Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bracing For Impact: True Tales of Air Disasters and the People Who Survived Them

The authors of this enticing book, Bracing For Impact: True Tales of Air Disasters and the People Who Survived Them, reached out to me the other day, after seeing my short story, Getting Out Alive. It turns out that one of the authors doesn't live far from me, and we hope to do some collaborating this summer for book signings! Meanwhile, I want to share their book, a full-length novel which includes several individual stories of survival.

BRACING FOR IMPACT : True Tales of Air Disasters and The People Who Survived Them

“Surviving is a true blessing that few get to experience.”

Being strapped in the seat of a plane as it plunges into a nosedive midair is everyone’s worst nightmare.Bracing for Impact’s compilers and contributors know. They have both lived out that fear and survived, albeit badly hurt, in their own plane crashes.

In this collection of true-life survivor tales, people from all walks of life—a freelance writer, a crew member of the Lynyrd Skynyrd band, a naval flight surgeon, a teenager, and a newlywed on her honeymoon, among others—recount their traumatic narrow escapes as engines stalled, fuel ran out, hazardous weather conditions descended, and landings did not go according to plan. In the face of death, as life flashed before their eyes—or not, as some wryly note—these survivors encountered the terrific split of before and after the crash. Their lives, though preserved, would change forever.

Perhaps more significant than the crash itself is how each story plays out in the aftermath of the ordeal. In heart-wrenching, unrelenting honesty, these stories explore the wide spectrum of impacts on survivors—ranging from debilitating fear, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse, to a renewed sense of urgency, where survivors swear to live each day to the fullest and rededicate their lives to helping others.

Including the 1977 story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash that killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and vocalist Cassie Gaines, Bracing for Impact is as much a horrific account of air disasters as it is a celebration and recognition of the people who survived them.


Lindy Philip has 20 years of major marketing and advertising experience behind her. An artist and mother of two active teenage boys, Lindy also has a personal insight into the subject matter after surviving the crash of a four-seat Cessna along with the pilot and her husband. The accident forced Lindy to face up to her worst fear, and it directly led to her role as a mother and wife with a keen appreciation for life.

The experience has not stopped Lindy from flying and living out her desires to travel. To this day she still flies, though she does prefer the smoother ride of larger airplanes. Lindy has told her survivor story numerous times in collaboration with her husband/soul mate and how the crash played a role in their destined union. The accident has also been the catalyst for this book, the collaboration with Robin and the creation of a Facebook "Plane Crash Survivors" group.

An avid gardener and traveller, Lindy lives on a Vancouver Island acreage outside Victoria with her survivor husband Benjamin, her two teenage sons, a tipi and a pair of goats.

Robin Suerig Holleran is a full-time freelance writer with 20 years experience. For most of her life, Robin had deluded herself that statistically she was one of the safest people to fly with after her step-grandfather was killed in a PanAm accident in Brazil. But her father and brother also survived two separate crashes! She won Honorable Mention at the 75th Writer's Digest Writing Competition for a personal essay about the plane crash entitled "Did you think you were going to die?"

Robin is a single mother with three kids in college, a dog, two cats, one lizard and a lot of energy. She loves adventure travel and has visited every continent in the world (except Antarctica, which she has no intention of going to because she doesn't particularly like being cold).

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