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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

New Faces

A bit misleading because I don't want to share any casting picks just yet. I don't want to put an image in anyone's head before they've had a chance to "meet" some of the new players in American Hellhound. And there are several.

Just like I always seem to end up with books that are longer than anticipated, I can't stop adding new characters. It's a problem. I think? In this case, Ghost and Maggie's origin story, if you will, couldn't be told without adding to the cast.

Uncle Duane
As a writer, I love teasing a character for a while before he or she ever actually graces the pages of the story. In this case, we know that Ghost's dad was an ass who drank himself to an early grave, that his mother and little brother (Cal, for whom Ava and Mercy's Cal is named) died in a car accident - leading to said dad's downward spiral. And we know that his uncle, Duane, was once the president of the Lean Dogs and a big influence on Ghost as a young man. So I've had two years to figure out who Duane really is, separate from the brief mentions we've seen in Ghost's POV thus far.

Turns out, Real Life Duane is delightful to write, and by that I mean that he's a monster.

There's a spectrum when it comes to bike clubs, from weekend road warriors to the biggest and the baddest. The Lean Dogs are an intentional amalgamation of some of the largest, most notorious clubs, tempered with lighter notes. I wanted, at the end of the day, to have some creative flexibility. To throw in some Hollywood levels of violence and melodrama. The club of Ghost's youth, however, is a darker, meaner, more rigid organization. Smaller, edgier, and less interested in legitimate means of making money. With Duane at the helm, it doesn't feel like a family.

It'll be interesting to see the reaction to the old club, and to Duane's leadership. Ghost may not be the ideal president, but it's a miracle he turned out as well as he did given the example his uncle set. Growth is relative, after all, and it's fun to showcase just how much Ghost has grown since he was an angry young man.

I love story parallels, history repeating itself. Just like Aidan isn't a model officer-in-training, neither was Ghost - at least not an officer in Duane's club. That honor fell to Roman. He and Ghost were enemies, and antagonistic, grudging allies at times. Roman is charismatic where Ghost is a charmless grump; and deceitful: you never really know where you stand with him. *Something* happened in the past and Roman's  been gone for almost 25 years. Now he's back in town stirring everything up. Sometimes the people you knew when you were young and still figuring out who you are have ways of finding your weak spots, and that's exactly the case with Roman.

I'm not going to say too much about him. Just that I'm pretty excited about this character, and I hope I manage to pull it off. It's a kind of character I've never written before, and that's always an adventure.


I remember saying of Loverboy that it felt unwieldy and too big to hold on to, that I would be glad to write Ghost and Maggie because that would be straightforward and easy. Ha. Ha ha. Yeah right. I think maybe each subsequent book will feel more like a challenge than the last, and maybe that's a good thing.

American Hellhound, May 6th, 2017.

1 comment:

  1. I think the addition of characters from the past is a good thing. As a fan of the Lean Dogs/Dartmoor series, I can't help but wonder about the characters development - from child to adult. At the end of Loverboy, Ghost showed the more fatherly side of himself whether he wanted to or not. I think Maggie definitely helped Ghost come into his own self - that is be a better father, better president of an MC.

    For me Loverboy wasn't overly long, it took me a couple of days to finish and the only reason for that was to stop crying at certain intervals of the book!

    I can't wait for the release of American Hellhound!