About The Books:
Title: Ely Air Lines
Authors: Mike Ely & Linda Street-Ely
Genre: Non-Fiction, Short Stories, Aviation, Adventure
Publisher: Paper Airplane Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: January 29, 2020 Number of Pages: Volume 1: 350 pages; Volume 2: 330 pages
Synopsis: Buckle up and fly with Mike and Linda Street-Ely to discover amazing people, interesting places, and the conquest of flight. Since 2007, readers have enjoyed engaging articles weekly in the newspaper column, “Ely Air Lines.” Now you can step aboard to enjoy a collection of stories that explore the vast realm of the flyer’s world.
Interview with Linda Street-Ely,
co-author of ELY AIR LINES, VOLUMES 1 AND 2
How long have you been writing and what kinds of writing do you do? I’ve turned out to be a multi-genre author. After writing a few articles for a paralegal magazine in 1999, tragedy struck our family two years later. A housefire claimed the lives of my husband and two youngest children. I journaled my grief, which I felt led to refine (with assistance from a highly accomplished editor) for a book. This was my first book, first published in 2006, and it was written to be a way to reach out to others in grief. My faith is Christian, and the book shows the ways in which God carried me through the turbulence, and that he cares for each one of us more than we can imagine. After that, I learned to fly, met Mike, and we began our co-writing career with weekly articles about flying. We still write that weekly column, and the two-volume set of “Ely Air Lines” is culled from the first 10 years. A few years ago, I wrote a children’s book about bullying. This was my entry into fiction. It was written for one little boy, but because I wanted him to have a real, published book, I made it available for everyone. Then I entered a couple of short stories for anthology contests, and each won first place. The last work I’ve completed is my first play, which takes place in medieval Scotland. I’m looking forward to it being produced!
What cultural value do you see in books, writing, reading, and storytelling? Storytelling, whether we read it, write it, tell it, or hear it, can encourage us, and build community through the unseen threads that connect us. It is crucial and natural for humanity to work out our understanding of the world because life doesn’t always make sense. When we create stories, we make sense of life. Stories connect us to tradition, give us courage, dignity, and hope. They help us build resilience because we relate, we react, we justify, or we change our attitudes. We identify values and note what’s worth paying attention to and what’s worth sharing. We decide what a story means to us and adopt perspectives and heroes. Then we pass them down, supporting our cultural values.
How does your writing relate to your faith? My faith is an inextricable part of me. It defines me, helps me define myself. I think it would be unlikely for it not to influence my writing, anywhere on the scale of obvious to subtle.
What were the hardest parts of writing these books? The hardest parts of putting together this two-book set were the selection process and then bringing the stories up to date for a book. Newspaper writing is timely, while book writing is timeless, so we had to tweak the stories for the longevity of books.
What did you enjoy most about writing these books? What I love about writing these short aviation stories the opportunity to share our passion for the world of flying with people who don’t fly. While our fellow pilots enjoy these stories, what we aimed to do was put a face to aviation and write interesting stories for everyone’s reading pleasure.
Since you’re not a fulltime writer, what else fills your day? I work in aviation, specifically in aviation software, and run our publishing business, Paper Airplane Publishing.
What projects are you working on at the present? Besides building a new publishing company, I’m working on re-writing two novels that are in the public domain, classic literature from 19th century Scotland, which we will republish under our imprint. This is an exciting project for me because these novels, in five volumes, are written by an ancestor who had a keen interest in the same subject about which I wrote a play. Both, her novels, and my play, take place in medieval Scotland and are based on our common notorious ancestor.
What do your plans for future projects include? I think I have more planned than I will be able to do. I have more plays and books to write and much more work of other authors to publish. I’m planning a sequel to my first play and a book about God’s healing power. I would also like to write a novel, so I’m studying the ones that captivate me.
Is there any person you credit for being your inspiration for reading and/or writing? My father. He wrote articles for many newspapers and magazines. He had a great sense of humor and often used it in his writing. After he passed, I began soul-searching: what had I done with my life? I had a desk job. Dad was a free spirit. He free-lanced and did what he wanted and loved life. Losing him brought me to some serious self-analysis. That’s when I wrote my first article for publication in a trade magazine. The day I received my author copy in the mail was the first anniversary of Dad’s passing. I knew then that I would keep it up.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? I’ve been to quite a few places around the world, but I want to go everywhere. Siberia and Nepal are high on my list
If you could speak with any accent from anywhere in the world, what would you choose and why? I absolutely love the Cajun accent! I could listen to people speak in that accent all day!
What is your favorite quote? I like the quote, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” It speaks to my constant sense of urgency to try new things and to accomplish what I set out to do. Interestingly, my grandmother, a Philadelphia socialite, considered her many invitations with care: “Which is more important, my presence, or my absence?” In other words, don’t just take up space. Take up life.
Do you have a mantra for writing and/or for life? Here’s what I like to think of as solid mantras for life: “Love God with all your being,” and “Don’t blink.” That second one I heard recently at a memorial service, from the widower, as he spoke of his long and happy marriage, wondering where the time went. It is so true.
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