Interview with Todd McCann

When did you first start writing?
My college Creative Writing teacher told me I had some talent way back in the mid 90's, but I didn't really do anything with it until I started writing "Trucking Life" in 2005. A mere 10 years later and I'm finally done tinkering with it. LOL In the meantime, I started the Trucker Dump blog/podcast in 2009 and I've been doing a monthly article for TruckerMagazine.com. My first paid gig!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Back when I got into trucking, there wasn't any good information on becoming a trucker. I went to the library, but only found books about technical stuff like service manuals for truck mechanics. The Internet was a fairly new thing in 1997, so you can imagine how worthless that was. I thought I was big stuff getting into an IRC chat room! So in order to find out what trucking was like, I just had to talk to the few truckers I had access to.

After the Internet became a "real thing," I still didn't see very much information about becoming a truck driver. And what I did see wasn't very good. The stuff that was decent, just wasn't very complete. That's when I decided to do something about it. Enter "Trucking Life," which explains the world of trucking through the use of stories and what I consider to be humor. I hope it works. Download it and let me know. LOL
What are you working on next?
My next book, "How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job" is in the editing process right now. It describes the hiring process and gives you a list of questions that you should be asking every trucking company that you're considering working for.

It goes through each question and explains why you need to be asking the question in the first place and goes on to explain what you should be looking for in an answer. There is a printable questionnaire in back so you can write down all your answers and all the questions are numbered so you can easily go back into the book to refresh your memory on any of the questions.

I expect I will be updating this book quite a bit as readers write in to tell me things I've missed. So basically, it's a work-in-progress.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember one of the first ones I wrote was called, "The Brown Man." It was more of an essay for that Creative Writing class, but it was the first one I remember writing, probably because that's when my teacher told me I had a lot of potential.

It was about this guy I worked with who was one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, but he was always in trouble with the law. I know. What an odd combination, right? Well, according to him, he wasn't a black guy... he was more of a brown guy... actually more like a mocha. LOL I wrote about him and he loved it. I'm pretty sure I still have all those Creative Writing stories saved somewhere on a 3.5" disk. I'd kill to find it!
What is your writing process?
I do all of my writing in my truck when I don't have loads. I've often had 11 hours of driving to think about what I want to write about, so I've dictated a few notes into my beloved iPhone to use as an outline. For the Trucker Dump blog/podcast, I usually tell a story about something that has happened to me recently and then I get a "moral of the story" out of it. It seems to work.

As for the actual physical stuff, I prop a couple of pillows against the wall on the bed and just start typing on my trusty MacBook Pro. One thing I've noticed is that my mind doesn't start working immediately, so if I don't have at least three hours to write, I don't even bother starting, which again, could be another reason why my first book to 7 years to publish.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I once heard an author say, "I don't like writing. I like haven't written." That pretty much sums it. I'm such a perfectionist when it comes to my writing that I find it painful. And the editing process... don't get me started! I am my own biggest critic, which explains why it took over 7 years from first draft to publishing.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I knew a book about becoming a truck driver was a super-niche topic, so I doubted I'd have any luck with traditional publishing. And of course, the odds of getting picked up are about as good as me winning an argument with my wife. I researched self-publishing and thought that would be perfect. I could get the ebook published without spending a lot of money up-front, so if it never makes a dime, then I haven't lost, well... a dime. I'm a real tightwad, so that works out nice for me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Driving my big rig. 11 hours per day or 70 hours per week, whichever comes first. I know that sounds like a lot of driving, but I'd do more if it wasn't illegal. I also stay pretty busy trying to keep up with the Trucker Dump blog/podcast.

I don't get a lot of home time, but when I do I just hang out with The Evil Overlord, (who is my wife of 22 years and my ex-codriver for nine of those) and three of my nephews. Although now that they're getting older, they oddly have less desire to spend with their old fuddy-duddy aunt and uncle. And for the record, my wife knows I call her The Evil Overlord and she actually likes it; largely because she knows it's true.

I also enjoy playing golf, but for some reason I haven't played in years. I guess there just isn't a lot of time for it when you're a trucker.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're a trucker, you're inspired by delivering your loads on time so you don't get fired. I think that's pretty good motivation, yes? I also like paychecks. Feel free to send me yours if you think that's a horrible answer.
What do your fans mean to you?
Since "Trucking Life" is still new, I don't have any fans of this book yet. I suppose I do I have a few fans of the Trucker Dump blog/podcast that I do. Although, to be honest, I find it hard to call them "fans." Tom Cruise has fans. Lebron has fans. I'm just me, you know?

Still, few things make me happier than getting feedback on the Trucker Dump blog or podcast. It's such a painstaking process to write a blog post and then record, edit, and post a podcast, and it really keeps me motivated when someone tells me they enjoy what I'm doing! Basically, if people quit listening/reading, I'd probably just give it up.

With Trucking Life, I'm hoping to hear from people who say that my book helped them decide whether a truck driving career was right for them. Or heck, even someone who doesn't want to be a trucker saying that they enjoyed learning about it anyway. I think that would be the biggest compliment of all.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Well, I just published, so we'll have to see how that goes. But seriously, I quit looking for ways to publish after I came across Smashwords. They make it so easy to get your books on all the different retailers. All you have to do is upload one file and they do all the conversion!

Sure, I could keep more of the money if I submitted it to each retailer myself, but writing is more of a hobby for me and I really didn't feel like putting up with the hassle of submitting the book to multiple vendors, especially since I anticipate submitting updated versions every now and then.
Published 2016-03-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 42,830. Language: English. Published: April 3, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Career Guides » Transportation
How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job is designed for people new to the trucking industry, but it can also help experienced truckers. The book begins with some basic information about how the hiring process works, but the majority is a list of questions you should be asking any potential employer. Alongside is a detailed description of why you're asking it as well as elaborating on each subject.
Trucking Life: An Entertaining, Yet Informative Guide to Becoming and Being a Truck Driver
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 103,600. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Career Guides » Transportation
Trucking Life was written for anyone interested in the world of trucking, whether you simply have a passing interest or you are someone who is considering truck driving as a career. The author, who has been a trucker since 1997, describes the trucking lifestyle through the use of stories and humor. There is a link to a free audiobook version included. Over 200 printed pages.