By: Dawn Ius
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: September 13th, 2016
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 goodto 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?
When I was a teen, my stepdad owned a ‘67 Camaro we dubbed The Silver Bullet. I was desperate to drive that car, so much so that I took my driver training and test on a manual transmission, perfecting the art of stick-shifting.
I only got to drive that car ONCE before unfortunate circumstances forced my stepfather to sell it, but it was enough. I was hooked. Not just on sports cars, but muscle cars—the classics. There’s something about the rumble of an old engine (vs the often tinny or whiny rev of a newer sports cars) that gets my blood rushing. Soon, my love of cars morphed into a love of speed, and I became that girl. The one dragging my friends to amateur race night, or an endless stream of car shows where they would bring mops to wipe up my drool.
There’s no question I’ve become a Wikipedia of muscle car knowledge. I actually CAN tell the difference between a Superbee and a Coronet, and if there’s a 67 Shelby GT 500 Mustang in a sea of similar-looking “pony cars” I’d point it out faster than it could hit 60 seconds on the quarter mile. I embarrass my husband.
But for all my muscle and sports car knowledge, there is something about them I don’t—or rather, didn’t—know before I started writing OVERDRIVE: how to steal them.
Turns out, not all muscle cars are created equal. And while the older cars are somewhat easier to boost than the newer, more security-savvy models, each model has its quirks. Which is great for fiction, obviously, but challenging when trying to figure out how Jules and her team would boost the very rare muscle cars featured in the novel.
Even the opening scene, which is of course the car that gets Jules caught, took some fancy Googling to figure out—I own a 2009 RX-8, which lucky for me, Jules would NOT be able to steal, but the 1995 model featured in the book had fewer security features back then.
While writing the book, my Google searches ranged from “Can you hotwire a 1968 Chevy ZL1 Camaro?” to “How do I find the blueprints to the Peterson Automotive Museum so I can find the security weak spots?” I looked up various lock picking tools—Chelsea prefers using the Slagel, FYI—software hacking and trawling programs—Mat designed his own in OVERDRIVE—and yes, some cool facts about muscle cars that I didn’t know. (Like, the fact that the horn on a Dodge Road Runner tweet-tweets like the cartoon bird it was named after!) String all those Google searches together and yep, I am 99% sure the police would want to bring me in for questioning.
But in addition to the car—and heist—stuff, I also researched a lot about foster care systems—using my sister, a forensic psychologist, and my husband, a former foster kid—for inspiration and knowledge. Plus, I went to Las Vegas a couple of times to get a lay of the land (rough job, I know.) I learned a lot about Jim Morrison of The Doors, and can probably recite the dialogue in the movie Gone in 60 Seconds, which is one of my favorite movies and the inspiration for OVERDRIVE. (Those cars! Gasp!)
I’ve always said that research is one of my favorite parts of writing a book, and OVERDRIVE is no exception. I just hope that if there’s a rash of muscle car thefts in the next few months, nobody blames Jules and her crew 😉
Thanks for having me on the blog! I hope you enjoy the ride…
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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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author picture, info, giveaway, and more were provided by Irish Banana Tours.