Crossing the Horizon
a novel



(You plus the retailers enable writers eat and pay the rent. Not always on time, though)

Dear Reader;

When a writer comes across a true story that has never been told before, it’s exciting and lucky; to find a story that also takes your breath away happens few times in a writer’s career, if it at all, and is the experience of a lifetime.

I stumbled upon such a story in 2010, when I first heard about aristocrat Elsie Mackay and her flight over the Atlantic Ocean in March of 1928, prior to Amelia Earhart’s crossing. Charles Lindbergh had just made his historic flight;  the race was on, I learned, and women were in it.

Other women had attempted the transatlantic crossing?, I asked myself. How many? Who were they? How is this not common knowledge? I immediately started searching, and discovered the valiant Ruth Elder, who crossed the Atlantic in October of 1927, and the wealthy young widow Mabel Boll, who was the most direct competitor of Amelia Earhart. These three women—just recently allowed the right to vote—decided to make history despite sexist public outcry in their quest to accomplish what Lindbergh had to worldwide acclaim. Their names were splashed across the globe in front-page headlines, featured in newsreels, magazines and gossip columns on a daily basis.

They became the superstars of their time.

Theirs is a story full of struggle, bravery and loss. The planes were impossibly small, their chances of making it across were smaller, and each of them made enormous sacrifices to prove that women could accomplish exactly what men could. Strikingly, both Elsie Mackay and Ruth Elder were licensed pilots, at the controls on their historic flights across the Atlantic, while Earhart never sat in the pilot’s seat once during her crossing (she took a nap). 

And when Earhart landed in Wales, Mackay, Elder and Boll got lost into the folds of history; their strides in aviation forgotten, their legends gathering dust.

Until now. It is my privilege to tell their story again for the first time in almost a century, and bring these women back into the public consciousness, where they have always belonged. I hope you enjoy reading their story as much as I have telling it.

xoxox, laurie