When I was in school, I loved to read and write. I had been born with a wild imagination and I allowed it to show in the things I would write about. I had always kept the stories to myself and most of the thoughts I had would be locked up in my mind, being afraid that I would be judged as a worse outcast than what I had made myself out to be.
In ninth grade, my first year in high school, my English teacher announced that we were going to work on a brand new idea for this year. She then asked us to simply take five minutes, and think on a topic that we would like to write about. It didn’t matter if it was a story, poem, about a kitten, boyfriend, girlfriend, the future, or even about a dream one might have had.
I was excited, thinking we were going to take it, tear it apart, and rebuild it into a better example of our own work. I ended up writing a short story called ‘Charlie is Dead.’ At the end of the day, we had to turn it in. For the next two days, I actually pondered on the idea of some other details that I was going to add into the story to make it even more intense. Then, to my shock, the teacher announced that everyone in the entire school (who had actually taken part in the project) that the students were going to take part in voting for the best writers. I later begged her for the story to be given back to me because it wasn’t done. She declared that mine was one of the best ones she had read, and it was too late. Long story short…I ended up getting third place out of over two thousand other students and that was the last time I wrote anything for more thirty years.
It takes a special breed of a person to be able to handle the demands of driving a truck. Going from one point to another can be difficult enough but, when you add the super-long hours of sailing down a road with just under eighty-thousand pounds of a killing machine under you, having to reach impossible deadlines, as you fight to survive, and try to help others to stay alive around you…well, all of that can wear on your nerves. Fatigue can attack you at any time and, if you’re not careful, tragedy will strike. Seeing ghosts and that aren’t there, images that disappear, animals and people that do appear out of nowhere, and the unexplained feelings that momentarily overwhelm your senses can only be believed by other drivers.
At times, you know that God truly is watching over you. I have experienced that many times when I should have, at the very least, been involved in a wreck, not to mention escaping death without a scratch on myself or my truck. As a flammable tanker truck driver, I have to be more diligent in being aware of what is going on around my truck at all times since the haunting of 9/11. The danger is still there. Then, there are those things that I and many drivers have witnessed that have not been too pleasant, while other things were unbelievable and, yet, still even other things that were very humorous. Every day is an adventure out here.
One day while I was driving, I had gotten an idea for a short thriller truck driver story that ended up being called The Night Stalker. It had been dark out and I had just left a truck stop when my imagination had kicked in. Then, a few days later, the story Andy came to mind. I had been thinking about how hard it is to be married, and having a career as an over the road truck driver, and what it can do to a family. To survive out here, it takes a special strength, and an even stronger spouse, for a marriage to make it.
Writing that story out ended up creating a completely different twist to a working relationship. By the way, when I say ‘Writing that story out,’ that actually means with pen and paper…old school. After writing several other ones out over a year and a half, I realized that I had been working on a series of short stories, all involving the trucking industry. With every story being completely different from the others, and each of them having a crazy twist to them, I decided it was time to take a chance, and see where these stories would lead me.
With my brother, my Mom, and the people at BookLocker, along with the rest of my family and friends backing me up, I took the plunge, and came up with a series called The Trucker’s Nightmare, with my first book of three being published and out on the market this past September. The next book, The Trucker’s Nightmare Continues, is on the market now as well.
About The Author
Chris Hanly has been driving trucks for twenty years. His experience, and the adventures he has gone through and seen, has given him the ability and imagination in being able to write these books. He continues to travel around the country, writing stories in his free time while on the road and at home. Chris lives in Alabama with his wife, Amelia, daughter, Jetti, and son, Trent, along with several pets.
This book is available from the publisher, BookLocker.com, as well as from Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and many other stores. If purchasing from BookLocker, use this discount code when checking out to get 10% off: Backstory
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Interesting backstory. Your Trucker’s Nightmare series sound fascinating. Best wishes!