Writing Out Loud: Interview of Theasa Tuohy

2015 Newseum Washington, DC 'Inside Media: The Press and Vietnam'

Author of The Five O'Clock Follies interviewed by David Bradley


Theasa Tuohy to sign new “Flying Jenny” book, meet the public on June 23

The author of a new novel about the history of women’s aviation is coming to the Glenn Curtiss Museum. Theasa Tuohy is the author of “Flying Jenny,” a 272-page book about the early days of women’s aviation history based loosely on her own mother’s spirited life as a pioneering pilot in the early 1930s.

The heroes and heroines and the characters Tuohy brings to life in the book were derived from tales told to her by her mother, the daring, petite fire-cracker female pilot (named Theasa as well), who was a contemporary of Will Rogers and friend of Wiley Post, the first pilot to fly solo around the world. Tuohy’s mother and namesake first soloed in 1929.


Bookshelf: By Sam Roberts, May 2, 2018

Two New Works of Fiction About Mass Transit

and a Daring Female Pilot

Another New York novel, “Flying Jenny” (Akashic Books) by Theasa Tuohy, is a fictionalized account drawn from an obituary that appeared in The New York Times in 2010. As seen through the eyes of Laura Bailey, a tabloid newspaper reporter, Jenny Flynn, a stunt pilot (inspired by the exploits of Elinor Smith), begins the book by swooping under the East River bridges on an audacious flight west.

Silurian News

New York Post

“How This Badass Pilot Paved The Way For Female Aviators” by Zachary Kussin October 8, 2018

“That’s one of the things that’s so special about [Smith],” said journalist and author Theasa Tuohy, who in May published “Flying Jenny,” a fictional work based on Smith’s 1928 bridge flight. “She was captivated [by flying] by the time she was a small child.”

Oklahoma Gazette

Elinor SMith 1930

Elinor SMith 1930

Full Article-

Books available at your local bookstore or online @ Amazon / B&N / Book Depository

For more info including excerpts from The Five O'Clock Follies, check out Calliope Press website


"Despite its name, Flying Jenny‘s historical novel is not a tale of barnstorming pilots and their planes. Or rather, it isn’t only that tale. On the one hand, Theasa Tuohy has written a 1929 Thelma and Louise – with more humanity and a rosier outlook... Flying Jenny is the kind of highly detailed historical fiction that reels in the reader by enticing us with both the differences and the similarities of then and now." - D. Ferrara, At The Inkwell book reviewer .

Tuohy, Theasa THE FIVE O’CLOCK FOLLIES: What’s a Woman Doing Here, Anyway? Calliope (405 pp.) Paperback October 15, 2012 ISBN: 978-0984779918

Kirkus Reviews - Freelance writer Angela Martinelli arrives in Saigon in 1968, wearing her “greenness” in the form of high-heeled shoes and a gorgeous mane of red hair. As one of the few women correspondents in a war zone, Angela is greeted with misogyny, skepticism or disdain by her male colleagues, except for Nick, who works for a Chicago newspaper and gives her the benefit of the doubt. She soon proves her merit and bravery in the middle of a covert operation in Cambodia, surviving capture by the Viet Cong, living in a bunker during a siege and chasing truths that the military denies and her fellow reporters doubt. Angela also finds romance in the midst of this chaos; eventually she must choose: her career or love... An engrossing portrait of a woman among men in wartime. [full review] Review - In her brilliant debut novel, longtime daily journalist Theasa Tuohy captures the essence of what drives those who go into war armed only with a camera, notebook, and pen. At a time when women rarely dreamed beyond careers as nurses, teachers or secretaries and certainly not as news reporters, a tall, enigmatic redhead arrives in Saigon. She is an object of great interest to the male correspondents, one of whom reports she arrived at Tan Son Nhut Airport wearing high heeled bikini shoes. Few take her seriously as a reporter... Not since Graham Greene has anyone captured so well the tedium and terror of reporting on war. [full review]

Books in Brief – Vietnam Veterans of America - I was in Saigon during much of that period, and spent some time on Tu Do Street and in and out of the Caravelle and Continental Hotels where many of the scenes of this novel take place. The author nails this milieu precisely. Nice job. It’s almost as though Theasa Tuohy had been there at the time. [full review]

Historical Novel Society - A thoroughly engrossing story. There is no retro-history, no political agenda here…There are wonderful characters, love and death, wartime friendships and loss. {full review]

Literary R&R - "I had a hard time believing this was a fictional book, as the writing and detail were so great. With the Vietnam War being such a controversial war, this book handled it, warts and all. It never came across as political, although there were some definite political slants. It is the story of the soldiers, the people, and the journalists, as they fought to cover a thankless war. Totally engrossing, occasionally grandiose, but immensely entertaining.”  {full review]

Genre Go Round Reviews (Harriet Klausner’s blog) - A powerful military historical thriller that focuses on journalist covering the Vietnam War especially a fiesty courageous woman crashing through the glass ceiling.”  {full review]

Straight from Hel (Helen Ginger’s blog)  The Five O'Clock Follies is based on reality but it is fiction with legs. It’ll keep you running from one page to the next.” 

Publishers Review Daily We give Flying Jenny five plus stars for its ambitious themes and flawless writing. We seldom see such superb storytelling skills among the dry, dusty tomes that make up so much of the historical fiction genre. Flying Jenny goes well beyond the norm and delivers a spectacular summertime read.. (full review)