The second large core foundation for my novels were bikers. I like to describe my novel as Sons of Anarchy meets The Expendables meets The Wolfman. I’m not entirely sure it’s 100% accurate but motorcycle club, mercenary unit and werewolves with the tone leaning more towards Expendables humor rather than Sons of Anarchy/The Wolf Man drama llama angsting.
The idea of a werewolf biker had been bouncing around in my head since college. I didn’t really have anything or anyone to go anywhere with it. I wasn’t part of a werewolf RP group. Old WoD was making way for New WoD. I didn’t know any actual bikers. I didn’t have any ideas for plots. It was just sitting there in my head as “oh, that’s amusing.” Motorcycles and motorcycling are something that is very American. Apparently if there is one thing we’ve exported from America other than fast food, it’s motorcycle clubs and everything that goes with it. Sure, there is motorcycling in Europe. When you hear Harley Davidson, Indian, and Victory motorcycles, you think America.
Later I met some actual bikers, worked with them and got to know them a little. I’m not talking about 3 patch OMC members. I’m talking about guys who just liked motorcycles. They liked the speed. These were hard working blue collar guys. One was a veteran of both the army and the navy. One coached football. They had kids. They were normal everyday guys who enjoyed motorcycles.
You don’t hear about that a lot in the media. The media doesn’t like to report about bikers when they’re good folks who follow the laws and drive safely on the roads. Bikers who are part of Clubs and some who aren’t part of Clubs but do group rides together, pride themselves on their riding skill and following the laws of the road. What you hear about in the media is when there is a shooting at Sturgis, or in the parking lot of an AMA meeting over a parking dispute or when a group of idiots on rice rockets harass a family in an SUV and then when they get scared, follow them and do dangerous things and then when it goes wrong, beat the guy up for it, when it wasn’t the guy’s fault.
Bikers get a bad rap. Most people don’t know about what good they do. There are Bikers for Jesus and Bikers Against Child Abuse (thankfully most biker groups keep their names simple.) Bikers are willing to help other motorists out when they get in a jam. Even most 1% bikers of the big OMCs do not want their names in the news. They don’t want that type of attention. Gun fights, murders, explosions and other things, only hurt motorcycle clubs and motorcycling as a whole. When most bikers just want to ride their bikes on the open road and have a few beers while they listen to music. Just like they do at every biker event that I’ve ever found advertising for. And really that’s what happens here at Daytona Beach during Biketober Fest and Bike Week. Vendors show up that cater to bikers in leather, jewelry and jeans and all the t-shirts one could ever want. Motorcycle companies show their latest models and have test rides set up for attendees. And on stages on Main Street there are bands and the bars are open selling alcohol. And honestly, the bikers drive up Main Street and either go up and down A1A or they go over to ISB and drive around in circles, for hours, from about 11AM to 1AM nonstop. (Yes, that’s 14 hours of constant engine noise.)
It’s crazy. It’s loud and you either like it or you don’t.
There are family clubs. There are military clubs. There are clubs for cops, clubs for firemen, clubs for veterans. Then there are the three patch clubs (which have to put their colors away for bike week events.) And like I said earlier, there are clubs for Jesus and Clubs against Child Abuse. Bikers are just ordinary everyday people and bikers such as Sons of Anarchy types and Gangland Undercover types are few and far between. And even then, most of those are genuinely nice folks who are willing to help out their fellow men and women.
OMC/Gs are secretive though. They do claim territory and they do have rules. Just because there are a bunch of nice guys mixed up in there, doesn’t mean they’re all nice guys. So, there is a mystique about them because they are so secretive and because bikers wear leather and jeans and cut off vest type things and they ride around on what are essentially death traps on wheels if not handled right. (Hey, I own a coffin on wheels Mini Cooper. I cannot and will not judge.)
These were the type of people I wanted to write about. I wanted to write about the contradiction of these big tough guys in leather who ride motorcycles but give out toys to children in hospitals. I wanted to write about the type of people who work with the cops on actual sex child abuse cases and protect the victims so they feel safe. I wanted to write about the type of people who have done event security work, such as the Hell’s Angels have done in the past. I wanted to play with this concept that a biker club is like a family, a concept that was touched upon in Sons of Anarchy but was shown to be a dysfunctional family.
My thinking was thus: Wolf packs are families. Wolves claim territory. Biker Clubs are families. Biker Clubs claim territory. Werewolves are secretive hiding among humanity. Bikers Clubs are secretive, not expressly hiding but not welcoming outside intrusion. So, what better way for a big group of werewolves to hide from society and be able to ride vehicles where they can smell everything.
That, and I just might have a teeny tiny weakness for the biker look. Just a tiny one. Really!