I’m often asked how I came up with Whistling Past the Graveyard for a title. So, now, before all of you, I will confess: I am horrible at coming up with clever titles. My books begin in fabulous sounding files such as Book 11, or Coming of Age Book, Childhood Chaos Book, Resort Book, Barnstormers Book, or simply the main character’s first name.
So honored to have THE FLYING CIRCUS longlisted for the Pat Conroy Book Prize in literature! Such an amazing list of books in all categories, many of which I’ve read, two of which are written by my fab critique partners, Wendy Wax and Karen White. What a great way to start the day.
Thank you Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, once again!
For more http://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/read-this/siba-book-awards
Good news for book clubs. The Flying Circus is now available in paperback (February 16, 2016).
I hope you all love the new cover as much as I do and I invite those of you who have yet to meet Mercury’s Daredevils, Henry, Cora and Gil, to take this opportunity to indulge in a lovely winter read.
The Flying Circus is a national pick for the 600 plus chapters of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club. I’m so excited to share young Henry’s journey, his heartbreak and his triumphs with you all.
In celebration I’ve added an entire page of bonus material for you to enjoy. See some of the photos that inspired the book. Get an insider view of my experiences with aviation. Watch videos of the aerial thrills of the 1920s. I will be adding more items to this page, so check back often.
Although I’ve had plenty of experience riding in small aircraft from a pretty early age, I’d never been in a biplane until last week.
My dad started building flying machines when I was a kid. He started with flyable models made from balsa wood and paper skins. Then he graduated to this contraption. It’s a gyrocopter, basically a lawn chair with an engine with a pusher propeller sitting behind it and helicopter blades that rotated overhead (neither the prop nor the overhead blades were on this one).
Next came a real plane, a Cessna 150, which he bought with a couple of partners (there wasn’t a lot of money floating around to support this very expensive hobby). That led to several other planes, with several other partners. (Piper J-3 Cub, 1946 Navion, a tripacer, a Vagabond, Pete–a pretty famous racer, to name a few.) His true passion however was a plane he built in the garage behind me in this photo, and experimental aircraft called a Volkesplane (VP-1).
I never flew in that one either, it was a single place plane. He used to fly it over the house in the evenings low enough he could yell down and ask Mom if his dinner was ready yet. Illegal altitude you say? Um, yeah. He definitely would have been a barnstormer if he’d been alive in the early 1920s.
I did fly in the Piper J-3 Cub…with the door open. We lost Dad in 1989 and my aviation days ended. So up until last week, that was as close as I’d ever come to flying in an open cockpit biplane.
The day before the release of THE FLYING CIRCUS, I had the pleasure of speaking at the local chapter of Experimental Aircraft Association–and seeing some of my dad’s old buddies for the first time in many years.
I’d already mined some of these folks for details that I used in THE FLYING CIRCUS. And, after the meeting, one of those who so patiently answered my questions offered a ride in his Stearman biplane. It was awesome! Still, I cannot imagine what would ever drive someone to unbuckle that safety belt and climb out on the wings as Cora did in the book.
So very proud to have THE FLYING CIRCUS on this select list of summer reading at BookReporter!
Susan Crandall crafted “a luminous portrait of courage and friendship” (Karen White) in her national bestseller Whistling Past the Graveyard.
Now, this award-winning author sends an unlikely trio on an exhilarating adventure high above the American Midwest of the 1920s—in a dramatic and spirited new novel in league with Water for Elephants and The Aviator’s Wife.
With the poignant and powerful storytelling voice that made Whistling Past the Graveyard “a classic, a book people want to pass along for generations to come” (Feathered Quill Book Reviews), Susan Crandall artfully weaves the stories of three unforgettable characters, each searching for salvation that waits just beyond the horizon.
They were barnstormers . . . the daring fliers whose airborne acrobatics were a thrilling spectacle, swooping and crisscrossing the Heartland skies. Rising above each of their circumstances in their own “flying circus” are Cora Rose Haviland, a privileged young woman left penniless when her father’s fortune is lost; Charles “Gil” Gilchrist, a World War I pilot whose traumatic past fuels his death-defying stunts; and eighteen-year-old Henry Schuler, the son of a German immigrant farmer, on the run from shocking accusations. Each holds secrets that could destroy their makeshift family. And, on their adrenaline-charged journey of self-discovery, one of them must pay the price.
Be the first to receive not only your very own copy of THE FLYING CIRCUS, but enter to win one of three sterling silver biplane charms!
It’s easy! Just pre-order THE FLYING CIRCUS at your favorite book retailer by May 30, 2015, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the retailer and the order date and voila! you’re entered to win one of these adorable silver charms. If you don’t have a favorite book retailer, below are handy-dandy buy links.
Hop on over to Goodreads and enter to win a chance at one of 30–count ’em 30!–advanced reading copies of my July 7 release, THE FLYING CIRCUS. Hurry because this window is only open for a short time.
“A fascinating story of love and loss set against the colorful background of barnstorming 1920s America. Every detail sings, and every character will touch your heart in this rip-roaring tale of three daredevils on the run, each with something to hide, drawn together by a desire to conquer the skies as well as their own demons. Romance, suspense, aerial thrills and spills—what more is there to ask for?” Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of THE AVIATOR’S WIFE.
“A spirited, big-hearted tale.” —Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Me
“An exhilarating, memorable flight into the world of barnstorming in the 1920’s, with all the twists and turns of an aerial acrobat. Compelling characters and a fascinating setting make this journey a sheer joyride. Satisfying and delightful!”—Lynn Cullen, author of TWAIN’S END
“Deeply moving. A richly drawn story of love, loss and redemption with characters as fily tunes as the planes they fly.” —Wendy Wax, USA Today bestselling author of A WEEK AT THE LAKE
“THE FLYING CIRCUS is Susan Crandall at her best– a colorful, rich and historical tale of the early years of flight…I loved this book!” —Karen White, Bestselling author of The Sound of Glass
“An engaging road saga” —Kirkus Reviews