Author: Dawn Ius
Publication Date: September 13th, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Synopsis: Gone in Sixty Seconds meets Heist Society in this edgy novel about a crack team of teenage criminals on a mission to learn to trust, build a life, and steal a wish list of exotic cars.
Jules Parish has screwed up.
After three years of boosting cars, she got caught. She’s too good to get caught, but she let her (ex)-boyfriend talk her into a questionable job. And now she and her little sister, Emma, will be kicked out of their foster home, left to survive on the unforgiving streets of Las Vegas alone.
Eccentric, wealthy Roger Montgomery wants to open up his mansion to Jules and Emma. The only catch? Jules must steal seven of the rarest, most valuable muscle cars in the world…in seven weeks. Even worse, she’s forced to put her trust in three complete strangers to help her do it.
First there’s Chelsea, the gorgeous redhead with a sharp tongue and love for picking locks. Then there’s Mat, who hasn’t met a system he couldn’t hack. And finally there’s the impossibly sexy car thief Nick, whose bad attitude and mysterious past drive Jules crazy.
With nothing in common and everything to lose, can Jules and her amateur crew pull off what could be the biggest car heist in history? Or will things spin out of control faster than a Nevada dust devil?
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About the Author and Q&A
Dawn Ius is a short story author, novelist, screenwriter, professional editor, and communications specialist. She is the cofounder and senior editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal; the assistant manager of The International Thriller Writers (ITW) Association e-zine, The Big Thrill; and the author of ten educational graphic novels. When she’s not slaying fictional monsters, she can be found geeking out over things like fairy tales, Jack Bauer, Halloween, sports cars, and all things that go bump in the night. She lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Jeff, and their giant English mastiff, Roarke.
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1. Where did you grow up? What were you like as a child?
I was born in a small town in Northern British Columbia, Canada called Trail, where I lived until Grade 6. From there, we moved to Alberta, and most of my school years were spent in Calgary, home of the infamous Calgary Stampede.
As a child, I was always a bit introverted—mark of a writer?—who could be found most days curled up in a blanket with a Nancy Drew mystery, or a Roald Dahl classic. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory still makes my annual re-read list—the imagination of that man astounds me!
I guess I’ve always been a “dreamer.” My mom still calls me “Alice”—an ode to my favorite character, Alice from Alice in Wonderland. My sister was an academic, and went on to become a forensic psychologist, while I stuck with the arts. When I left home for my first career job as a journalist, my mom gave me a quote by Albert Eisntein that reads: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” I think that was her way of telling me she was okay with me not wanting to be a doctor or lawyer, that chasing my dreams was more important, whatever that dream was.
When I sold Anne & Henry, I had that quote tattooed on my arm.
2. How do you avoid distractions while writing?
With great difficulty! I’m actually the worst for finding “new shinies” — a new TV show, a new book, a new hobby (my latest is kayaking!), the internet. (Don’t even get me started on Pinterest!) My husband even built me a writing cabin in our back yard, which isn’t supposed to have access to the internet, but offers a weak connection when the moon and stars are aligned, or something.
Truthfully, my best way to avoid distraction is to completely immerse myself in the story. Once I am there, settled into character, fixed in the setting, I literally can’t be distracted. (Trust me, my husband has tried…) For me, there is no magical place in the world than when I’m in “the zone.” I just need to get myself there more often!
3. What inspired you to write Overdrive?
My love of muscle cars began LONG before I saw the movie Gone in 60 Seconds (with Nicholas Cage), but I admit, it’s because of this movie that I have an obsession with the 1967 Shelby GT 500 Mustang lovingly referred to as Eleanor.
I actually took my driver training and license on a manual transmission, perfecting the art of stick shifting, because I was DESPERATE to drive my stepfather’s 67 Camaro, which he called The Silver Bullet. I drove it once before he sold it—and that was enough.
I’ve always known I wanted to write a car book, and I love heists. I just didn’t know how to piece them together. But then, I heard about a 67 Shelby that once belonged to the lead singer of The Doors, Jim Morrison, that had been missing for decades. Now I had a mystery. The story clicked together after that.
4. While you were writing the book, did you know everything that was going to happen in advance, or did any plot twists sneak up on you out of the blue?
I loosely plotted OVERDRIVE to allow for some plot twists and organic creativity. I might have slotted in, “car heist here” but the details of that heist would come to me kind of last-minute, or as I was writing. Same with some of the mystery clues—I wasn’t even sure I would SOLVE the mystery let alone pepper in the clues.
Some aspects of writing are hard, but I have to say with OVERDRIVE, I really enjoyed EVERY aspect of it. It truly is a book of my hear
5. Which character in the book was your favorite to write?
Yikes. That’s a hard one. I honestly loved writing them all, but if you twist my arm hard enough, I’ll admit that Jules is my favorite. Not just because she’s the focus of the book, but because she’s so much like the girl I WISH I could have been at her age—not the teen stealing cars, obviously, but the take-no-shit teen who is strong and brave. She also mirrors me in some ways—her passion for cars, her fierce love of her sister (my sis is one of the most important people in my world), and her soft interior that few people can access. I love that’s she’s vulnerable. Conflicted. Complex. And while I don’t have a clue how to dance (I tried Hip Hop once and that was a disaster), I love that Jules loves to dance—I could watch dance movies like Step Up over and over again.
Thank you again for hosting me on the blog, and for reading OVERDRIVE. I hope you enjoyed the ride!
3 Finished Copies of OVERDRIVE (US Only)