Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
A life-long Iowan, I’m a 51-year-old divorced father of two grown children who are out on their own. At the age of 18 in 1985, I attended my first sprint car race at the famed Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, and fell in love with the sport. As fate would have it, six years later I found myself as a pit crew member on Jerry Crabb’s sprint car pit crew, and he served in that capacity for 15 years. Racing is often a family activity passed down from generation to generation, but not in my case. Since it was all interesting and new and shiny to me, I sometimes made notes of things that happened as a way to keep memories from fading. After Jerry retired from sprint car racing in 2006, I compiled the notes I took over the years and attempted to put them in a book-like format – and it sat on my computer for 10 years. But I believe it was always in the back of my mind, became an itch I had to scratch, and kept nagging at me and wouldn’t shut up until I did something about it. I came across it again in 2017 and continued working on the project, and eventually published the book in March of 2018.
Tell us about your books.
My only book is Racing With “The Doctor”: Recollections from a Member of Jerry Crabb’s Sprint Car Pit Crew, which contains memories I collected over 21 years as a fan, including 15 years as a pit crew member. A racing coming-of-age story, it provides an inside look at the sport from an outsider’s perspective.
How did you go about getting published?
I went the self-publishing route through createspace.com, which turned out to be surprisingly simple.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I wrote the majority on an old Dell XP laptop on my kitchen counter. I didn’t really have a time of day, but if there was a thought, idea, or change I wanted to make, I’d become a bit obsessive – including writing late on Christmas Eve and early Christmas morning. I’m pretty sure I rewrote every sentence a minimum of five times.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
My real job is that of a consultant for an accounting software company. I like to spend time with family, and be in the outdoors. I also follow sprint car racing closely, and auto racing in general.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
I always knew what photo I wanted to use for the cover. Createspace’s cover designer doesn’t allow precise placement and formatting of photos and text, but it suited me just fine.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
I wish I had one. I suppose this is my start. I was so absorbed in itching the scratch of writing the book, I didn’t think about anything beyond. I guess I hoped for word-of-mouth, which, frankly, has kind of sucked in my case. This also explains why I have no website, Facebook fan page, etc. But I am now doing some research on promotion and came across Read Write Club.
What’s your favorite book?
That’s impossible for me, so here’s my top 5: A Season on the Mat, Four Days to Glory, Can I Keep My Jersey?, Life’s Tough on the Circuit, Hewitt’s Law.
What are you reading now?
All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe.
What’s your next book project?
Right now I’m just trying to figure out ways to promote my book. It’s new, awkward, and uncomfortable for me. But I have a lot of experience with jumping into situations where I have zero experience.
Author Websites and Profiles
Todd R. Thomas Amazon Profile