Writer Inge Auerbacher moves from concentration-camp memoir to trucking fiction by Laura Pitts
Inspiration for a novel can come anytime, any place. For Inge Auerbacher, author of Highway to New York: A Lady Truck Driver Adventure, it reared its head years ago on a Greyhound bus from New York to Los Angeles. During the trip, Auerbacher came upon a trucking magazine with an advertisement for trucker audio books. Auerbacher called the audio-book company and began to write an audio book for truckers. But just as she was completing her first, the audio-book company went out of business.
“One day I pulled the story out, finished it and let a few of my friends read it,” she says. “They were all impressed and told me I should try and get it published.”
Auerbacher was born in 1935 in Kippenheim, Germany, and spent three years in the Terezin Concentration Camp. At the age of ten, just out of Terezin and with WWII ending, she contracted tuberculosis. She lost 18 years of schooling during that time but says she spent many days writing all her thoughts down “to pass the time. Writing was something I could always do. It allowed me to escape reality and also let me tell my life story.”
Auerbacher also is the author of I Am a Star and Beyond the Yellow Star to America, both memoirs of her childhood in the Terezin camp. Highway to New York is her first work of fiction.
The book tells the story of Lisa Stack, aka the Asphalt Angel. A long-haul trucker from Tennessee whose trucking adventure begins when she is mugged, Stack becomes involved with the New York Gang, a vicious group of people with one thing in mind: Comply or you die.
While the subject matter of this book isn’t as serious as that of her other books, Auerbacher does want it to be educational. “Because I’m not a trucker, I wanted my descriptions to be as accurate as possible,” she says.
She conducted many months of research into everything from trucker lingo to trucking regulations.
Auerbacher plans to write more lady truck driver adventure books if the response to Highway to New York is positive. “I could see myself creating a series of adventures for my main character Lisa,” she says. Highway to New York is available for $9.95 at Amazon.com and other retailers. Anyone wanting a signed copy of the book should contact Auerbacher at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website, ingeauerbacher.com.
Jeff Olson looks to trade big rigs for guitar strings
By Laura Pitts
Jeff Olson can remember being eight years old, his fingers delicately picking the strings of a Silvertone acoustic guitar.
“My mom was very religious and took me to church three times a week,” Olson says. “Music made church more interesting.”
When other kids in his neighborhood were listening to Led Zeppelin and AC/DC, Olson was listening to Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. Olson spent his childhood in Espyville, Pa., working on his family’s farm, and at the age of 16 began hauling corn, grains and soybeans. At 21, Olson became an owner-operator, working part-time for his father. He’s now a company driver for M&W Transportation in Nashville.
His first album, Evolution of an Artist, was released in 2008. His first single, “Tequila Rose,” which featured Grammy award-winning guitarist Barry “Byrd” Burton, was released in 2007. His latest single, “Memory of Mine,” reached No. 25 on the New Music Weekly country charts and played more than 1,500 times per week across 34 charting radio stations.
Olson likes to paint vivid pictures of real life with his music. “Emotion drives a song,” he says. “I try to bring that emotion to my listeners by telling a story.”
Olson’s songs are available for download on iTunes under the name Olson & Posey. For more information, visit his website, www.olsonandposey.com.
Kickin’ It Into Overdrive
Country sensation Aaron Tippin releases new trucking CD
By Laura Pitts
Aaron Tippin has always had two loves – music and trucking. After two years in the studio, Tippin is ready to release his new CD, In Overdrive, which successfully combines his two passions and brings with it new takes on classic trucking songs as well as originals. Tippin will headline the Mid-America Trucking Show concert this month, where he’ll play some of his older songs in addition to tracks from the new album.
Tippin’s desire to create In Overdrive stems from a deeply rooted trucking and country heritage. Tippin grew up on a 110-acre farm hauling hay, corn, soybeans, cattle and hogs. At six years old, Tippin drove a hay truck around the farm.
At 22, Tippin got his commercial driver’s license and drove for Carolina Western Motor Lines and Cooper Motor Line hauling dry freight cross-country. “Trucking has always helped me get to the next place in life,” he says. It was during the days of over-the-road trucking that Tippin began writing music and playing honky-tonks.
“I was playing bars and clubs at night and trucking during the day,” he says.
After three years as a professional driver, Tippin got his chance at Nashville. Now, after all his success, he’s finally getting to record the music he started out playing.
“For the first time in my career, I’m getting to do what Aaron wants to do,” he says. “Reminiscing about my days as a truck driver has been a desire of mine for some time.”
Tippin considers all truckers “heroes” for the sacrifices they endure and wants his music to pay tribute to that. “These guys and gals spend more time in the truck than they do with their families. People don’t realize the contributions they make to our world.”
Tippin dedicated In Overdrive to the late Jerry Reed. Tippin originally planned for Reed to help him produce a new version of “East Bound and Down,” but Reed’s failing health last year left him unable to contribute. Instead, Reed sent his grandson to play drums and Bobby Lovett, his guitarist, to fill in on the strings.
“Jerry had a great passion for music and was inspirational to me,” Tippin says. “I miss him and know this album would make him proud.”
One of Tippin’s favorite songs on the album is “Drivin’ Fool.” He wrote the song nearly 20 years ago and says many record labels refused to use it. “I was sitting in a truckstop one day, listened to a man testify about Jesus,” Tippin recalls. “He didn’t mind telling about his faith, and I was so touched by it, that I wrote a song.”
James Stroud, label head of The Country Crossing records, says In Overdrive speaks to the standards of truckers and serves to entertain all music lovers. “This album will put a big smile on your face,” he says. “This is fun traveling music that truckers can listen to and be proud of.”
Stroud said Tippin’s past as a trucker makes this album even more special: “Tippin understands the trucker, he understands what he endures and what he stands for.”
Stroud’s father was a trucker, and he said his dad would be “extremely proud” of the album and Tippin’s dedication to truckers.
Tippin considers trucking a “tough, romantic lifestyle” and wants all truckers to see part of themselves in his music. “Without truckers the world stops,” Tippin said. “This album is about saluting that job, that lifestyle. This is a way to give due respect to truckers and the heroes they are.”