Top 10 Fun Things I Did While Writing Bikers and Pearls
by Vicki Wilkerson
I know the title of this post might seem to be a bit off the wall for a writer; however, I really had a lot of fun writing Bikers and Pearls. Here goes the list!
Number 10. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! First of all, I went to a motorcycle show at the local fairgrounds for research. I never imagined I’d ever have the need to attend such an event, but it was fun. I saw all sorts of unusual bikes with unfamiliar paraphernalia on the motorcycles. I saw bikes of every color, style and brand. They had lights and fancy handlebars and were super tricked out. And oh, the painted scenes on the sides—some funny, some sad, some risqué. I also went to Bike Week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. And, yes, some of the women were very obliging when random bikers requested a look at their “goods.” Shirts were being lifted everywhere. And then there was the Kid Rock Concert. I was told I’d get to see a lot of the biker culture there. And I did. I won’t explain the details because Bikers and Pearls is a G-rated read. But the research was good. And Kid Rock rocked!
Number 9. Learned that “fork sliders” are not baby hamburgers that fit on one’s fork. That “ape hangers” are not toys for primates. That “Longhorn pegs” aren’t new horns on baby bulls. I learned all that and a lot of other interesting motorcycle terms for bikes, names of accessories and information about the biker culture from reading magazines, catalogues and looking at motorcycle websites.
Number 8. Locked myself into my office day and night and wrote the book in 30 days. And believe it or not, it was fun. Each day the sun rose, I couldn’t wait to have my hot tea and head upstairs to write all day long. The book almost wrote itself, and I felt like sort of a conduit for the story. Serious fun for a writer.
Number 7. Put on 5 pounds. Yep. When you lock yourself into your office and write day and night with NO exercise, you put on 5 pounds. And you know what? It was fun, too. I took a break from my ordinary life and threw myself into my writing. I abandoned everything—including exercise and other activities. I was a full-time-no-holds-barred writing fool. And I loved it. It taught me as a writer what I was capable of accomplishing.
Number 6. Wrote in my pajamas. Plaid, flannel ones. On some days the story was coming so fast, I had no time to get dressed. Why would I take a shower and put on pretty clothes so that no one would see me writing in my office? And I’m a girly-girl. But I let myself be a dedicated writer first for thirty days. I knew I could pull out the heels and dresses again later—when I finished the book.
Number 5. Sipped vino at the end of the day. At dinner time, though I didn’t want to stop the story, I broke for a glass of wine. And what a treat. I spent most days hunkered over my laptop, not eating much, not drinking much, not indulging in life, and my reward at the end of a productive writing block was a nice glass of chilled wine. Which was SO much better AFTER the austerity of my writing lifestyle.
Number 4. Had an excuse to talk to real biker dudes. Hairy ones. With beards. And tattoos. And they were really nice men who seemed genuinely interested in speaking with me about their motorcycles and their lives. Many of the “dudes” were not the Sons of Anarchy types but were people from every walk of life—doing their 9 to 5ers during the week and riding on the weekends. I even spoke to a couple of Christian biker groups who wore WWJR bracelets. And, yes, Jesus would ride a Harley—if you didn’t know that already.
Number 3. Got to know my editor really well and made her laugh. As we passed the manuscript back and forth between the two of us with her edits, she would “insert” comments into the margins. She was laughing as hard at some of the incidents I wrote into the book as I was laughing at her comments. She had never heard the old Southern colloquial phrase, “It’s so good, it’ll make your tongue slap your brains out.” We made one another laugh, and that was fun.
Number 2. Road a motorcycle for the first time. Interviewer: So, you say, you began writing a book with a biker as a main character and you’d NEVER been on the back of a motorcycle? Me: Yup. Because my heroine had not either, and I wanted to get her perspective written before I’d clouded it with too much knowledge. This is what happened. Instead of going on the slow, leisurely ride I’d anticipated—on the back of my brother-in-law’s Harley. He took me out on an historic, scenic highway and sped 70 plus mph down a 55 mph-posted road that has been the final destination for hundreds of motorists over the years. It was a very dangerous road with very dangerous old trees practically in the highway. I prayed the entire time, and Joe says he still has the marks my fingers made on him that day.
Finally, the number 1 fun thing I did while writing Bikers and Pearls. Laughed a lot while I was writing the book. Yes, that’s right. As I sat in front of my computer in that isolated office upstairs in my big ol’ empty, lonely house, I laughed out loud at the silly stuff my characters did. I am so glad no one was there because I probably looked and sounded pretty crazy—writing in my plaid pajamas, laughing at “nothing” with nobody. It was the most entertaining thing I’d done in while.
Writing can be lots of fun. It is what the author makes of it, and if the story is amusing, she will have fun, too. I hope readers enjoy reading Bikers and Pearls, a sweet romantic comedy, at least half as much as I enjoyed writing the story.
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Vicki is a native of the Charleston, South Carolina, Lowcountry and loves to share her enchantment with the area with readers through her writing. Even in childhood, she enjoyed penning stories and poems—no doubt fueled by her grandfather’s enthusiasm for telling tales himself.
Where else—but in the South—could one find the interesting blend of salt water, eerie swamps, unwritten traditions and unique characters? In her spare time, she loves traveling, spending weekends at her family’s lake house, playing golf and cooking (with lots of wine).