Meet Mary Ellen Dempsey, Author of High Heeled Trucker
Mary Ellen Dempsey came of age in the early 1960s when little was expected of women other than being a wife and mother. She graduated from high school completing the requisite shorthand and typing classes expected of all girls in the 60s.
Mary Ellen’s road to the big rigs began after she moved from her California home to her husband’s home of Canfield, Ohio, where they had four children together. She took a job as a school bus driver in order to have her own spending money. It was a trial by fire for this Central Valley Californian who had never driven in snow prior to then. With a quaking heart she learned to drive that forty-foot school bus on roads that never saw a snowplow.
A divorce, returning to California, with her only marketable skill driving and single parenthood thrust Mary Ellen into the all-male bastion of truck driving in order to support her family.
All went well for the first eighteen months until there was a change in management. The new terminal manager didn’t want a woman driver on his fleet so he began a passive aggressive campaign to get rid of Mary Ellen by giving her shorter runs and thus less pay. It was the first time she faced discrimination but it wouldn’t be the last.
Her next job, driving as a team, for a tanker company was a huge test in fortitude. Mary Ellen found hauling a tanker filled with liquid offered a whole new set of problems in handling a big rig. She faced discrimination here also and was let go because several of her male co-workers told her boss, a woman, that they would walk out if they were MADE to drive team with her. Her boss capitulated and sent Mary Ellen packing.
She is currently the on-call Bookmobile driver for Placer County. Surprisingly, this driving job has a whole different set of challenges. While the vehicle, at 40 feet, is just shy of half the length of an 18-wheeler, it’s considerably heavier than a school bus of like size
That makes the occasional run into the small gold-mining town of Iowa Hill, a real challenge. The road, all downhill, a single lane is peppered with dips that make her heavy vehicle pitch towards the drop-off before rocking back to a level position. There are a handful of places for passing with great care that, thankfully, she’s rarely had to use. It’s this single run that compares to any of her more difficult drives in an 18-wheeler. But, she has been tested by fire and made it through. She tackles this challenge with the same resiliency she did learning to drive a 18-wheeler.
In addition, she is very active with the Gold Country Writers located in Auburn, CA. Now a grandmother of five, she makes her home in a small Northern California town with her dog, Lady.
Mary Ellen still drives a truck, not a big rig, but a riotous purple Dodge dually pickup.
To learn more, visit EighteenWheelsAndHeels.com, or Contact Mary Ellen.
About High Heeled Trucker
Truck driver Chet doesn’t think much of women. Most of the females he’s been involved with—including the one he married briefly—were just a small step above hookers. Now Chet’s left alone with a sweet little girl from his sham of a marriage when his so-called wife walked out on both of them.
Just when Chet thinks he has a handle on single parenthood, his boss offers him with a high-paying dedicated run he’s pleased to be chosen for until the boss tells Chet he MUST find a co-driver to stay legal on the 6000 mile loop. At first Chet refuses then decides to at least try to find an acceptable co-driver. Locating two cards on the truck stop bulletin board, he leaves a message for a Chris Montoya to meet him later for an interview. He’s shocked when Chris turns out to be an extremely HOT female in high-heeled red boots.
Reluctantly, Chet asks Chris to take a test drive in his tricked-out super sleeper. He doesn’t expect her to handle his beautiful truck without a problem, but Chris turns out to be a first-class driver. However, Chet won’t budge from his opinion women shouldn’t be driving big rigs and he tells Chris to go home where she belongs. He certainly doesn’t want to spend 24/7 with a woman who makes him feel like a horny teenager. Chris, a single parent, is furious at Chet’s attitude, especially since she’s just been laid off the previous day by a chauvinistic male boss with the same antiquated mindset about women truckers.
Chet’s interviews a short Irishman next named “Ick,” short for Ichabod Crane. The little man’s nature is the exact opposite of Chet’s taciturn, quiet introspective manner. Ick is a cheerful chatterbox, rarely taking a breath. Chet has his reservations about being trapped for the next five days in his deluxe truck with this irrepressible leprechaun, but the money is too good to not give it a shot. They manage to learn to work together and all goes well for the next four months. But what will Chet do when Ick suddenly ends up in the hospital? He needs a co-driver to make the weekly run due to begin in three hours. His inner voice reminds him that Chris was able to drive his truck, but…
High-Heeled Trucker explores the world of women and trucking, and the issues they face. This romance novel, the first of a trilogy, by Mary Ellen Dempsey, will be released in three eBook installments for each of those three books, with the first slated for release February 2013. Come back to check on the status of Chris, Chet, and Ick when they hit the road as well as the rest of the characters who have white-line fever in this new series.