You just boarded a plane to New York. There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard. What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped. For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die. The family will only survive if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.
T.J. Newman, the author of the suspense internationally acclaimed “Falling”, graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in Musical Theater in 2006. She moved to Queens and hopped from job to job, facing rejection at many of her acting auditions, and eventually moved back to Arizona.
Head held perhaps a little lower because of so many slammed doors, Newman persevered and landed a job working in a bookstore. Then, the wanderlust that runs in her family caught up with her. She began her new career as a flight attendant for Virgin America Airlines. It was here, surprisingly, that she found her love of writing.
Newman was struck by inspiration while on a red-eye flight from Los Angeles to New York. Using cocktail napkins, a move reminiscent of great songwriters and inventors, she began to jot down ideas for her book during layovers.
Her job allowed her to people-watch constantly, which contributed to her keen eye for detail. Newman recalls that she never let anyone know she was writing a book, saying it was less scary to write and never have anyone read her work than to stand in front of a panel of dismissive judges and audition for a play. This only goes to prove the quiet bravery of embarking on an impassioned experiment turned full-blown career. When her draft was finally complete, Newman taught herself how to contact publishers with the help of a book called “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published”. She was turned down by countless people on account of her inexperience, but pushed onwards until someone said “yes!”.
Today, the rights to T.J. Newman’s novel have been sold in 24 foreign territories as well as to Universal Pictures (motion picture coming soon). The book was named “Best Book of the Year” by many organizations and hit #2 on the NYT Bestseller list at its debut. Her success allowed her to leave her position as a flight attendant and pursue her passion for authorship full-time.
Let this story be a message to all of the aspiring writers out there: you are never too old, too busy, or too deep in a career to follow a dream.
“T. J. Newman has written the perfect thriller! A must-read.”Gillian Flynn
“Stunning and relentless. This is Jaws at 35,000 feet.”Don Winslow
“Falling is the best kind of thriller…Nonstop, totally authentic suspense.”James Patterson
“Amazing…Intense suspense, shocks, and scares…Chilling.”Lee Childe