A Ride Down Memory Lane

August 26, 2013

My first book with Dreamspinner came out this past Friday, EASY RYDER. Its a story about a teenage runaway thumbing his way to California in the summer of 1976, doing whatever and whoever he has to in order to find a place he believes he will be able to live free. The story opens in Indiana, where he is picked up by a sexy, but nameless biker riding a mid-sixties Harley chopper.

While writing EASY RYDER I had a lot of fun layering the story with all sorts of motorcycle facts, using the car talk as Micheal’s way of figuring out the people he meets on his journey and his way of understanding and identifying his surroundings.

To my surprise, when I headed outside, I saw the tattooed biker again. He’d mounted up on his bike—the Harley Davidson, as I’d suspected. I identified it as a mid-sixties hardtail since it had the older style panhead engine. The powerful machine was aggressive and sleek with customizations. It had been modified with longer forks and raised handlebars, but not as impractical as the Captain America chopper Peter Fonda rode in Easy Rider. The adjustments were subtle, barely noticeable to an untrained eye. The black paint had faded almost matte—maybe he’d even done it that way on purpose—but the hog looked well-maintained, offering plenty of room on the bi-level king-queen seat for some lucky girl.

You could tell a lot about a person by what they drove, and it made me wonder what sort of man stood before me.

I was born in Motor City (Detroit, MI) and spent many a Saturday afternoon at car shows with my grandpa, listening to the men swap stories about engines and gear boxes, torque and top ends, and pretty much talking shop about a whole bunch of stuff that sounds like a foreign language to most people. As a little girl, I loved lazy Sunday afternoons sitting in the garage with my grandpa, munching on Archway cookies and reading Anne of Green Gables, while he drank a Budweiser and wrenched away on some new car he’d picked up to fix and flip as Don Williams or Waylon Jennings tunes wafted softly in the background. Demolition derbies, car shows, swap meets and junk yards are not unfamiliar places to this now Ohio girl. To this day I love the greasy smell of a garage with the faint hint of gasoline in the air, or the scent of a man with beer on his breath and exhaust on his clothes.

To me, it smells like home.

Then of course I had to go and marry another gear-head, this one intent on collecting vintage motorcycles, mostly Hondas and minibikes, and the last count topping eighty. I still sit out in the garage and watch my husband work on his  bikes or his ’87 SS Monte, though nowadays I usually have a beer of my own and a nice juicy gay romance on my kindle instead of cookies and tales of young Anne with an “e.”

Writing EASY RYDER, and weaving in the automotive knowledge I’ve picked up over the years was like taking a ride down memory lane, touching on the nostalgia of days gone by, and snippets from my own childhood. It was a fun ride for me, watching Michael entertain himself by trying to pair people up to the cars he saw in the parking lot. I hope readers enjoy this part of his character, because it is a small echo of me and some of the men I have loved in my day.

Is there a particular story that you have read recently that sparked a fond memory from your past, or perhaps a scene that you have written which felt like a blast from your past?

I would love to hear about it!

~Deanna

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

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To my surprise, when I headed outside, I saw the tattooed biker again. He’d mounted up on his bike—the Harley Davidson, as I’d suspected. I identified it as a mid-sixties [A1] hardtail since it had the older style panhead engine. The powerful machine was aggressive and sleek with customizations. It had been modified with longer forks and raised handlebars, but not as impractical as the Captain America chopper Peter Fonda rode in Easy Rider. The adjustments were subtle, barely noticeable to an untrained eye. The black paint had faded almost matte—maybe he’d even done it that way on purpose—but the hog looked well-maintained, offering plenty of room on the bi-level king-queen [A2] seat for some lucky girl.

You could tell a lot about a person by what they drove, and it made me wonder what sort of man stood before me.


[A1]needed to tweak this

[A2]This is most often written as “king queen” or “king and queen.” Sometimes you see “king & queen” or “king/queen” but I’ve never seen king-queen. Sometimes it is capitalized, sometimes not, too. I toyed with using a / but don’t like things like semi colons or / when reading.

But since – sort of goes along with “bi-level” I suppose we can just make up our own word.

Doubt most readers will even know what the hell it is anyway J

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