’m with my kids, and if I’m alone, then what do I do when I arrive woozy and hung-over?

So far I’ve been lucky. I get to do local publicity. But if the tides turn and you happen to see a white-knuckled woman in an aisle seat whispering the Hail Mary as the drink cart careens down the narrow aisle, please just politely ignore me and then go buy a copy of my book.

Bon Vivant!

8 Replies to “Up in the Air by Deb Tiffany”

  1. I also used to be TERRIFIED to fly – which was slightly inconvenient for a globe-trotting do-gooder! Something that really helped me was that St. John’s brother is a commercial pilot and (I’m not kidding) I used to call him before every flight and have him reassure me. Over the years though, I’ve come to realize that the pilot wants to get home safely just as much as I do. That and the fact that my BIL is a pretty smart fellow and he flies airplanes like a dozen times a week, loves his wife and kids and wouldn’t be doing this if he didn’t KNOW it was absolutely safe (well, as absolutely safe as anything is in life).

    But before I had a BIL who was a pilot, I relied on a prescription of the anti-anxiety medication, Xanax. I highly recommend it. You’ll still be able to take care of your kids and there’s no hangover. It just makes you NOT CARE if the plane’s about to crash. You’ll hit turbulence and go “whee!”

  2. Oh I DO love trains. Katie, there’s a train between my city and Chicago and I got to ride it in the spring. There was an outlet plug right next to my seat so I worked on my laptop, and I also read, and listened to NPR podcasts on my iPod… When I arrived, the people who drove to the conference were all kvetching about hellish traffic and the people who flew got derailed by a storm in the east. I was smug about my pleasant and trouble-free Amtrak trip! I’ll be doing it again in February.

    I digress. Tiffany, my fear isn’t quite to your level but I’m a nervous flyer, too. I grab the armrests in a vice grip and have to do labor-breathing during takeoff and landing, and of course during turbulence.

    Eve, my sister’s a pilot and I never thought about it in this way! Next time I have to fly I’ll call her up and make her reassure me.

  3. Trains! Yes, trains are civilized. They are peaceful. They don’t leave the ground. Or a rock and roll tour bus. That would be excellent. My neighbor is a musician, and he has one for his tours….Maybe he’ll let me borrow it? Hmmm….

  4. OMG – I soooo want to do a book tour in a rock-n-roll type tour bus. Splash the book cover across the sides and take the whole cross country in it, stopping everywhere along the way. Of course, the bus would have to run on bio-diesel. And then, of course, I’d have to write a book about that whole adventure!

  5. I love trains too! Unfortunately, they don’t go to Europe… I mostly manage to psych myself out when I fly and get lost in a good book during take-off. But it’s scary nonetheless. I like the rock-n-roll tour bus idea.

  6. Trains, yeah, trains…fancy, schmancy trains, with red cap service, I just wish they could pack and unpack for me and then schlep my overpacked stuff. I always pack too much.

    I can’t wait to read all your books, on a long, long train trip.

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