Reading their stories reminded me of all the research I did for Racing the Blue Monarch because they are talking about all the elements of racing that I found so fascinating...for one, like Ashley Freiberg (first female overall race winner at Daytona for the 2014 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge) relating how fighting the heat from the engine is one of the greatest physical endurance aspects of the sport. And Jennifer Getty (Street Stock Division driver) saying how there is the constant worry about 'where will the money come from' as she confronts another blown engine. Or Amanda Habel (dirt midget) picking up the wrenches to do her own car construction and maintainence. And finally, Emily Packard (Tour driving) who details the kind of 'get touch' attitude needed to deal with the unsportsmanlike dirty driving of her male competitors that seem to single her out for rough treatment just becasue she's a woman. She talks about chopping and bumping and pushing against the wall, racing terms that were a delight to learn about in researching my book, and she adds "I'll play dirty if you play dirty with me." What a spirit!
Just like Marlene in Racing the Blue Monarch. She is a race car driver and a winner and a good match for Scooter. And her story isn't about being a girl, it's about that passion for driving cars FAST! These real life women are an inspiration. They make me glad I included a strong female character in my story who can honor the values these women are living every day.