Today we have a guest post by Cynthia Rayne, Amazon best selling author of The Four Horseman MC series. Captivated is the title for her offering in the Take the Heat anthology and revolves around one of her members of the Four Horsemen outlaw motorcycle club. The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter between this tour and the Review Tour, here.
Researching the Motorcycle Club (MC) Culture
Guest Post by Cynthia Rayne
Write what you know.
Every writer has heard this advice or one point or another in his or her career and it’s great advice. There is nothing worse than reading a short story, novella, or novel where it’s clear the author has no familiarity with a particular subject. However, I would add that what you don’t know, you must research.
Captivated, my story in the Take the Heat anthology is centered on Jonathan Royal, a member the Four Horsemen, an outlaw motorcycle club. This story is set in part of my Four Horsemen MC series world. Since I have never been a member of motorcycle gang, I had to do some serious research!
I started learning about outlaw motorcycle gangs by searching for news articles, mostly online. I wanted to get a feel for the criminal enterprises someone like Royal might be involved in. And did I find plenty of illegal activities I could dramatize! However, I think it is important to note that not all bikers are involved in illegal endeavors. But for the purposes of my story, I wanted to make sure that Royal was a convicted felon. Never underestimate the appeal of a bad boy!
Another helpful resource was law enforcement websites and publications. For example, the Department of Justice has a guide of sorts on outlaw motorcycle gangs. They actually use the acronym OMG. Despite the thirteen-year-old-girlness of the acronym, this report gave more in-depth information about criminal activities, as well as specifics about particular groups.
I wanted to make sure that Royal sounded like a biker, albeit one with some traditional Southern charm. There are plenty of websites and forums that are made for and about outlaw bikers, or one-percenters, as they preferred to be called. By the way, I discovered that particular term comes from a fight that occurred in July of 1947 between two rival clubs, which prompted the American Motorcyclists Association to state that very few clubs were involved in illegal activity –at their estimate, only one percent. Anyway, I spent some time on forums and loops to soak up some of the culture, learn terminology, and speak with real bikers. By and large, they were friendly and very helpful.
Pop Culture Resources
Alexandria Sokoloff, an award-winning writer and lecturer, discusses the importance of fulfilling the promise of your genre in her book, Screenwriting Tricks for Authors. She recommends utilizing movies from the same genre in order to get a “feel” for what readers or viewers might expect. Since my book is set in the world of outlaw bikers, I binge watched episodes of Sons of Anarchy, an FX show that centers on a fictional biker gang in California. I also checked out some biker documentaries on the Sturgis biker rally and other helpful films. In addition, I read other motorcycle romance novels, to get a gist of what the market was like.
All of these resources provided a wealth of information. So in summary, write what you know and research what you don’t. A little bit of investigation can give your story, novella, or novel a more authentic feel, which will ultimately help readers to “buy in” to the world you are creating.
TAKE THE HEAT
The ultimate bad boys, criminals capture our attention and awaken our darkest desires. Celebrate the illicit in this romantic suspense anthology, where handcuffs are used for more than play. These stories are shocking, sexy, and thought-provoking.
In New York Times Bestseller Skye Warren’s Magnolia Hotel, meet the heroine who pays her brother’s debt to a loan shark—who happens to be her childhood crush. Find out if the jury made the right decision in Acquitted by award-winning author Giselle Renarde. Explore a dark and sensual psychology with New York Times Bestseller Pam Godwin in Unlawful Seduction.
New York Times Bestseller Skye Warren – Magnolia Hotel
Cynthia Rayne – Captivated
New York Times Bestseller Pam Godwin – Unlawful Seduction
Sheri Savill – Slipknot
New York Times Bestseller Shoshanna Evers – This Might Hurt A Bit
Candy Quinn – The Bombshell
Tamsin Flowers – Playing with Fire
Elizabeth Coldwell – Disposing of Donnie
Audrey Lusk – Surprise Witness
Trent Evans – Last Day
Giselle Renarde – Acquitted
Ride the edge of desire and see if you can TAKE THE HEAT…
Read Take the Heat now: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | More buy links…
EXCERPT FROM “CAPTIVATED” BY CYNTHIA RICHARDS
“You never told me your name.”
I glanced in the rearview mirror to see my prisoner, Jonathan Royal, studying my reflection from behind the metal bars that separated us. Despite the orange jumpsuit, he was a looker. Thick black hair, soulful brown eyes, a full sensual mouth, and a squared jaw. Born and raised in Alabama, he had impeccable manners and exuded charm by the bucket load.
Well, as much a killer could.
I focused on the road once more. Truly, a bone-chilling January night and I had to watch for patches of slick black ice on the overpasses. “As far as you’re concerned my name is Deputy Marshall or a ma’am. Take your pick.”
“Just figured we could get more familiar, since we are on a road trip and all, ma’am.”
“We aren’t going on a ski trip, Royal. This is a prison transport.” Prisoners always underestimated me, particularly men. I could see why. At 5’2 with a curvy build, long red hair and wide blue eyes, I looked more like a Sunday school teacher than a threat. But, he should know that appearances could be deceiving. I’d taken guys on nearly twice my size and won.
“All I want to know is your name. That’s all. Two little bitty names. Hardly seems fair, since you know everything about me from my jacket. Why,” he drawled. “I bet you know my height, weight, birthday, and exact location and detailed description of each and every single one of my tattoos.” He whispered that let part, a husky little vocal caress, which felt like it had been purred into my ear.
I shivered and not from the cold seeping in my windowpane either.
Damn it. Why couldn’t he be just some ugly old guy? I shouldn’t even be alone with him. Since the recession, the marshal service had gone through a series of debilitating cutbacks. Normally, two marshals would be transporting someone as dangerous as Royal and he’d be stuffed and cuffed in the back of gas-guzzling van, so I’d only have to see him at the beginning and the end of the trip. Now, only a few thin bars separated us and I didn’t have a partner with me. Someone else I could talk to. So much easier to pretend the prisoner didn’t exist when I could bullshit about weather and bad coffee on the road with a fellow officer.
“If I were you? I would keep my mouth closed and quit while I was ahead. Looks to me like you got a pretty sweet deal, transferring from a maximum security prison to minimum for being such a good boy. Going to be like Club Fed for you. I hear at Elkton, they have a gardening club and a recue dog program. It’s going to be like going to college. Why do you want to risk your oh so exemplary record by harassing me?”
“Not that is a conundrum worth pondering. Perhaps you make me lose control, Miss Marshal.”
Mort about Cynthia Rayne...
Cynthia Rayne is the Amazon best-selling author of the Four Horsemen MC series.
Her first erotic book was written when she was thirteen. Of course, the most risqué thing was a kiss, but it was the talk of her middle school!
She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education and writes whenever she can. In her spare time, she enjoys dating, shopping, reading way too many romance novels, and drinking a truly obscene amount of coffee