Tuesday, November 6, 2012

From Trucker to Journalist

From Trucker to Journalist
By Nancy Young
Public Relations Junior

Fred Afflerbach, taken by nancy Young
Fred Afflerbach, writer of “Roll On: A Trucker’s Life on theRoad” spoke to students and faculty Thursday, Oct. 30 about his road to success with his journalism career.

Afflerbach was a student at Southwest Texas in 1975 where reputation as a “rebel” eventually led him to drop out and start training to become a truck driver.

“I was in The University Star for doing bad things on campus,” Afflerbach said. “I knew I needed to do something else with my life.”

He became a truck driver and worked in the business for over 20 years. While on the job, he learned the tricks of the trade from the experts in the truck-driving industry.

“I started off as a student and turned into a trucker,” Afflerbach said. “I looked up to them, the long-time wanders.”

Afflerbach realized that no one has ever told the true story of truckers and he knew he could. After 20 years, Afflerbach knew he needed to finally earn his college degree and write the true story of truckers.

“From Alligator Alley, the Golden Gate Bridge to Pikes Peak, I had seen all the scenery and these great places,” Afflerbach said. “I wondered, ‘Why hasn’t anyone told these trucker stories correctly? There’s a great story out there and someone needs to tell it.’”

In 2002, Afflerbach enrolled back into Texas State, and now instead of being written about in The University Star, he was now actually writing for the newspaper as a trends reporter.

Since graduating with a degree in English and a minor in mass communication, he started working at the Marble Falls Newspaper and then went to work at the Temple Daily Telegram. He realized writing for a newspaper was not for him. So he began to write his book.

His manuscript was a hard write, he said. It was even harder to find a publishing company to pick it up. Finally, the Academy Chicago Publishers picked it up and began the publishing process.

Now, Afflerbach spends his time promoting his book, “Roll On: A Trucker’s Life on the Road,” while he is also in the process of writing his second book that will tie into his first.

Afflerbach ended the lecture with an open-mic discussion where students and faculty members were able to ask questions and voice opinions. Afflerbach responded and gave his advice about several subjects.

“It was interesting how he found his passion and turned it around to make it a career,” Montreal Williams, electronic media and mass communication senior, said.

Another attendee of the lecture, Carmen Martin, mass communication senior, said he was really informative on what he was talking about.

“He had a good account on his story,” Martin said. “I had a dad that was a truck driver for a few years so it sounded a lot like stories from my dad I’ve heard before.”

Montreal Williams: m_w81@txstate.edu
Carmen Martin: cm1912@txstate.edu

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