Introducing Abby Ross, Author of “The Poop Diaries”


One night Abby Ross’s toilet clogged and inspired her to write a book. She spentthe next two years interviewing plumbers —  men and women across North America. The outcome hit in February 2020  when “The Poop Diaries” was released on It was listed as a #2 top new release (very fitting) inthe humor and business section and went on to become a #1 best seller that has received hundreds of positive reviews to date and is now available as an audio book, too.
While the book is funny, it also brings humanity to a profession not many of us think about – plumbing.

Plumbers see us in our most vulnerable moments yet we know next to nothing about them. Plumbing is also a profession that is misunderstood. It’s lucrative, creative and entrepreneurial. Plumbers are unsung heroes, and the book includes heartfelt stories about how they have helped those in need.

MT: I’m sure you have a lot of experience w/ “poop” as a mom of two boys. Do you have any funny stories to share relevant to diapers and doo doo outside your hilarious book?
AR: I try to forget the poopy diaper days. I seriously think my mind has blocked it from my memories. Although I will never forget the dark days of “seepage” and the subsequent battle with my husband about whose turn it was to change the diaper. I also remember what poop looked like against my skin, and how interesting it was that peas stayed as peas. And who can forget the “pee pee teepee?” That was a life saver.
MT: Your freshman book, The Poop Diaries, is reflective toward the life of plumbers and their day to day work. How did this hardworking industry spark the interest that it did with you, enough to write a whole book about it?
AR: Inspiration can come from anywhere, including a clogged toilet. My toilet clogged on a Wednesday evening. I couldn’t go to bed knowing it was clogged so I called a plumber, Jon. He came over instantly and was very chatty. While he fixed the toilet in 15 minutes, he didn’t seem to want to leave. I asked him to share his three most memorable stories. What came out of his mouth was so hilarious I knew right then and there I had to write a book about him. I interviewed Jon first, and wrote his “diaries.” After reading my writing, I felt confident that I was onto a really great idea. So, I set out to find more plumbers. Through word of mouth (you’d be surprised how many people are related to or friends with a plumber) and internet research, I found ten plumbers, including two women who had hilariously fascinating stories. The book is less about plumbing and poop, and more about humanity. It’s amazing how people let down their guards around plumbers, almost like they are invisible. They inherently trust plumbers and don’t mind being vulnerable around them — whether it’s stripping down naked, growing drugs, not getting out of the shower or bed, or brushing their teeth over a plumber while wearing nothing but a t-shirt. Plumbers have mouth-dropping stories that you would never believe are real.
MT: What’s the most awkward story you learned throughout your research?
AR: Awkwardness is a theme throughout the book but if I had to pick one it would either be about a guy who wouldn’t get out of the shower while the plumber fixed the drain or when one of the female plumbers, Carissa, was asked out by a guy who was in mid-stream as she changed a urinal. There’s also one about a plumber who got caught by a neighbor, pants down, peeing in a bush, and another one from Carissa about how she accidentally broke up a marriage because of what she found in the toilet. Like I said, awkwardness is everywhere in plumbing.
MT: And what’s the funniest story?
AR: The ones listed above are equally as funny as they are awkward. Another funny one is about a woman who stood over the plumber as he fixed her sink. Wearing only a t-shirt, she brushed her teeth while straddling him as he fixed the pipes under the sink. A few stories also center around sex toys, which I find hilarious. There’s also one about a 95-year-old woman who asked the plumber if she could show him her “little titties.”
MT: Stemming from a previous career as a crime reporter, how did parts of that job help in your role as a writer?
AR: Reporting, no matter which beat, centers around storytelling and writing. While I always was a writer, even as a child, my reporting career served as my foundation for professional storytelling and writing. Every day I wrote a story — sometimes in only twenty minutes if it was breaking news. My favorite part of the day was when I came back from a shoot, sat down at my desk, and began writing. It was relaxing. I loved being in my own world. I owe much of my writing style to the talented journalists I worked with in the newsroom, and others who I met along the way.
MT:  What would you consider the most challenging part of authorship from concept through creation?
AR: For my style, which involves interviewing everyday folks, the toughest part was finding interviewees. Since I am not J.K. Rowling, it is tough to find people who take me seriously, trust me and will take the time to talk to me. Many times, I received no responses when I reached out, and other times just flat-out rejections, with a question of who is the crazy woman who says she’s an author and is writing a book about plumbers. It was tough. I can’t thank my husband enough. He helped me find three key plumbers for the book.
MT: What are the pros and cons of working alongside a publisher?
AR: I like working alongside a publisher because it is very turn-key. I simply write the book, and they handle the artwork, printing process, and all the other logistics that go into publishing. They also help with promoting the book. My publisher, Black Rose Writing, has given me tons of support from all angles. I can’t thank them enough for believing in my book. I pitched more than 100 publishers and agents and only one said “yes.” Sometimes it only takes one to make a dream come true.
MT: What advice do you have for moms who want to take a stab at writing a book?
AR: Do it. Because of motherhood, careers, friends, hobbies, etc. it may take you two years or more to write it, but you should still write it. I always wrote after my kids went to bed. I grabbed a glass of sake, sat down, and entered into my world. If you decide to write a book, I also recommend to keep swinging until you land what you want. Perseverance is everything. You may need to pitch 100 publishers and agents like I did. You may receive hundreds of rejections. Just keep swinging. If you believe in your book someone else will too. You just need to find that person.
MT: Do you do any other writing currently?
AR: I am a cybersecurity marketing leader so, yes. I write every day. Whether it’s a solution brief, pitch deck, website messaging, value proposition, blog post, email messaging, video script, newsletter or social post, I am always writing something. It’s the main reason why I love marketing.
MT: What plans do you have, if any for the future of “The Poop Diaries?”
AR: My ultimate goal is for the book to become a television series. I imagine it being a cross between “Taxi” and “Three’s Company.” It would feature a team of female plumbers who start their own business (I always imagine Wanda Sykes playing the lead), and would follow them on their daily adventures, capturing the awkward, disgusting, kind, surprising, and loving moments with humanity. There’s definitely a market for a show like that. You don’t see many shows or books that revolve around the lives of trade workers. The show would capture that audience and the wider non-trade audience too. Everyone knows a plumber. Although not as well as plumbers know them.
MT: Every working mom has their set of favorite hacks. What are those that help you and your family function as it does?
AR: This is a tough one. When we are in hotel rooms, we clip the curtains with coat hangers at night so we all sleep better and longer. We also use coat hangers to clean our sink and shower drains (that’s our version of plumbing). To recork wine with scotch bottle corks. They are easy to take on and off. We also use a cork screw to remove dry wax from candle holders.
MT: What would you consider the more rewarding and challenging parts of being a mom.
AR: The most rewarding part is seeing them learn about life and enjoy new adventures. My eldest son (a third grader) started playing the trumpet when he was 2-years-old. I have loved watching his journey with the instrument — going from loving to hating to loving again, to frustration to pride when he played his first song. My youngest son (a kindergartner) is a budding artist. He draws me pictures daily, which melts my heart. I also loved watching both my boys ride bikes for the first time and perform concerts for us. Watching them grow, with passion and joy, is the ultimate rewarding experience.
The challenges are there too, of course. When they become frustrated because they can’t do something perfectly immediately, it’s really challenging to persuade them to keep trying. My eldest has a lack of patience problem, especially with himself, so it’s tough to slow him down and get him to understand how to improve in certain areas. My youngest can’t figure out what he wants to do from a physical fitness perspective. I know he is only six, but I want to sign him up for something, and want him to feel passionate about a sport because physical fitness is so important (I exercise seven days a week). Usually, I end up signing him up for a sport he can care less about and then spend hours watching him stare at the clouds while everyone else plays around him.
Of course, another challenge is anticipating someone breaking their hearts. I remember how fragile friendships were in my childhood. It was so important for me to feel included and have a “best friend.” I always want my boys to feel included and have friends, although I also know at some point, they will get their hearts broken. I only hope they will let me be there for them when it happens.
MT: You seem like an extremely driven woman who practices good habits. What good habits do you try and fold into your family?
AR: Exercise! I have been exercising nearly every day since I was eleven years old. I have trained in boxing and kickboxing for the past eight years. I also do HIIT training and sprint running. Last year, I became a certified group fitness instructor through NASM. Exercising clears my head and fuels my body with strength and energy. It builds my self-confidence and makes me feel whole. That’s why we push our boys to play at least one sport, and embark on family bike rides and hikes on a regular basis. My husband also takes them to play hockey weekly. We also eat healthy. My eldest son hates sweets so that makes our lives easier. My youngest loves them. So, we allow him to eat sweets in moderation. We make sure each meal is low on grease, high on protein and includes vegetables, milk, and everything else that makes a balanced diet. We also teach our boys the importance of work. Whether it’s them watching us work from home daily, or sharing our workday adventures with them, we make sure work is a top topic in our house so that they understand that if they want something they need to work for it.
MT: Every mom needs an escape. Can you tell our audience about yours?
AR: My escape is exercising. I converted our garage into a home gym. I love spending an hour or more working out. I also run, hike and walk with friends. I enjoy grabbing drinks with friends. I can talk and listen to people for hours. My husband and I love to travel. The COVID-19 pandemic has hampered that a bit, but we have had some adventures. Writing and reading are escapes too. When I am writing, I am at peace. I am so relaxed and focused. In the mornings, I love grabbing a cup of coffee and reading. I mainly read the news (the news bug will always be a part of me), and some books, although I get through them slowly.
MT: Lastly, how do our readers buy your book or learn more about you?
AR: You can buy the book on and Barnes&! The links are below. The audiobook for “The Poop Diaries” comes out February 15th and is already available for preorder. I am on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. I pasted my handles below.
Twitter and Instagram: @honestab2