A Novel Route for Heathrow: Tony Parsons as writer-in-residence

Heathrow travellers, now is your chance to be part of the story: bestselling author and journalist Tony Parsons has been appointed by London’s premier airport as its writer-in-residence, with a brief to write a book capturing the many stories and emotions of the airport’s transient population. From Wednesday 3rd August and for one week, the acclaimed author –best known for his Book of the Year novel Man and Boy- will live amongst passengers, who will provide the inspiration for his new book’s characters.

Departures: Seven Stories from Heathrow will be Parsons’ thirteenth book and his first collection of short stories. He hopes to resurrect the genre of airport fiction made famous by Airport, the 1968 bestselling novel written by Arthur Hailey.

During his residency, the author will roam the terminals to unearth the stories of the people that pass through its doors, with the events inspiring the plotline and the passengers its characters. The book will then go on sale through HarperCollins from October 2011.

The Heathrow writer-in-residence initiative was first launched in 2009 after the airport appointed philosopher and author Alain de Botton to tell the behind-the-scenes story of a week at Heathrow.

Parts of the book, titled A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary, were written from a desk in Terminal 5 where passengers were invited to share their stories.