I know this might seem pretentious or asshole-ish, but I personally believe it is very necessary.
First off I would like to thank the many books and films that inspired me to pen this story, particularly those from the seventies and the nineties. The Godfather trilogy, triggered by Mario Puzo's books of the same name, were an amazing aid to writing about the Italian Mafia. Many of the terms and refernces I used in the story, such as Don, Famiglia and consigliere, came from reading Mr. Puzo's works. The Godfather, The Scillian, The Family and The Last Don are all excellent reads and I gained a wholwe lotta ideas from them.
Over the course of the last four months I have watched the majority of violent films available on the market-from Fight Club to Scarface to American History X. I found it so interesting to see all the different viewpoints from assorted gangs, not just the Mafia, but even white supremacists and bias criminal organizations. It is so intriguing to see what makes the average crimninal tick-from the barest man with a handful of amateur weapons to indeed the Cosa Nostra, with their glorious manner of dressing and wicked, respectful ways. I really, really enjoyed writing about the Italian-American Mafia; they seem to just ooze sexiness and seduction like no other illegal company.
First of the Gang to Die, originally called The Faithful Departed (Cranberries) and then Life On The Murder Scene (My Chem) and then Ode to my Family (yup, Cranberries again). Yeah, I kinda fiddled with the name for a while. I eventually settled on FOTGTD because I myself think First of the Gang to Die has a nice little ring to it, dunnit? Anyway, yeah, I finally decided to call it First of the Gang to Die (also cuz I love Mr. Morrissey) and then the story kinda knitted itself. I put a lotta shit in here; humor, gore, hate, romance, tradition, history, lust and, of course, *gags* love. This is the best story I've ever written in my opinion. Now, looking back, I think Full of Holes was kinda amateur and badly written, a bit cliche. It's like the Black Parade of my writing; MCR were kinda ashamed of it later on, and that's what I feel about FOH.
FOTGTD was the honestly the first story I've ever been eagar to write. I mean that, mates. Every day for the last four months I have rushed home to attack my laptop.(Which reminds me; I must thank my loyal little HP for standing by my side as I shamelessly punched his keys.) Whether just to read over my previous chapters (my favourites are #39, #52 and #72) or to happily update by another few thousand words or so (I can write an average of 3000 words per hour). I found myself daydreaming about what would happen next. I would literally be up to three in the morning doing my homework because the rest of my evening would be spent on FOTGTD. I had this little thing called 'in the writing zone' from four until six. My friends would text me and I'd be like 'cant talk now, riting fotg, talk l8r.'
On the subject of friends, I really must thank a few vital guys and girls who contributed majorly to this story. Kathy, my homegirl, very nicely leant me her Italian textbook from last year from which I have taken all my linguistic standards. The name of the book is Due but unfortunately I cannot make out the author of the book because Kath has scribbled vulgarity over his/her name. So, thank you to Due by Fuck You This Class Is So Boring. I apologize to any Italian speaking person if I have vomited all over your beautiful language. Any mistakes made in this story are my own.
Friends who have also contibuted to this know who they are, most noticeably my bhest guy friend, Gearoid. (Yes, despite the godawful Irish name, his family is from Syracuse in the Mezzogiorno.) I'd go over to his huouse with pen and paper and just like watch and listen to what his family did. That's where I kinda did some research on Italian culture too-they're kinda loud and stuff, but in a really funny, pleasant way. And they're traditional and stuff-AND OF MY GOD THE SUITS. I don't know why, but my God, I just happen to think suits are the sexiest things on this planet. I'd be hanging around his house and his brothers (cuz he had like eight) would be in ther ein full waistcoats and shit and I'd nearly die. Now you understand why, throughout this story, I keep talking about men's clothing. So thanks for the Italian book and thanks for being born in Italy.
(On a side note, sweet Jesus I was at his sister's wedding-fuck me Italians are like motherfucking Gods. They are like sex on legs, I swear. All tanned and dark and tall and just oh my God amazing. They came up to me (I was sixteen at the time; me and Gearoid are kinda going out/kinda not anyway it's a long story and God isn't he just so lucky to be my semi-boyfriend I'm so awesome) and were like 'we pray that in the future it will be an honour and a privilidge to welcome you into our family' which is a polite way of saying 'hurry up and fucking propose to her you asswipe'. The men were so beautiful I was just like 'can I like your face?' Even the women were hot. I mean, yeah, I'm not even bi or anything but hell, I'd tap that.)
One very important element of this story is the setting.I really tested myself during this because-not trying to sound like a douche or anything-it's kinda hard to write in a decade you've never experienced. In the thirties, I couldn't mention something remotely modern; portable phones, musical devises, fancy cars etc. The reason they had baths in this story was cuz electric showers hadn't been invented yet. Believe me, everything here was searched with a fine-tooth comb. From making sure Oreo's were invented in 1909 (which they were) to calling World War I "The Great War" because WWII han't happened yet (which I did). I put a lot of effort into this. I actually have a sticker on my laptop saying hey Lornaigh, remember FOTGTD is written in the 1930's. Also, feed Atticus the pork today, he hates thst beef shit. Yours, Lornaigh.
Of course, as we all know, the 1930's were one of the most historically eventful decades of the century-the Great Depression, the rise of fascism, and of course the start of the most bloody and brutal wars in history. I, being a HUGE history geek, assume to have gotten all my facts right, but I still feel the need to thank the endless amount of authors whose books of WWII I have perused, as well as glorious films such as Inglorious Basterds and The English Patient. And I don't think any credible war writer can cite her inspirations without mentioning Wilfred Owen. I also severely doubt any of my fangirling over Mister Edgar Allen Poe has gone amiss over ye either.
I knwo this sounds a little stupid, but I might just go ahead and say that I have received no money whatsoever for mentioning any prior brands. Companies such as Nike, Armani, Selfridges, Rolex, Converse and of course, Oreo's, have not sustained me with financial support because of me mentioning their things in this story. I only did that to make it more realistic. When I read My Chem fics all I normally see is band tees and skinny jeans and Cons and stuff, so I figured I shake it up a lot and include brands like that. Just saying that I highly doubt some major multi-national corporation is like 'EUREKA! SOME FREAKY NORTHERN IRISH RADIOHEAD FANGIRL IS ENDORSING OUR PRODUCT! WHIP OUT THE MILLIONS!'
Now to speak about two more heated topics in this story; Frank's illness and the torture techniques used by assorted members of the gang. Note that I am not a doctor, nor is anyone in my family. I used some old medical book I found in my study and my fairly limited scientific knowledge to describe ailments and symptoms. The medication I used for the TB, insomnia and PTSD is real and is still being used to this day. Note that some minor imperfections in my medical descriptions may be present but that I am not a MD but a little fan fic writer who attempted to write about a life-threatening illness in the thirties.
About the torture-some of it I developed from learning about the Gestapo and the ORVA; God, the human race never ceases to disgust me. The things that were done during that war...fuck me, I get angry thinking about it. I find history so interesting because it's like reading basically the longest story ever written...all the twists and turns and little plans and stuff. The torture in the chapter about Warner-Pure Morning-is an actual technique, the rat one. The raping a woman in front of her husband comes from the RA, as well as decomissioning and kneecapping. I took leaves outta the IRA's book because they live kinda near me-they're my neighbours, ya dig?-and I know lots about em, so it's easy to get shit about torture. I'm not actually a terrifying person; I love gore. Bring on the gore. Viva la gore. But it's when things pop outta shit I get freaked out. I'll start screaming and crying and pleading for it to be over and my twelve year old sister can sit through The Exorcist without batting an eye.
Just one little note to say that this story was set mainly in America, in LA. I have been to the US twice but obviously I do not have the same cultural palette as native Americans. Please forgive me if my grammar and phrasing is not Americanized or normal enough. I don't know everything about Los Angeles and New Jersey and the American culturak traditions so I apologize severely if I like fucked up America majorly for anyone.
The last people I would like to thank are my family and my FicWad friends; both have helped me a lot over the course of a few months. My father and two sisters have been very supportive over my life and what I've done and I am so very grateful to them. Jane, as you may be aware, was the unfortunate soul who caught sight of me writing smut whilst she was eating vanilla yoghurt and then interpreted certain bodily fluids as said food. Haw haw, young siblng; haw haw, indeed.
I'd like to say hai to my homies here on FuckWad-so many it's hard to count. I think it's awesome that this site, while it does have minor disadvantages like haters and such, some of my favourite people are there. Some pals who are like the nicest reviewers ever on FOH, like ChloesGreenDay, xx_eddi_xx and fueledbyPanic. And can I just say one big ol fat thank you to my homie Adnarim Smada? Thank you, mate, thank you, you are like my writing Jesus. On my shitty days I come home and read your shite and I'm like 'dayum this chick can write, I am molfricking Stephenie Meyer compared to her (that is negatory) and then I write. That is how my writing is borne. She is one of my favourite authors ever, alongside King, Poe and Rowling. One of my great friends andauthors lives here, on FuckWad. If you've read her shit, you'll know. If you haven't, what are you doing reading this? Feck off and read her. Amazing girl. How she is not like Queen of FicWad stuns me. snaps finger You there! Fetch me my inaugeration scythe! Yes, thats right, I have an in augeration scythe. Bow before me.'
Lastly, this dedication in full is to my best friend, Gearoid. The reason why is that he is one of the most amazing people on this planet, and reminds me a lot of Gerard (Gearoid-pronounced gah-road is the Irish for Gerard) and he's just a brilliant mate and a lovely chap. Guys can be really big dicks sometimes but I hbonestly love that lad a lot. He helps contribuitng to the writing of my stories-you can actually thank him for the Oreo plotline. I was sitting in my living room and we were eating Oreo's and he was like 'hey do ya think gangsters eat Oreo's?' and I was like 'good one, I shall input that into my story' And last year for a Halloween party we went as a dead Victoria and David Beckham. Ah, good times...
Second draft-May 13th 2011. The rest of this dedication was completed on April 19th, 2011
Another reason why this story is for Gearoid is because last night he unfortunately passed. He was walking home from a mate's house at night and someone did a hit-and-run, driving his skull right into the trunk oif a nearby tree. He was brain-dead for the past four days and his parents decided it was best he was unplugged. He woulda been nineteen this July.
I am writing the rest of FOTGTD from the hospital room, with all of his family coming in and grasping my shoulder, telling me they're sorry and murmuring words of hushed comfort. How much he liked me, how cool I am, how we were gonna grow up together and whatever, he was so young...so young and so talented and beautiful, and oh fuck I promised myself I wouldn't cry, no no Lornaigh crying's for pansies-
*facepalms* I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Looking at this tory and reading it over just reminds me of him, and it's like looking at a goddamned cracked mirror.
Anyway, sorry, God. There are three chapters left in the story, I have them written out; That's How People Grow Up; In The Future When All's Well; First of the Gang to Die.
And how could I have forgotten; to you, my reader...it's been a helluva ride. I thank you. When reading the next chapters, pick perhaps your favourite chair in the corner of the room, with that lamp that doesn't quite work properly. Prop your laptop on your knees and settle with a nice warm drink with a few chocolate biscuits. Turn off the TV and the phones and the radio; get the family out of the house and pick up the computer to read about some good-old-fashioned, bear-hugging, head-over-heels, corny-as-shit, forever-and-ever love.
I'm sure I can make you believe it exists.