When a former Sam’s Adventure Tour guide invites Jake and Peter to help develop a downhill-mountain bicycling trail for his new adventure company, the boys can’t believe their good fortune. Hardly have the mountains enveloped the trio, though, when the boys begin to question their host’s true motives for this wild ride, and when he disappears, they’re plunged into the mountain-bicycling descent of their lives. Sign on for a third adrenalin-pumping extreme sports adventure with Jake and Peter!
Click here to learn about the story behind the book!
My third novel, Adrenalin Ride, was inspired by my son. At the time of writing, he was 16 and heavily into mountain biking, which he went on to teach. He still lives on his bike at age 26!
Anyway, I was a “generous mom” in that I offered to occasionally drive him and his mountain biking pals across the city and up the mountain so they could ride down. It so happened there was a public library at the bottom of the mountain, so I could nip in there and write, and they could show up, fully mud-spattered, to tap on the window when they were ready to go home. (I sat near a window, figuring the library would never allow them in!)
But my generosity was a little bit self-serving, because I got to “spy” on these teen mountain bikers as they sat in the car chatting. It helped me build my teen dialogue and my plotting.
To set it in Cathedral Provinical Park on the British Columbia/Washington state border, my family and I went up there on a camping trip. As I sat in a camping chair in front of the tent, occasionally disturbed by chipmunks and deer, I wrote these creatures right into the book I was creating.
My son and I also did mountain biking trails together that year – as in, he did them as I hiked under the spectacular labyrinth of elevated rides built in the forest.
Then there was Cam McRae of North Shore Mountain Biking. When I first launched my website, and long before I actually had decided to write Adrenalin Ride, I let him know I had included his website as a link on my website. He, in return, took the initiative to email me and let me know he was a former teacher and would be happy to serve as a sounding board if I were ever to write a novel in the adventure-novel series on mountain biking.
Needless to say, I roped him in as a reader/consultant as I started Adrenalin Ride, and I (as well as my son) continue to admire all he does for the mountain biking community.
More trivia about writing Adrenalin Ride:
- The guy on the cover photo wrote me shortly after the book was out and said, “I was sitting in my university library the other day and looked up and saw myself on the cover of your novel. I had no idea the photographer had sold those photos. Can I please have an autographed copy of the book?” Of course I sent him one right away, very pleased he’d written!
- To learn more about drug smuggling over the U.S./Canadian border, and the potential value of the drugs that were to go in the boys’ bike packs, I interviewed a police officer.
- To ensure the aspect of the plot about forest fires was authentic, I interviewed a former firefighter, and also a staff member of the North Cascades Smokejumpers Base. From them I learned about the “ten o’clock concept.” To quote from the novel: “Firefighters dread it,” said Peter. “That’s when humidity drops, temperatures rise, and winds pick up all at the same time. It turns smouldering bits into flames. That’s when most wildfires start, especially after dry lightning storms.”
- Finally, I was browsing through a beautiful (sad but beautiful) coffee table book on forest fires to help me describe the scene. In that book was a poignant shot of a firefighter who’d picked up a bird’s nest with still unhatched eggs. From that photo came the scene where Peter did the same before climbing into the rescue helicopter. And a naturalist confirmed it was just possible the eggs might hatch as he landed!