I am very excited to tell you that not only I have been given the opportunity to read and review the Confessions of a Hostie and More Confessions of a Hostie but also to interview the author, Danielle Hugh. I am always looking for interesting creative people to interview for my Meet and Greet feature and this seemed like a perfect way of branching out from my circle of friends and acquaintances, for a change. If you watched the TV show Pan Am and enjoyed what you saw, read on.
You see, I have a penchant for autobiographical books (I seem to collect them these days, biographies, diaries, you name it) and this was a perfect fit in the genre. The books are very straightforward, organized in short chapters, each telling a story or episode but each will also be connected to the next one, so there is a good sense of continuity. The books have been a light and pleasant read, sometimes very cheeky, with happy and sad moments, just like real life.
If you ever wondered what the life of a flight attendant is like, look no further, this is it. Behind the (somewhat intimidating) look of glamour and efficiency some flight attendants have, there are stories and anecdotes as with anyone else. For starters, forget about the glamour – having to clean up vomit and other unpleasantries that are bound to happen in the course of a flight, despite the crisp uniforms and the make up, it is anything but glamorous. And the rude people? I have to say that in all my travels I try to not bother the flight attendants unless I really must so it is baffling to read what some people actually do – and frequently!! Where did they learn their manners? Were they raised by wolves? Yikes!
With Danielle’s books you will discover the other side of the story, the side you don’t see when the galley curtains are shut or the time in between flights. The adventures, the tiredness, the amazing shopping, the terrible co-workers, the 5 star hotels, the lack of sleep, it’s all there, the good and the bad in equal measure. Mind you that for privacy reasons names in the book have been changed and some characters and situations have been embellished for the purpose of making them unrecognizable – Danielle wants to keep her job! However, the personal tone with which it is written is very engaging.
I shot Danielle a few questions about the books and her career, that I hope you all enjoy.
How did you get to be an air hostess, was it always your dream career?
At the age of eleven I took my first ever plane trip. I thought the ‘hostie’ were so glamorous. I always wanted to be an air hostess and on consequent flights I observed how they acted and what they did. I must say, looking back, I may have been a tad over-romantic in my appraisal of the job, but I often fantasized about the lifestyle. As a young adult I actually went down the university/study/professional career path, but a few years later when I had the opportunity to apply to be a flight attendant, I said “What the hell…”
What motivated you to write the Hostie books?
I love my job and it is unique. I had so many stories to tell and as time went by, I took an interest in writing; especially while away on trips. I don’t think I am particularly good at it, but I am passionate, so hopefully that comes through in the writing.
What can your readers expect to find in your books?
A humorous insight into some of the unique situations we deal with; and how we hosties cope with the lifestyle. It is not all glamour.
The second book of the series has just come out. Are you planning on adding more volumes to the collection?
Yes. I’ve already started writing a series of smaller books on fun subjects like shopping, travel tips, etc. Hopefully the first (about tips for shopping in America) will be available shortly.
What was the hardest thing about writing these books?
Editing. I love the writing process. Fixing mistakes (and I make a lot) is boring.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Home. It sounds cliche, but as much as I love travel, opening my own front door is the best feeling. P.S. I love New York.
The public wants to know! What are your best pro tips for jetlag?
After 20 years of international travel I am none-the-wiser. I joke in the book that two glasses of wine help, and yet they don’t really help at all.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I think you’ve been really thorough. Some friends have asked me how long do I think I’ll keep flying for? I tell them ‘For as long as I keep enjoying it – and they (being my airline) will have me’. I’ve a way to go yet.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I am so humbled the book(s) are being received so well. I hope to keep writing and hopefully my (lovely) publisher will keep publishing. I also have a Facebook page, where I post the occasional funny story, photo, or cartoon, etc, – I’m always keen to hear from other hosties or travellers with some of their hilarious stories.
Thank you Danielle!
PS: I was sent the books for review purposes, no payment was received and the opinions expressed on the review are mine.