Interview: Charlie Renne
1. Your book is called A Truck Fell On Me, and is horrifyingly a true story. What made you wish to write about this experience?
Believe it or not, I wanted my friends and family to know what I went through as a dead man. You see for the first eighteen months after the accident, I had to battle thoughts of having actually died in the crash. Those thoughts were reinforced in part due to a terrible bout with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that included graphic flashbacks of seeing the truck fall on me. Sometimes those visions seemed like they were bombarding me a thousand times a second. On top of that, I had an out of body experience during the rescue. At one point my inner self left my physical body and watched the rescue from the curb. I even watch the ambulance helicopter lift off and take me toward what I figured was Heaven.
2. Do you think you'll ever try your hand at writing fiction or about another part of your life?
I have written two more books. One is a romance/comedy about a successful business woman whose search for love takes her to Ireland. Along the way she encounters a bungling conman, his one-eyed side kick, a strip club bouncer that doubles as a preacher, a bounty hunter and even a professional pall bearer. She also meets a three year old dynamo of a girl bent on conquring the world. My other finished work is entitled, MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY: Do Not Attempt This At Home'. This book is about my life living with Charcot-Marie-Tooth, one of the forty-three different kinds of Muscualr Dystrophy. Despite serious matters such as debilitating pain, mental anguish and even nearly dying on more than one occassion, the book is filled with humor. I'm currently testing the waters of finding a literary agent to represent my work.
3. How long ago did the incident in the book occur? How is life different for you today?
The accident happend over ten years ago. It took me seven years before I was able to take my notes and to make them into something that could be published. I had tried several times before but each time I did, I was once again beseiged by nightmares. But on the seven year anniversary, my best friend, Larry, passed away due to cancer. I took that as a sign that I had to get busy. Life is short and can end without notice. Larry's death reminded me of that fact. Today my life is wonderful. The accident actually saved my life. Before the wreck, I was miserable. I was trapped in a job that was full of stress. My marriage was in bad shape. The accident allowed me to find the courage to not accept unhappiness. I eventually divorced my wife of that time and then found someone with whom I could be happy. We were married on my 50th birthday. Larry was my best man, but sadly, just 8 days later he was gone.
4. Have you heard from anyone that has read the book yet? What have their thoughts been?
Several people have contacted me after they have read my book. I was really surprised to hear how inspired they all were. They told me that through my book, they realized that their lives weren't as bad as they had thought. After all, if I could find humor while 10,000 pounds of cast iron was laying across my lap, then things like financial worries, employment difficulties and such could also be dealt with in a similar fashion.
5. Where can people buy your book?
The best way to obtain a copy of, 'A TRUCK FELL ON ME', is through dot com outlets like Amazon.com, Target.com and B&N.com. Though if anyone does want a signed copy, they can send $20.00 to me at, Charlie Renne, 3330 S.E. 30th, El Dorado, KS 67042. I'll even take care of the shipping costs.
6. Anything else you want to add?
I just want to encourage everyone to find what makes them happy. I nearly lost my life at a time I was miserable. Being unhappy is easy. Finding true happiness is very difficult...but it's worth it.