Flying a novel            by Paula Helfrich & Rebecca Sprecher


About Us

New Novel Celebrates Life of Pan Am Adventure

Two former flight attendants pen book just in time for release of ABC’s “Pan Am”

DATAW ISLAND, S.C. – An unprecedented, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the airline world, Flying: A Novel traces the lives of two young women, Zoe Longfield and Sally Wilder, as they “fly the line” for Pan American World Airways. While working as flight attendants, they learn that history is not always what it seems, and that living – like flying – takes more courage than they ever imagined.


It is May 1970. After growing up in the teak plantations of newly independent Burma, Zoe Longfield meets Sally Wilder from the tobacco country of Latham, Kentucky at Pan American World Airways’ prestigious flight attendant training center in Miami. Restless and rebellious after the upheavals of the 1960s, they have a burning desire to travel – Zoe to return to Asia and Sally to see the world.


 They meet a host of eccentric characters on their trips: glamorous stewardesses known as “The African Queens,” Cuban émigré pursers with shadowy backgrounds connected to the Nixon White House, journalists and gun-runners, drunks and distinguished diplomats. But there is a dark side to flying that the two never anticipate: the first ominous signs of airline terrorism. And Pan Am, a pillar of aviation history and greatness around the world, is a target.


Spanning locations around the globe, Flying takes the reader along for the ride: from intrigue at misty pagodas in Burma to dancing the night away at clubs in Manila during the Marcos era, a searing love affair at an archaeological dig in Tahiti, a whirlwind romance that blossoms in Delhi and Hong Kong, and the heart-rending fall of Saigon. The story is laced with buried treasure and government mischief, coups d’état and movie magic, infamous passengers and big-wave surfing, and a host of other adventures as Sally and Zoe become accidental witnesses to the history of the times.


Flying: A Novel is available in hardback, paperback and electronic format at  Hardback and paperback are available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon, with Kindle format to follow shortly.  You may also visit us on Facebook at Flying: A Novel.  

About the Authors


Paula Helfrich lives in Hawaii and Yangon, Myanmar, where she teaches English to monks and children. She worked for Pan American World Airways for 20 years and flew the line in six locations. Rebecca Sprecher hails from Kentucky, and currently lives in Beaufort, South Carolina. She flew for Pan Am for six years out of New York and Honolulu. Both are still inveterate travelers and adventurers.  Below is a picture of Sprecher with Laurien Helfrich-Nuss, Paula’s daughter, at a recent book signing in Honolulu.

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