This week I’d like to introduce Abby Ross, the author of The Poop Diaries who, after an incident with her own toilet, asked her plumber to share his top 5 ‘greatest hits’ which were so hilarious that she began the journey towards writing the Poop Diaries .. What is one thing people wouldn’t usually know about you?
I can turn my belly button inside out. Other than that, I am a pretty open book.
What did your best review say about your work?
The best review so far was written by Anthony Avina – https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/2020/02/07/the-poop-diaries-by-abby-ross-review/. I love these comments because they capture the essence of the book perfectly:
“A fantastic and humorous read, author Abby Ross has compiled a brilliant collection of stories that highlights the hard work and struggles of the average plumber while regaling readers with truly incredible stories the average customer would never think their plumber could be involved in….Showing off that a plumber’s job is not only about poop and poop related problems, The Poop Diaries is the perfect blend of humor and wit mixed with education regarding the plumbing profession and a pleasant non-fiction read. A one of a kind book that will delight the average reader and touches on a subject people often take for granted, this is the perfect book for any non-fiction readers out there.”
What did your worst review say about your work?
A reviewer on Amazon wrote this – My only complaints are the lack of a conclusion and the stilted dialogue. I’m assuming each “diary” was pieced together from interviews, so I’m not sure how much Ross could have changed dialogue. But she used few contractions if any, which seemed unnatural.
So far, that has been the most negative one. And the review had many positive comments as well.
How important are the names of any characters in your book?
The names are important considering they are the plumbers’ real names. I purposely left out their last names because some were concerned about anonymity. They did not know how the book would turn out, and they did not know me, so some of them were concerned the stories could anger customers (although every piece of customer information is anonymous so no one would ever know who the customers are). I also really like that one of the female plumbers – Jac – has a name that could work for any gender. It creates an element of surprise when she reveals she is a “woman working in a man’s world.”
How did you choose a title for your book?
“The Poop Diaries” instantly came to me when I decided to interview the first plumber – Jon – and write the book. It may be because I had hired Jon to unplug my clogged toilet so poop was at the top of my mind. I also liked “The Poop Diaries” vs. “The Plumber Diaries” because poop is a topic all readers can relate to – plumbers and non plumbers. “The Plumber Diaries” would make the book sound like it was only for plumbers. While plumbers will and do appreciate the book, and are a very important audience, the book is also for anyone who has ever hired a plumber.
Have you ever wished you could do, or be, something else?
I am something else. I specialize in cyber security marketing and communications. I love my career. Writing is a significant part of it. This book started as a side project. But I quickly realized I enjoyed writing it so much (during the weekends and evenings), I wanted to see how far I could take it. I love what it has become, and hope to write more books in the future, while also continuing my cyber security marketing career. I am the type of person who needs to be busy every minute of every day. It is hard for me to just kick back and relax. I love working on projects – whether it’s for work, or a personal project. I also love being a mom (which is my absolute favorite personal project :))
What is the biggest challenge you faced when writing your book?
It was difficult to find plumbers who would talk to me. Considering I am a “no name,” when I randomly called someone, I know they thought – “Who is this crazy lady calling me about some book?” I found most of the plumbers through word of mouth – a friend’s uncle is a plumber, someone’s brother-in-law is a plumber, etc. A couple of plumbers I found on the internet and am so grateful they trusted me with their stories. Between being a mom, working full-time and finding plumbers who would talk to me, the writing process took two years.
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
Persistence is everything. I believed in my idea; I needed a publisher or agent to believe in it too. So, halfway through writing the book, I pitched more than 100 publishers and agents. I received tons of rejections but that did not stop me. I knew I had something unique, and I just needed one publisher or agent to say “yes.” Then, six months later, it happened. Black Rose Writing, my publisher, offered me a contract. I am thrilled they took a chance on me.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My toilet clogged on a Wednesday evening. I hired a plumber to come over and fix it. The plumber, Jon, was really chatty. I asked him to share his “greatest hit” stories, the service calls he would never forget. I could not believe what came out of his mouth. I also could not stop laughing. I knew I had to write a book about him. After interviewing Jon and writing his diaries, I set out to find more plumbers. And that’s how “The Poop Diaries” was born.
What is your favourite film or TV moment of all time?
The first episode of this season’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is the funniest show on television I have ever seen in my life.
Tea, coffee, water, juice, beer, wine or ‘other’ – what do you prefer when writing?
Coffee in the morning. Sake at night.
You can find The Poop Diaries in paperback and Kindle format.
You can meet Abby online here: https://twitter.com/HonestAb2
WHY ‘THE THURSDAY THRONG’?
These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.