Vroom!

A reader’s perspective on the car you drive.

I actually remember my first road trip. I was six years old. The summer between my first and second grade years, my father took a school exchange opportunity to Connecticut and in addition to getting to see snow for the first time, we were going to spend a summer as a family driving across country. My memories of the places we visited is a little sketchy and I would love to have a summer to drive the same route seeing the same places but what really sticks out for me was the family car of the time. A blue Toyota Corolla station wagon. Complete with NO accessories. So not having A/C in a car is no big deal growing up on the Monterey Peninsula of California where the summers are actually cooler than the winter with coastal fog settling in with a bone deep chill. So I didn’t really know how much A/C could affect anything, but I remember being HOT! My mom had decided to hang a nice dress in the car instead of packing it into a suitcase so we weren’t allowed to open windows on that side of the car and I remember it was always a fight between my sister and me on who had to sit on that side.

Another thing this amazing family vehicle was missing was a sound system. I’m not talking about missing a tape player or a CD player. I’m talking about even a radio! That meant a lot of singing. And we can’t sing. Not even a little bit. We can be loud but there really is no tune to it, and remember all those words is such a bother especially when there isn’t a tune to sing a-long to. Ugh! No my sister and I were forced to entertain ourselves with the license plate game, the spelling game, the I spy game, and other torturous activities that only siblings can create.

But that car stayed in the family all the way through my first car experience and beyond. I was in college when I finally sold it and by that time I had at least upgraded it to include a radio and CD player. I mean what high school student could survive riding around without tunes? That’s just crazy! Especially during the 80’s when the music was so awesome!! (Come on all you 80’s lovers how many of you blasted your music while cruising the strip!!) I loved that car! It was like a tank that just kept going. I learned how to change a tire, change the oil, change out a radiator, clean the spark plugs and all the other minor maintenance that could be done on a car. Now, I pop the hood of the car and can barely identify where the oil is! Yep I miss my trusty family classic.

So how many of you are car junkies? I wouldn’t necessarily say I am, but I do appreciate the lines of the classic corvettes and mustangs. I sort of fell in love with my Subaru when I bought it and cried a little when I had to put it down. The idea of electric cars fascinates me and I would consider buying one and think that NASCAR would be a lot cooler if it was environmentally friendly by running electric cars. I would probably even consider watching it. But at the moment cars are just sort of a necessity. Though when special cars appear in our amazing lesfic novels, I do have a tendency to Google them and check out what they look like. Let me give you an example. Check out what a 1957 Ford Thunderbird looks like. That was Raven’s dream car in Lynn Galli’s  Uncommon Emotions. I would totally drive that vehicle! That would be snazzy!! It’s up there with those classic ‘vettes and ‘stangs! Having a classic vehicle seems to be a commitment though. I mean you are kind of holding onto a piece of history by possessing one. There is an unwritten rule that it should be maintained and preserved so that future generations can experience the ride. And what a ride it could be! Sort of like the American Muscle found in a GTO. Not my personal favorite in regards to looks, but it seemed to truly fit the personality of Bailey in Kiera Dellacroix’s Engravings of Wraith. When she peels out and revs the engine, yeah, that seems to fit her character.

Other characters seem to have cars for the convenience factor but they are some super sweet vehicles! Mischael Taylor is a character this all about the fast, sleek ride so when she drives up in a Jaguar in Kim Baldwin and Xenia Alexiou’s  Thief of Always that seemed to be the perfect car. But that’s how our lesfic authors do it- setting up the character with the perfect car if it’s needed. The character of Ronnie Cartwright had a slew of cars to pull from her garage but the one car that made the story happen was a Porsche. I thought it was pretty cool how the car made different appearances throughout BL Miller’s Accidental Love from bringing the characters together to tearing them apart.

I have to admit that sometimes the cars in a story just don’t really make an impact on me. Granted they are inanimate objects and mostly are just a means of traveling from here to there. But sometimes, like those mentioned above, the idea that the characters are car collectors or have a fascination with cars stays with me. I think that is why I’m excited to start Nell Stark’s The Princess and the Prix. Have any vehicles stayed with you from our lesfic stories? Which story and which vehicle? Do any of the vehicles make you envious of the characters? Let me know, because I want to know if I’ve read it!

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9 thoughts on “Vroom!

  1. Growing up poor, my fantasy vehicle was any car that started every time, didn’t blow blue smoke from the muffler and didn’t need to have a foot on the gas pedal at a stoplight….just to make sure the car didn’t die. When I bought my first car as a young adult, I took a friend of mine who had some car knowledge and basically laid it on them to make sure I wasn’t buying a clunker. They did good, that first Toyota had over 140,000 miles on it when I needed to upgrade to a better car for my job.
    Needless to say, what someone drives in a book that I’m reading is just another detail to me. Today, I’m the stereotype…… I drive a Subaru Forester and have a pickup as my second vehicle. 🙂

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  2. I’m not really a car fanatic, but my wife just drools over the Tesla, so I have included that car into a book. Sometimes I put in very regular cars and sometimes I put in fancy cars that I have to look up the specs because I will never, ever, ever own one! I’ve read all the books you listed and do remember those cars, except the Princess and the Prix which is on my list to read.

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    1. Kim is right there with the Tesla, Annette! That is most likely going to be our next car (in a few years) especially if that price tag is coming down. Thanks for reading!

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  3. I loved Eadie T. Pratt’s ’66 T-bird, Pebbles, from The Middle of Somewhere, by Clifford Henderson. And while not lesfic, my favorite fictional car was Nancy Drew’s convertible with a rumble seat in the original 1930s editions (that were my aunt’s, not mine!). I’ve got a short story coming out that revolves around a Corolla. Called “Auto Repair,” it’ll be in my collection, A Perfect Life and Other Stories, due out in Sept. (but you can preorder now. 😉 ).

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    1. Thanks for reading Elaine! I haven’t read Clifford Henderson yet, but naming a car is awesome! I’ll have to add The Middle of Somewhere to my wish list. And a Corolla is a great model car- especially those older models that were built like tanks!

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  4. I loved this edition of Reader’s perspective. I would really like to read Keira Delacroix’s Engravings of Wraith. Any suggestions of where I am may obtain a copy. I live in Australia.

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    1. Sandra obtaining a copy of Engravings of Wraith is an interesting quest because it is out of print and used copies are insanely expensive! I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure I would be willing to spend over $100 for a copy. Thanks for reading!

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      1. Thanks Erin. Yes I have seen the price and agree. It is such a pity that some books that sound interesting are out of print. Love your column by the way.

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