Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Linda Warren visits the blog!

I'm so excited to have Linda Warren on the blog today! Linda's a RITA finalist this year and I remember the first time I saw her in person - at RWA 09 in Washington DC (when she was incidentally also a RITA finalist). Now you can meet her too - and learn about her very odd and scary trip to DC!

Houston. We. Have. A. Problem.

Living in Texas I’ve heard that saying many times in connection with the space program. Never in a million years did I imagine they would affect me personally.

In July of 2009 I was headed for the Romance Writer’s of America’s conference in Washington, D.C. My book, Texas Heir, was up for a Rita and I was excited out of my mind. I would get one of those little green flags to place at my station at the Literacy Signing. I always wanted one of those.

Texas Heir was about two people surviving a plane crash. I researched planes and plane crashes so much that they became very real to me and I was a little nervous about flying. But I dredged up the courage to go to nationals. Nothing could go wrong. It was all in my head. When we got in our seats, the plane was very hot and people started complaining. The stewardess said it would get cooler once the plane was in the air. It didn’t. It got hotter.

The complaints started again and we were told to be patient. At this point, I think everyone on the plane knew something was wrong. I had an aisle seat. You know how small those seats are. The back of the other seat was right in front of me. I felt as if I was in a dark, deep hole and I was getting claustrophobic.

After about twenty minutes, the pilot’s voice came on the intercom, “We have a problem. We’re headed back to Houston.” About that time we could smell something burning. Yes, the plane was on fire. I kid you not. It felt like a sauna in that closed up plane. We were sweating bullets, literally. People demanded answers, but they didn’t get any. I was just trying to breathe. And not panic. We were told to buckle our seatbelts and that we would get details later. The plane became very quiet.

When we finally landed safely, I took a very deep breath, as did everyone else. The plane was immediately surrounded by fire trucks and emergency vehicles and they wouldn’t let anyone off. People were angry, wanting off that plane. We were told to stay in our seats. Firemen came aboard in aluminum looking suits with high powered extinguishers and went into the cockpit.  Evidently there was a short in the AC unit and it was on fire. After ten minutes, we were told to quietly and quickly leave the plane. We were instructed where to go to board another plane. At this point, I just wanted to go home.

I called my husband. He didn’t answer. After dropping us off at the airport, he went to the Bass Pro Shop and evidently guys turn off their phones in there. It’s like a shire or something. So reluctantly I boarded the other plane and went to DC.  By the time we arrived, the Literacy Signing was over. I’d missed the whole thing, but I got my green flag. And had the time of my life!  Now I enjoy writing, but I don’t want to personally experience some of the scenes I write.

So once again I have a book, The Texan’s Bride, up for a Rita and once again I’ll board a plane for the conference. And you can bet I’ll be nervous and I’ll have my fingers and everything else crossed. Nothing can go wrong. Right?    

Have you had any frightening experiences and managed to stay calm? (That’s the hard part. And not screaming.)




  1. Linda,

    Good luck with your flight. I have had some nerve-wracking flights, but i will not share the scary details. I will be flying across the US in August and i only want to think happy thoughts!

  2. My husband works in aviation. I remember flying once and the woman beside me was a wreck. Lots of "what's that noise?" and "What's that smell?" questions for me to answer (thankfully I could actually answer them). LOL. I just kept talking to her through takeoff and landing. She thanked me after, lol!

  3. Hi Tammy,
    Yes, I will be thinking happy thoughts all the way to California. Have fun on your trip.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hi Donna,
    It's nice to have someone to calm our fears. That lady will always remember you and your kindness.

    And it's great to have a hubby to explain things.