The Idea and Inspiration for Chrome Pink 

When I first got the idea for Chrome Pink 
After Hurricane Irene my husband David and a couple of our sons went out to help the boss pull an old Harley from his niece’s backyard. The bike had belonged to her husband who’d died of cancer. The boss had offered to buy the bike several times before Tim died and later after he passed. Sentimental reasons kept Nellie and her daughters from selling the bike. Letting go of the bike meant admitting Tim was really gone. It was something they were not ready to do. 
After Irene flooded much of Aurora, Nellie knew it was time to clean up and fix up. Fearing the bike was no longer repairable, she gave it to her uncle thinking he’d use it for scrap. It took a lot of work and more money than he would have invested in another project but the boss brought the bike back to life. Lovingly restored Tim’s bike became the catalyst that started the idea for Chrome Pink.
I already had a vision for the main character. I wanted a heroine who was tough. My friend suggested a female tow truck driver. The joke was, Rae Lynne was my husband in drag. One of the articles I read suggested using people we know as a starting point for our characters but then flip them to make them uniquely fiction. The article suggested changing the sex of the inspirational character. My husband is a mechanic and drives a tow truck, he loves motorcycles and has an attitude. What if he was female? Why would she be a mechanic? Her family owns a bodyshop and that was how Rae Lynne Grimes of Grimes Auto Shop was born.
When I met a friend of my son, Aries, I got an image I liked for my character. The girl was dark haired, she looked Hispanic. She had several piercings and tattoos but what seemed out of place was the pink streak in her dark hair. Why is a pretty girl pierced and tattooed? Why the streak of pink? What causes the contrast, tough girl and an innocent streak of pink.
Why does she have a bad attitude? What makes her tick? How does her bad ass image fit with her acts of kindness? As I started asking these questions several things came together. News articles, songs and several comments wove together to give me an idea for who Rae Lynne would be and how she got there. 
We all put on armor. A disguise to face the world. Often it is only those closest to us who know the true person we hide from the rest of the world. For Rae Lynne her piercings, tattoos and foul mouth are her protective shield. She pushes people away before they can scorn her.
The hardest part for me was coming up with a hero who would balance this tough girl. Logan couldn’t be whimpy. He had to be strong enough to handle such a woman but gentle enough to soothe her rough edges. He had to understand what happened to her and be able to accept it. Deciding how to create this perfect male species and make him believable was a lot of trial and error. I had to dig deep to uncover his story and why he’d want to be with a woman like Rae Lynne. 
As I worked on the story of Rae and Logan I also began building their world and the people around them. 
The town of Leeward is a combination of my hometown of Aurora, the town of Belhaven and the town of Oriental. The name came from Lee Creek and the sailing term. Much of Leeward is downtown Aurora complete with library and fossil museum! The Depot Cafe is very similar to Wayside. Add in a few wished for places and a town is built.
The characters developed over time and rewrites. Family and friends had to compliment and contrast with the main characters. Because I wanted to write a sequel, I wanted to make the supporting cast interesting with their own stories and problems.
I’m still discovering how to write and the craziest things inspire me. The idea of a pink motorcycle and people’s reactions to it was both a way to add humor to tough subjects but also to give Rae Lynne a tangible vehicle for change. The restoration of the motorcycle represents the restoring of a life. Rae had to learn that she was worth the effort and she was capable of change.

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