Erika Armstrong is the author of A Chick in the Cockpit: My Life Up in the Air, which I found on Book Club Reading List. I don’t typically review non-fiction, but this biography really caught my eye! Read on for my interview with the author.
How did you come up with the idea for A Chick in the Cockpit?
This is a true story and the heroes are my book club! Too often, the heroines of popular real life stories hurt others (and themselves) while trying to find or repair themselves. They leave their husbands to travel the world, shoot heroin, or hike a trail because they’re hurting, but the majority of us have to just keep it together. We don’t have the option to just walk away, so I wanted to give readers a different perspective of how to survive a traumatic event/life. But, I believe in balance, so the reader also gets to sit in the cockpit of a commercial airliner with me. After thousands of hours being locked in the cockpit with men, I have gathered a few funny stories! I promise this story will make you pee your pants with laughter, cry with anger, and smile at the power of women.
Who is your favorite character?
Since this is nonfiction, they’re all great characters!
Describe your writing process.
Spastic. Sorry, that’s the best term for it. I’m a single mom and during the time of writing this, I owned and operated a horse boarding facility while also working 60 hours/week at another job. I just wrote when I could, so don’t let anyone think you have to sit down and write everyday, or that you have to meditate before, or some other ritual that magically makes you great. That’s all crap. You just do what works for you.
Who are some authors who have influenced you?
Every book I’ve ever read. Truly, I don’t have a favorite author, but I have some favorite stories. I pay more attention to the story than the way it’s written, so I just wrote the story the way it happened and the way I think.
What made you want to become an author?
I enrolled in the journalism program at the University of Minnesota when I was 17 and thought I wanted to be a journalist. I did, but what the heck do you have to write about at that age? I ended up being lured into aviation, so now I have lots of things to write about. I am a professional pilot columnist for Disciples of Flight, NYC Aviation, Contrails, Flying.com, Mentor and Business Insider. My true story is what made me want to become an author.
What advice would you give to other aspiring writers?
Don’t take other author’s advice! Don’t let anyone think you’re doing it the wrong way. Your way is the right way.
Thank you Erika!! Readers, watch for my review of A Chick in the Cockpit coming soon! …after the holiday 😉
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