Dear Readers and Curious Thrill Seekers,
The listing for The Roaring Road on Amazon is shown under Historical Fiction but I have had commenters say it should be under Action - Adventure. As The Roaring Road was taking shape it did seem to be historical fiction, and I conducted a lot of research into setting the story accurately in the era. Not the historical fiction a la Forrest Gump who wanders through life and by chance arrives at major historical events. The Roaring Road historical events are reached by actions taken, and historic people are an integral part of how the story moves. Except for the star power of Louise Brooks, Douglas Fairbanks, W.C. Fields, Billie Dove and Jesse L. Lasky (founder of Famous Players-Lasky which became Paramount) none of the real historical characters in the story - with one exception which I don't want to name because it would be a spoiler - are well-known characters. People like Cannon Ball Baker, who was famous in the era, would be relatively unknown today except for those who recall Brock Yates and his Cannonball Express cross-country automobile competitions.
The use of history in The Roaring Road shows how the influences of the Roaring Twenties on society affected the attitudes and to some extent the actions of the main characters. Some have asked why was there a need for sex in the story? To answer that we need to take a look at the changes in societal behavior, the flapper movement, women's suffrage, Prohibition, the problems faced by a large part of the population in the years after the war - World War I, but since World War II was still a few years in the future, they didn't know it was WWI and it was commonly referred to as The Great War. An excellent discussion of these topics can be found in Only Yesterday subtitled An Informal History of the 1920s by Frederick Lewis Allen.
You can also read some of the items on this website in the Flapper Humor page that refer to how the younger generation were influenced to break out of the old societal structures. They were more free than ever before but didn't know what do with that freedom, so they would celebrate it by drinking, partying, dancing in ways that scandalized their parents, and yes they had sex. They had lots of sex. If you thought the 1960s was the decade of Free Love, check out the 1920s.
******NOTE: While the following paragraphs do not spell out any spoilers, readers may be able to deduce certain information which could be considered clues******
All of this had more or less influence on my main characters, Dan and Laure. They are good people but in real life no one is perfect and mistakes are made, especially when confronted with danger that they could not outrun. They had to make these major decisions in every chapter of the story. As a result, they may have done things that some readers could question, especially after they visit Hollywood and meet Louise Brooks who decides to set up a Hollywood friend to try to seduce Laure to get her out of the way so Louise could make her move to seduce Danny. At the time their relationship was still in the formative stage and although they are undoubtedly in love with each other, they still have much to learn and will face hard tests of who they are and who they want to become. Successful relationships often combine love, trust and respect, not necessarily always in the same order and sometimes in different quantities. It is interesting to see their responses to the challenges they face. Even as the author, I often found myself trying to decide "What Would Laure Really Do?" or "How Would Dan Respond To This?"
On May 29, 2015 I wrote on this blog, "Editing your manuscript is the revenge your main characters get on you for thinking you are running their lives". It's a true statement. Sometimes I wanted Dan and Laure to do something but found that I had already built in them certain characteristics that would make the action difficult or extremely unlikely. Sure I could just write it anyway, but doing so would put them at odds with their personalities and could potentially change the story.
There are no superheros in The Roaring Road. As the story unfolds, it is just Dan with his German Shepherd named Raider, also fondly known as the Road Trip Dog. Laure comes into Dan's life and in their naivety they find themselves in various desperate situations. None of them has a cape or uniform or special belt that conveys supernatural powers to them so they could vanquish their enemies. They have only their personalities, intelligence and each other to get them through. As the story progresses, one by one a few others come to like Laure and Dan and help them but while they are variously talented individuals, none of them have any magical or superpower abilities. At times, Dan despairs because they are so overwhelmed and their situation has become impossible. At one point in the story a decision is made to do something they would never, ever in their normal lives consider, but there was no other solution to be had, and death for one or both of them was by far the most likely outcome. How bad does something have to get so that a choice like that is made? Well, dear readers, this is the point at which the author says "Read The Roaring Road and find out!"
If you have comments or questions, use the email link on the main page, or the author's Twitter page @JohannLaesecke.
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