Thursday, July 3, 2008

The biker dogs ride again

FEATURED AUTHOR

Currently working on: The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, book 2 in The Accidental Demon Slayer series

Mood: grinning

Before, when I heard authors talk about research, I thought they meant reading books or surfing the internet. Then I decided to write a book about a preschool teacher forced to hit the road with a gang of geriatric biker witches…and research took on a whole new meaning. I found myself on the back of a coal black Harley, behind a guy named Stone, with my helmet on backwards and an Irish Setter in tow. The dog's name was Frankie and I can tell you right now, Frankie knew a lot more about motorcycles than I did.

It was my fault, really. When I sat down to write The Accidental Demon Slayer, I had no notes about dogs on motorcycles. But in the second chapter, when my heroine learns she's a demon slayer and all hell is after her, she takes comfort in her dog. It was a sweet moment. And as I wrote it, I thought, 'How do I throw her off?'

I made Pirate, the dog say something to my heroine. Nothing big. After all, he's only after the fettuccine from last week. And he knows exactly where she can find it (back of the fridge, to the left of the lettuce crisper, behind the mustard). It amused me, so I did it. Thanks to her unholy powers, Lizzie can now understand her smart-mouthed Jack Russell Terrier. I ended up having a ball with it, and I fell in love with Pirate the dog. Then I realized I was writing about motorcycle riding biker witches.

How do you get a dog on a motorcycle?

Well, I went online and learned that there is a nationwide club of Harley bikers who ride with their dogs. So my heroine could have her pink Harley, and her Jack Russell Terrier too.
And of course I had to meet these Harley riding dog lovers. I called up a few of the members of the Biker Dogs Motorcycle Club and the adventure began. They invited me into their homes, introduced me to their dogs and, like my heroine, the bikers hoisted me up on the back of a Harley, with a dog in tow.

Stone, the biker who spent the most time making sure I didn't fall off his hog, showed me how to ride, invited me to some biker rallies (note to self: don't wear pink next time), and helped make The Accidental Demon Slayer as real as it can be (for a book about a somewhat sheltered preschool teacher turned demon slayer).

So just when I thought I was writing fiction, it seemed my made-up characters from The Accidental Demon Slayer weren't so imaginary after all. One of the bikers I met even has a wife who is a biker witch. I'm wondering if she, like my heroine's biker witch grandma, wears a "kiss my asphalt" t-shirt and carries a carpet bag full of Smuckers jars filled with magic. Maybe I'll find out on my next adventure.

7 comments:

Genene Valleau said...

Angie, what fun! We had a discussion about research on another blog a few days ago. I'll have to mention your post to them.

I love dogs, but am not crazy about riding motorcycles in traffic--the bigger vehicles speeding around you have a tendency to ignore you. Yikes! Maybe that's why Harley riders band together, so they are more visible.

Sounds like you had a good time, though, and your book sounds like a riot!

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Now that is definitely the most interesting research I've read about in a long time! How fun. So, the question is are you now one of the converted? Do you have a "hog" on your christmas list? I think you book may become a cult favorite among bikers. :)

Angie Fox said...

LOL Thanks for the encouragement, but I learned I wouldn't make a good Harley rider at all. I kept closing my eyes - which was fine as a passenger, but would pose a challenge if I did decide to try and drive.

Delle Jacobs said...

Hands on research! My favorite kind! I could always ask my daughter or SIL about Harleys, but really isn't it lots more fun to go find out for yourself?

Karen Duvall said...

Sounds like you had a blast doing the research for your book. 8^) Love the talking dog!

Angie Fox said...

It was a blast and, wisely, the bikers saved all of their "the last time I crashed," and "when I was trapped under my bike," stores for *after* we finished riding.

Angie Fox said...

Make that "stories." We didn't go shopping together.

Although that may be another book...The Accidental Demon Shopper.