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Friday, February 6, 2015

If You Ever Stop Loving Me

"My old man's backhand

used to land

hard on the side of my head;

I just learned to stay out of his way."

When I want to get in the biker writing frame of mind, I listen to these guys every time. Love them. How sad they're never on the radio anymore, because there is such an authenticity to their music that sings right to the heart of hard-working, making the best of it America. And like I said, most of their songs, but especially this one, launch me straight into that world of cracked pavement and dust-on-the-lips and hot sunburned shoulders where my characters live.

I've spent some time this week mapping out the rest of my Dartmoor series, thinking about whose stories need to be told in which order, thinking about where all these guys and gals have come from, and where they're going, how they fit into this sprawling family of outlaws. And I thought about this song because it touches on what I think is the most important theme of this whole series: the love, support, and acceptance of one another. Because it isn't a story about bikers. It's a story about a family...which happens to be made up of bikers.

If you do your research into the 1%er world, you quickly realize that these men have not come from privileged backgrounds. No one who approaches this lifestyle lightly ever makes the cut. And so in writing of that world, and thinking about men who've had it a little rougher than most, it seems essential to me that the women in their lives be the bright spots, the warm home fires, the places to land. Loving their girls makes them stronger, not weaker. The goal is never to keep love out, but to let it in, and allow it to keep some of the darkness at bay, for a little while. At least, that's how it goes in Dogland. Ghost needs Maggie, and Mercy needs Ava, and Michael's on his way to finding that out about Holly...

A quick thank you to my readers. You guys are wonderful. I can't express enough gratitude. Thank you for making this series a true delight to work on.

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