Where to get RIDE 2
Intro: Barb Goffman’s “Ulterior Motives”
I like different things about each story in RIDE 2. “Ulterior Motives” is the one that will feel the most classically constructed to readers of mystery fiction—which makes it hard for me to say much about, since those succeed or fail on their plots, which are the kind of plots that succeed or fail on their endings. There’s a mystery in this small-town story, and a secret, and a teenaged girl at the middle of it all who doesn’t think the adults around her understand much.
Which maybe they don’t.
Eric Neuenfedlt (“Polo”)
asks three questions of
Barb Goffman (“Ulterior Motives”)
Eric: 1. Do you have a favorite bike?
Barb: This probably won’t help with my credibility for this anthology, but I haven’t been on a bike in more than twenty years, except for an exercise bicycle. I like the recumbent exercise bikes best. I find them much more comfortable.
This confession shows that you don’t have to do something regularly (or at all), such as bicycle riding, to be able to write about it accurately. Research, research, research. In fact, I met Keith Snyder, our editor, while I was doing research to get the biking details in my story “Ulterior Motives” right. (I originally wrote the story for a different anthology but decided to submit it to Ride 2 because Ride 2 was a better fit.) You never know where research will take you.
Going back to the original question, thinking back to all the bikes I’ve owned (maybe three or four growing up), I had a blue one when I was in elementary school. It had a white basket with flowers on it, a bell, streamers coming out of the handlebars (or was that an earlier bike? My memory fails), and my Dad put a rainbow of bright, fluorescent covers on the spokes. It was way cool.
Eric: 2. In your story in RIDE 2 your narrator notes that her bike ride slows things down and allows her to observe her surroundings. Do you think bikes have other advantages in fiction?
Barb: Sure. Bikes could be very helpful plot-wise. A bicycle can increase the mobility of a character who can’t drive, such as my main character, Jessie, in “Ulterior Motives,” who at fifteen is below driving age. If you want your bad guy to escape from the cops, let them get stuck in a traffic jam while the rider gets away, weaving in and out. Want your character to spy on people out in the open? Have him pretend to be checking out a problem with a tire or the bike chain. It’s probably easier to hide a getaway bike than a getaway car. A bike could make an on-the-move character more vulnerable to the weather or to violence, since the character would be out in the open, pedaling along, rather than protected by the body of a car. Finally, taking another tack, it would probably be easier for a bike rider to sneak up on someone, or to surreptitiously overhear something, on a bike than in a car, with its noisy engine.
Bikes also can be used to show character. For instance, a reader can surmise that someone who rides regularly is in good physical shape and knows his/her neighborhood well. I imagine a bike could add a touch of romance, too, to a story. Anyone could elope in a car, but imagine riding off into the sunset with your honey, pedaling away together on a tandem bike.
Eric: 3. Are you planning to use bikes in future stories?
Barb: Yes, if it serves the plot/characterization. I have an idea for a story now that involves a bike, but I’ll have to wait and see if I can pin the plot down a bit more before I put fingers to keyboard.
I’ll add that I’ve used a bike in a story before. In “The Contest,” a man is injured in a bicycle accident. Well, it looks like an accident, at least at first. “The Contest” appeared in the 2010 Deadly Ink Short Story Collection, published by Deadly Ink Press. The bike in that story played a much smaller role than the bike does in my Ride 2 story. For those of you who haven’t read the story yet (what are you waiting for?), I won’t go into details of what happens in “Ulterior Motives,” but I will say that I’m glad I haven’t experienced what I put my poor main character through. She’s a trooper.
Here are the places where you can buy RIDE 2, and here are Barb’s three questions for me, which I’ll answer in a week, completely honestly, I swear:
- In your Ride 2 story, “The Rambler, Part I,” your rider is using his bike as a means of escape, literally. Have you ever raced away from someone on a bike, trying to avoid them? If so, what happened? If not, what prompted you to write about biking as means of physical escape?
- Is there anywhere in the world you would like to explore on a bicycle but haven’t been able to? If so, where and why? And what’s holding you back?
- What’s your most embarrassing or funny biking story?
The RIDE “Three Questions” Game
- In story order, each RIDE 2 author asks the next RIDE 2 author three questions about anything, bikey or not.
- The answers go on the the answerer’s blog, and I mirror them here on the RIDE blog.
- I take the opportunity to say something about that author’s story.
Where to get RIDE 2