Monday, April 9, 2012

Interview with Liz Reinhardt Author of Double Clutch

Recently read this well written, mature YA, DOUBLE CLUTCH. I enjoyed the well sketched characters and the authentic teen-age feel of the book. Liz is a talented writer and her great personality shows through in the voice of the story. Check it out--there are three books in the series.

What happens when you fall in love with the perfect guy... twice... in one day?
Brenna Blixen spent her freshman year homeschooling in Denmark; now that she’s back in the States, she’s determined to make her sophomore year unforgettable. 
What she got was a whole lot of romance, and all at once.
The same day that dark, brooding Saxon Maclean charmed her with his killer good looks and whip-smart wit, Jake Kelly stole her breath away with his heart-wrenching smile and intelligent, thoughtful focus.
But Saxon is a proud player who makes it clear that he doesn’t know why he can’t get Brenna off of his mind and out of his system, and Jake’s sweet and humble attitude hides a secret past life that might be more darker and more complex than Brenna’s willing to handle.
Complicating the matter is the fact that Saxon and Jake were once best friends and are now arch-enemies... and the more Brenna finds out about their connection to each other, the more intrigued and worried she becomes.
Between keeping the peace with her lovingly over-protective parents, designing t-shirts for her high school’s rising punk band, keeping up her grades in both academic and technical high school, and running the track like a maniac, Brenna has enough to worry about with out juggling two guys who make her heart thud and drive her crazy all at once.
She has to make a choice. But how can she when giving her heart to one of them might mean breaking the other’s?

Liz Reinhardt

So, when did you decide writing was your thing?

It all started with Twilight...that started my real writing, as in the writing that led to the creation of an entire book I really liked. As opposed to my fake writing, which was either assigned or for someone else or crap, and that really started in 7th grade in Mrs. Schroth's class. I wrote this story.  Actually, Shakespeare wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet, and we had the choice to act out a scene or rewrite the ending.

 In my ending they ALL die. First they all live happily, because all wrongs get nicely righted and everyone's happy and in love. Then there's a toast, and someone poisoned it on accident, like before he realized love would conquer all, and they all drink and they ALL DIE! My teacher loved it.


And Double Clutch?
Started when I was staring dreamily at Frank, probably while he was stuffing his face full of Doritos and watching Overhaulin', and I wondered, "What would it be like if he and I dated in high school?" And it was actually a fairly lame fantasy, because we were both kind of boring. But we had potential to be cooler! So I kind of Bryan Adamsed my teenage years, and looked back at them and reinvented them, and the book just poured out.
Did you use your friends and enemies in the book? Anyone going to sue you?
Hahaha! I hope not! I did use names and kind of mixed people together to get details down, but no one character is any one person.
What made you decide to wrote this as a three book series?

I loved Meg McCafferty's Jessica Darling books, and I felt this huge connection to Jessica because they followed her from sophomore year, out of college, and into the workforce. I felt like I grew up with her, and I wanted to do that for Brenna.

Is there anything you're really proud of with this book? Anything that you think makes it stand out?

I don't want to get on a soapbox or anything here, but I think the whole concept of teen sexuality is really prudish in America. Like, we have these very suggestive images and videos and songs, but when a writer writes a scene with emotion and details and it's true to life, everyone gets very shocked and upset. 
Also, I love family. I mean, I love my family, and I hate that in many YA books the parents are dead or gone or absent  across the board and the teens just run wild. I mean, that's kind of a fun concept, but it's not reality. Brenna's mom is very involved and so is her step-dad. One of the problems with Jake and Saxon is the lack of parental involvement they've both dealt with, for different reasons.

Any advice to other would-be writers or writers who want to self-publish?

The internet is a miracle for us. Find a good editor. My best friend, Alexa, did amazing things with Double Clutch. And I'm not just talking commas and spelling. She looked for continuity. She checked facts about when things were said and if that made sense. The book wouldn't have been nearly as awesome without her.

And find a great cover designer (unless you have those skills yourself!). Steven Peterson did the original designs for all three, and I LOVED them. When the third came out and they'd been floating around for a while, my fantastically gifted fried, Tammara Webber, "threw something together." Um, yeah, I practically fainted when I saw the AMAZING, BRILLIANT job she did! I'm so grateful for the help I've had to make my books come out into the world! Self-publishing is a little nerve-wracking, but he made me confident that people were going to be drawn to my novel. And then, hopefully, once the cover made them bite, they'd fall in love with the characters.

Any last thoughts?

Just that I'm so happy to have this opportunity to self-publish. If I wrote Double Clutch ten years ago, it would have sat in the bottom of some drawer. Today I have the opportunity to get it out to so many people.

Who, hopefully, will love it as much as I do.

Oh, and if you ever want to write me, you can go send me an email at or like me on Facebook. Here's my BLOG:

Thanks, Liz. I look forward to reading the other two books in this series. (=