The goal of First Flight Publishing, Inc. is to fulfill Kate Slattery’s vision for her children’s book series. Kate hoped Fly with Maya would show all children that they have the ability to become engineers. Children love to imagine and create new worlds to play in, and studying engineering gives them the tools to continue building these worlds as they grow older.
In Kate’s words, “The decision to write Fly with Maya came about in January 2014, after I returned to the US from an internship in Leuven, Belgium. This was my second experience working in an engineering community in Western Europe, and both times I was immersed in a community with a group of bright, young engineers from across the world. Learning about the role of an engineer from this global perspective gave me a new motivation to study engineering, and I decided to share this understanding with other aspiring engineers.”
Over the course of the next year, Kate developed the story for her book and interviewed friends and colleagues who would be featured as characters in the story. In 2015, Kate partnered with illustrator Dominic Pitera to help bring to life her vision for Fly with Maya. Their friend, Alan Browning, joined their team as book designer.
Kate, Dominic, and Alan worked full-time as engineers in San Francisco. They finished Fly with Maya–A Story About Engineers Around the World, Part 1 in early June of 2016. Kate planned to form First Flight Publishing and self-publish her book, but unexpectedly passed away on June 22, 2016.
Kate’s family and friends wish to fulfill her dream of sharing Fly with Maya with young readers. Her parents, John and Margy Slattery, carried out her plan and formed First Flight Publishing, Inc. as a non-profit corporation in November 2016. Kate’s brothers Tom and Stephen, her friends Dominic and Alan, and her cousins Margaret and Sara Nettesheim worked together with Margy and John to publish Part 1 of Fly with Maya in June 2017. Kate’s writing journals capture the rest of her story in great detail and will allow future volumes of the story to be produced by the First Flight Publishing team.