Inspiration for the Outlaw Series (2 books): an urban thriller

I retired from my career as a Silicon Valley Design Engineer in 2006. The experience of leaving the demands of my job and the hectic pace of the San Francisco Bay Area after working fifteen-to-twenty-hour days for thirty years was like running along a rooftop and then falling off the edge.

Suddenly, I had nothing to do. With the absence of demands on my time, I rode my motorcycle around the USA, but after moving to Colorado, I discovered that riding during the winter isn't much fun.

On a trip out west, I went to lunch with an old friend. We've known each other for close to five decades, so there's a lot of history between us. As we sat together, I complained about not having much to do, and he suggested that I take up writing. My friend knew of my tumultuous history as a miscreant son of outlaws and suggested that I write about that.

You see, my parents were big-time drug dealers back in the 1960s, and they were arrested, tried, and sent to prison when I was twelve years old. While they were away, I was put in Juvenile Hall, then subjected to foster care. The latter was an abusive situation which I escaped, then lived on the streets with a bunch of other kids, all of us surviving by selling drugs.

Yeah, I didn't grow up like Beaver Cleaver, and the irony of taking up the family business back then is not lost on me. Those were crazy and dangerous times, but the bonds between myself and the other discarded children went far beyond friendship; we were brothers and sisters that relied on each other for our safety and well-being.

I wrote The Dark Side of Joy, as a sort-of autobiography, with names, places, events, etc. changed to protectů well, me. Coincidentally, at the time it was written there was a big brouhaha going on about the children of immigrants entering the USA illegally being held in captivity, and I wanted to point out that this happens to kids of US citizens all the time, yet no one makes a big deal about it.

Writing the story was cathartic, and proved to be the creative outlet I was looking for in retirement.

After publishing The Dark Side of Joy on Amazon, I received several messages asking what happened next? I took that as a compliment and wrote a more fictional story titled: The Last Dragon in response. That book is about adjusting to a normal lifestyle after leaving the chaos of the street, while also striving to preserve and protect the family of kids I left behind. Once that story was written, I packaged The Dark Side of Joy and The Last Dragon together as the Outlaw series on Amazon.

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