Laura Drake: Motorcycles
I'm a bit - quirky. I ride a motorcycle. A lot. I rode 100,000 miles behind my husband before learning to ride my own. I've since logged 100,000 miles on my two: A red BMW R100M named 'Elvis,' and a bumblebee yellow BMW R1100 named, 'Sting.'
Oddly enough, motorcycling actually led me to writing. Back when I rode behind my husband, I'd prop a paperback on his back and read during the boring stretches. But you can only read so long, and eventually my mind would wander. Wisps of story ideas would float through. I didn’t know it then, but those were the beginnings of stories.
I’m so grateful for the motorcycle –through our trips, I’ve gotten to know the small Western towns that are my books’ settings. Like:
The awesome vistas of Wyoming, where the land is so open and rolling, that from the top of a hill, you can see how the glaciers carved the land and how time has softened the harsh effects.
In the badlands of Utah, the delicate multicolored striations in the crumbling ledges made me wish I knew how to dye cloth to be able to recreate it on fabric.
The vast open sky of the Four Corners area, with the dramatic red stone monoliths seeming to rise out of the ground in the distance.
The never-ending green prairies of Canada, where the wheat dances with the wind.
Small towns in the middle of nowhere, shutting down the main highway that runs through town for a Fourth of July parade, complete with tractors pulling hay wagons festooned with bunting and carrying the local beauty contest winners.
Real country stores with wooden floors and pot-bellied stoves surrounded by rocking chairs – not to be trendy, but because the old-timers sit there.
The howling aloneness of the Canadian Rockies, where the mountains stretch on forever.
I could have traveled to all these places in a car. But in a car we generally tend To Go Somewhere. On the bike, we didn’t go looking for them; we happened upon most of the above places on our way to somewhere else. And I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything!
About the Author...
Laura Drake's first novel, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist and then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She's since published 11 more novels. She is a founding member of Women's Fiction Writers Assn, Writers in the Storm blog, as well as a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West.
Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways or serious cowboy crush. She gave up a corporate CFO gig to write full time. She realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.