Some final thoughts about American Hellhound as I wind down with the final polishing and get ready to turn it loose into the wild.
What they say about assuming is always, always, always true. I feel like that old adage pulls double duty here - for me personally, and for the story itself.
When I started piecing together ideas for AH last year, I thought this would be a very straightforward and simple book. Most likely a novella, barely breaking 200 pages. Throughout the course of the series, I'd spent so much time narrating from Maggie and Ghost's POVs that it seemed there wasn't much material there for a novel solely focused on them. Six months later, that assumption has been shattered several times over. This is the longest book in the series after Fearless. Turns out those kids had a lot to say. And in the process of uncovering their true story, I realized that Maggie was somehow stronger than I thought...and Ghost weaker.
Weaker is a poor choice of word. More vulnerable, we'll say.
For me, the most fun aspect of the novel was the juxtaposition of the way people viewed Ghost and Maggie Then - as screwup kids ruining their futures - with the way people view them Now - as the undisputed leaders of their club/family. True, this is fiction, and also true, this is an outlaw society that doesn't closely resemble regular suburban life, but I like to think there are nuggets of truth embedded within the narrative. The cast of this book is plagued by assumptions, on both sides of the scenario, and that's a theme I play with throughout. The contrast between what we think, and what we actually know...and the frustration of the things we will never know.
It goes without saying that this book handles situations of questionable morality. I don't think I'll ever be able to wrap my brain around the idea that certain readers enter a book about outlaw bikers with expectations of reading about impeccable morality. Some questionable and depraved stuff happens in these books, yes. That isn't a reflection of who I am as a person, or who my readers are - there we go with those assumptions again. This book, like every book in the series, was written with the fans in mind. It is my greatest hope that you'll all enjoy Ghost and Maggie's book, and that you'll look forward to the upcoming spinoffs.
I can't wait to share it with you! (And then sleep for about a week.)
In answer to some questions I've received: Yes, there will be paperbacks. And yes, I will be giving some away! Along with swag. So stay tuned to my various feeds so you can enter to win some Dartmoor goodies.
Thank you, readers, love you lots. We are ALMOST THERE!!