Dawn Ius

Author - Screenwriter - Editor

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 16:53

#AtoZChallenge: K is for Knight Rider's KITT

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OVERDRIVE finalThere’s still five and a half months before my YA novel OVERDRIVE drops—but I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend a month talking about it.

Fast cars, cute guys, a kick-ass protagonist, and the hot Vegas sun—OVERDRIVE is a culmination of all my favorite things. Which is why for this year’s blogging challenge, I am doing the A to Z of OVERDRIVE. (I know, you're shocked!)

Not familiar with the A to Z Blogging Challenge? Get the full details here. And then buckle up because you’re in for one hell of a fun ride. 

P.S. Comment on or share the posts throughout the month for a chance to WIN an advanced reader copy of OVERDRIVE!)

~ ~ ~

KnightRiderWhen I started writing OVERDRIVE, the book's high-adrenaline premise shocked almost no one that knows me—my affection for fast cars, specifically muscle cars, is well documented. As is my love for the movie Gone in 60 Seconds. 

And while it's true that the desire to drive my stepdad's "Silver Bullet" may have inspired, at least in part, some of my love for muscle cars, the TV show Knight Rider (specifcally the car in Knight Rider) may have had just as much influence.

KITT—short for Knight Industries Two Thousand—was an artifically intelligent electronic computer module in the body of a highly-advanced 1982 Pontiac Trans Am. At least in the original series. A reboot attempt upgraded the car to a 2008 Shelby GT500KR (not to be confused with Eleanor, which is a 67 *cough cough*), but even with the voice of Val Kilmer under the hood, the series didn't take off like the original.

aa 1982 pontiac firebird trans am knight riderMaybe it was missing the David Hasslehoff effect?

Look, I know it's kind of a cheesy 80s show with a horrid theme song, and the Trans Am isn't even in my list of top five cars I'd like to own (though I'd drive it if you twisted my arm even a little...) But I DO admit that when I bought my black 2010 Toyota Celica, I secretly named her KITT. My 2009 RX is named Anne—for perhaps obvious reasons.

Back tomorrow with a look at famous real-life car collectors. These guys would give my fictional Roger Montgomery a run for his money.

~ Dawn

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 16:29

#AtoZChallenge: J is for Judge GTO

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OVERDRIVE finalThere’s still five and a half months before my YA novel OVERDRIVE drops—but I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend a month talking about it.

Fast cars, cute guys, a kick-ass protagonist, and the hot Vegas sun—OVERDRIVE is a culmination of all my favorite things. Which is why for this year’s blogging challenge, I am doing the A to Z of OVERDRIVE. (I know, you're shocked!)

Not familiar with the A to Z Blogging Challenge? Get the full details here. And then buckle up because you’re in for one hell of a fun ride. 
(P.S. Comment on or share the posts throughout the month for a chance to WIN an advanced reader copy of OVERDRIVE!)

~ ~ ~

JudgeGTONick's knowledge of muscle cars is about the only thing that doesn't drive Jules crazy in OVERDRIVE—at least not in a bad way. So when he not only knows that Pontiac's Judge GTO is considered one of the first ever muscle cars, but also that it's named after the popular 70s Tv show Laugh In, she concedes she may have met her match. 

Before writing OVERDRIVE, the Judge wasn't on my muscle car radar. But after learning more about it, and scrolling through dozens of images, I get the appeal—not a bad looking car! Unconvinced? I could spout a bunch of statistics and fun facts to try and sway you, but I probably couldn't do it as eloquently as the author of this fascinating article

Fired up about OVERDRIVE yet? I'd love it if you'd add it to your Goodreads. The book launches September 13—but comment on my blogs throughout the #AtoZChallenge and you could win an advanced reader copy, coming soon! 

See you tomorrow for my "K" post, featuring a beloved TV muscle car from my youth. 

~ Dawn

Monday, 11 April 2016 17:54

#AtoZChallenge: I is for Impala

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OVERDRIVE finalThere’s still five and a half months before my YA novel OVERDRIVE drops—but I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend a month talking about it.

Fast cars, cute guys, a kick-ass protagonist, and the hot Vegas sun—OVERDRIVE is a culmination of all my favorite things. Which is why for this year’s blogging challenge, I am doing the A to Z of OVERDRIVE. (I know, you're shocked!)

Not familiar with the A to Z Blogging Challenge? Get the full details here. And then buckle up because you’re in for one hell of a fun ride. 
(P.S. Comment on or share the posts throughout the month for a chance to WIN an advanced reader copy of OVERDRIVE!)

~ ~ ~

 

 

chevrolet impala 05

 

"On April 21st, 1967, the hundred millionth GM vehicle rolled off the line at the plant in Janesville. Three days later, another car rolled off that same line. No one gave two craps about her, but they should've. Because this 1967 Chevrolet Impala would turn out to be the most important car...no, the most important object in pretty much the whole universe." ~ Chuck Shurley 

Ninety percent of you who clicked on this blog post did so because of Supernatural's Dean Winchester. And hey, I get it—he's a good looking guy. And while the Impala doesn't star in OVERDRIVE, I understand the car's appeal. Yes, even before I saw Dean sprawled across the hood.

Supernatural obviously isn't the first TV show to pair a vehicle with a lead character—hello, Kitt!—but as it turns out, the Impala wasn't creator Eric Kripke's first choice. According to Source, Kripke was leaning toward a Mustang. "My neighbor said is has to be a '67 Impala, because you can put a body in the trunk. He says, "You want a car that, when people stop next to it at the lights, they lock their doors.'"

There may not be any bodies in the trunk of Dean's Impala, but there are some noteable additions that lock it in as the Winchester car. Like, the army man that Sam crammed in the ashtray. Or, the Legos that Dean shoved into the vents that (still) rattle when the car's on the move. Great details!

I don't know about you, but if Dean and his Impala pulled up next to me, I doubt I'd be locking more doors.

For some fun facts about the Supernatural Impala, click here.

See you tomorrow for "J" on the A to Z Challenge.

~ Dawn

 

Saturday, 09 April 2016 21:28

#AtoZChallenge: H is for Heist

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OVERDRIVE finalThere’s still five and a half months before my YA novel OVERDRIVE drops—but I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend a month talking about it.

Fast cars, cute guys, a kick-ass protagonist, and the hot Vegas sun—OVERDRIVE is a culmination of all my favorite things. Which is why for this year’s blogging challenge, I am doing the A to Z of OVERDRIVE. (I know, you're shocked!)

Not familiar with the A to Z Blogging Challenge? Get the full details here. And then buckle up because you’re in for one hell of a fun ride. 
(P.S. Comment on or share the posts throughout the month for a chance to WIN an advanced reader copy of OVERDRIVE!)

~ ~ ~

I've always been fascinated by "heists"—I love movies like The Italian Job, Oceans 11, and of course Gone in 60 Seconds. The sheer planning, creativity—and yep, lunacy—that goes into a big heist is actually staggering! And there's something about those montage scenes, right? <grin>

For today's "H" post, I thought I'd take a look at a few of the biggest and most bizzare heists and burglaries in history. As predicted, most of them have to do with cash—or jewels.

THE HARRY WINSTON HEIST

In 2008, four men—disguised as women—stormed into one of Paris's most exclusive jewelry stores, herded the employees into a corner, and minutes later, escaped with $108 million in diamonds. Though no one was ever arrested for this robbery, the police have nicknamed the brazen quartet "The Pink Panthers." A million-dollar reward is up for grabs for any information leading to an arrest of these thieves.

saddam qusay 300x189CENTRAL BANK OF IRAQ HEIST

In the middle of the night, a small group of men led by Saddam Hussein's son, went to the Central Bank in Iraq with tractor-trailers and forcibly withdrew almost $1 billion dollars. About $650 million of this was later found stashed in the the walls of Hussein's palace. The remaining money remains MIA. 

THE GARDNER MUSEUM ART HEIST

Two men dressed as police officer conned their way into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston on late night in 1990—and pulled off one of the biggest art heists in history. Among the stolen sculptures and historical artifacts were the works of Degas, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Manet, for a total haul worth $500 million. While several suspects have been considered, the art—and the thieves—remain at large. 

AFP Getty 3251353THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY

Hailed as one of the biggest robberies of all time, the Great Train Robbery took place in Buckinghamshire, England when a train transporting millions of pounds was taken over by a team of 15 robbers. The men all escaped the scene, but 13 of them were quickly caught and arrested following a swift investigation by Scotland Yard. 

THE BAKER STREET BURGLARY

In 1971, a crafty team of thieves tunneled into the Baker Street Bank and stole three million pounds worth of cash and valuables from the bank's safety deposit boxes. The robbers eluded police for some time, but two years later, most of them involved were captured—except the mastermind, still believed to be on the lam.

Crazy, right? These thieves are obviously much better equipped than Jules and her crew.

The A to Z Challenge takes a break tomorrow, but I'll be back Monday with a muscle car that will be very familiar to fans of the TV show Supernatural. 

~ Dawn

Friday, 08 April 2016 15:44

#AtoZChallenge: G is for Gone in 60 Seconds

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OVERDRIVE finalThere’s still five and a half months before my YA novel OVERDRIVE drops—but I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend a month talking about it.

Fast cars, cute guys, a kick-ass protagonist, and the hot Vegas sun—OVERDRIVE is a culmination of all my favorite things. Which is why for this year’s blogging challenge, I am doing the A to Z of OVERDRIVE. (I know, you're shocked!)

Not familiar with the A to Z Blogging Challenge? Get the full details here. And then buckle up because you’re in for one hell of a fun ride. 
(P.S. Comment on or share the posts throughout the month for a chance to WIN an advanced reader copy of OVERDRIVE!)

~ ~ ~

ACTUAL CONVERSATION:

Gonein60Friend I haven't spoken to 10 years: Hey! Congrats on your new book, OVERDRIVE. I saw it on Facebook. 
Me: Thank-you. I'm so excited about it.
Him: What's it about?
Me: Er. It's pretty much Gone in 60 Seconds, but for teens.
Him: You and that damn movie.

Yep. I've had a movie crush on this film for a very long time—and apparently, my love affair with it isn't as clandestine as I thought. Oh, I know it's unabashedly ridiculous. But that's kind of part of the appeal.

Well, that and 50 smoking hot cars, including the beautiful ELEANOR

OVERDRIVE is not a Gone in 60 Seconds retelling, but the book was absolutely inspired by it—and, I hope, is way less cheesy. One thing I know for sure, Jules "Ghost" Parish is a much cooler "Memphis Raynes." (Yeah, I went there!)

Trying to remember the premise of Gone in 60 Seconds?

I'll just leave this here....

See you tomorrow for "H" ;-)

~ Dawn

Friday, 08 April 2016 02:57

#AtoZChallenge: F is for Firebird

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OVERDRIVE finalThere’s still five and a half months before my YA novel OVERDRIVE drops—but I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend a month talking about it.

Fast cars, cute guys, a kick-ass protagonist, and the hot Vegas sun—OVERDRIVE is a culmination of all my favorite things. Which is why for this year’s blogging challenge, I am doing the A to Z of OVERDRIVE. (I know, you're shocked!)

Not familiar with the A to Z Blogging Challenge? Get the full details here. And then buckle up because you’re in for one hell of a fun ride. 
(P.S. Comment on or share the posts throughout the month for a chance to WIN an advanced reader copy of OVERDRIVE!)

~ ~ ~

FirebirdAh, the iconic Firebird. That hood symbol takes me back to high school, when the boys were either driving Firebirds, dreaming of driving about Firebirds, or souping up their low-rider trucks to try to make girls forget they weren't driving Firebirds. Yeah, I *might* be an 80s girl.

While there are no Firebirds on Roger Montgomery's wishlist, this 80s muscle car dredges up some tough memories for Jules. Obviously, you'll need to read the book to understand why (no spoilers!)

But the Firebird features prominently in this list of famous cars from TV and the movies

the rockford filesThe pictued 1977 Pontiac Firebird Esprit was the star of The Rockford Files, a llate long-standing late 70s TV show that revolutionized the private detective trope.

Okay, so maybe the Firebird isn't on my Top 10 list of cars to own one day, but I wouldn't turn down a chance to drive one. You?

Back tomorrow with a fun "G" post on my #AtoZChallenge of Overdrive!

~ Dawn

Wednesday, 06 April 2016 17:07

#AtoZChallenge: E is for Eleanor

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OVERDRIVE finalThere’s still five and a half months before my YA novel OVERDRIVE drops—but I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend a month talking about it.

Fast cars, cute guys, a kick-ass protagonist, and the hot Vegas sun—OVERDRIVE is a culmination of all my favorite things. Which is why for this year’s blogging challenge, I am doing the A to Z of OVERDRIVE. (I know, you're shocked!)

Not familiar with the A to Z Blogging Challenge? Get the full details here. And then buckle up because you’re in for one hell of a fun ride. 
(P.S. Comment on or share the posts throughout the month for a chance to WIN an advanced reader copy of OVERDRIVE!)

 

 

~ ~ ~

ford mustang eleanor gt500 3

My love of muscle cars began long before I saw the movie Gone in 60 Seconds (the first dozen times), though I admit, it was this movie that inspired my obsession with the "star" of the show—a 1967 Shelby GT 500, named Eleanor. 

I took my driver's test on a stick shift, hoping—praying?—that this would convince my stepdad that I was worthy of driving his rusted old Camaro, the Silver Bullet. Sadly, I drove it just once before he sold it.

That was enough.

It should come as no surprise then that OVERDRIVE is not only a true book of my heart, but one fueled by the adrenaline of everything that I love—a true dream project.

And as such, Eleanor had to make an appearance. In fact, she's integral.

Blue LadyBut Roger Montgomery's interest in the 1967 Shelby Mustang GT 500 isn't inspired by Gone in 60 Seconds. In fact, the "Eleanor" of movie fame wouldn't add much to his collection. Roger is looking for a very specific Shelby—the car that once belonged to the lead singer of The Doors, Jim Morrison.

In my "B" post, Morrison's "Blue Lady" is listed as one of the most famous car boosts of all time, still missing 17+ years later. In OVERDRIVE, Jules and her team are tasked with getting it back.

Huh. I thought writing this book might cure my obsession—I think it just added fuel to the fire! 

See you tomorrow for a "F" car that even though doesn't make a huge appearance in OVERDRIVE, was very much a part of my youth.

~ Dawn

 

Tuesday, 05 April 2016 16:09

#AtoZChallenge: D is for Dodge

Written by

OVERDRIVE finalThere’s still five and a half months before my YA novel OVERDRIVE drops—but I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend a month talking about it.

Fast cars, cute guys, a kick-ass protagonist, and the hot Vegas sun—OVERDRIVE is a culmination of all my favorite things. Which is why for this year’s blogging challenge, I am doing the A to Z of OVERDRIVE. (I know, you're shocked!)

Not familiar with the A to Z Blogging Challenge? Get the full details here. And then buckle up because you’re in for one hell of a fun ride. 
(P.S. Comment on or share the posts throughout the month for a chance to WIN an advanced reader copy of OVERDRIVE!)

~ ~ ~

 

D is for Dodge — Super Bee & Coronet

Of the seven cars on Roger Montgomery's wishlist, two of them are built by Dodge—the 1970 Dodge Hemi Coronet R/T (featured yesterday) and the 1970 Dodge Super Bee. Aside from a few modifications, the two look similar, and frankly, neither is considered the "movie star" of the muscle car world—that title is reserved for tomorrow's post, IMHO ;-)

Dodge must have recognized the need to spruce things up if they wanted to sell more of their muscle cars though, so in 1970, the company introduced about a dozen high-impact colors. Six of them stuck, becoming popular requests for many car enthusiasts, so much so that Dodge limited production of certain colors, making them more collectible than the others. 

You'll have to read the book to guess which of the Dodge muscle cars Jules and her team must find in one of these high-impact colors, BUT, below are six choices. Comment on which color you guess is on Roger's wishllist, and if you're right, I'll send you cool OVERDRIVE swag. Be sure to leave your email so I can PM you for your address. Good luck.

 

Sublime

Sublime

 

Plum Crazy

Plum Crazy 2

 

Citron-Yella

Citron Yella

 

Go Mango

Go Mango

 

Panther Pink

Panther Pink

 

Top Banana

Top Banana

Okay, I admit, I'd probably drive them all—especially Sublime! Which of these colors makes the most impact with you?

Check back tomorrow when I reveal the "star" of the book on my "E" post for the #AtoZChallenge of OVERDRIVE.

~ Dawn

 

OVERDRIVE finalThere’s still five and a half months before my YA novel OVERDRIVE drops—but I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend a month talking about it.

Fast cars, cute guys, a kick-ass protagonist, and the hot Vegas sun—OVERDRIVE is a culmination of all my favorite things. Which is why for this year’s blogging challenge, I am doing the A to Z of OVERDRIVE. (I know, you're shocked!)

Not familiar with the A to Z Blogging Challenge? Get the full details here. And then buckle up because you’re in for one hell of a fun ride.

(P.S. Comment on or share the posts throughout the month for a chance to WIN an advanced reader copy of OVERDRIVE!)

~ ~ ~

C is for Camaro, Coronet, and maybe Corvette

The letter “C” must have been a popular letter in the muscle car era—there are more “C” letter muscle cars on the market than for any other letter of the alphabet. From the Chevelle and the Camaro, through to the Charger and…the Corvette?

Not so fast. Although the Corvette ranks high on many a collector’s most-wanted list, this two-door sports vehicle was never marketed as a muscle car, despite a seemingly endless debate among experts and amateur car enthusiasts. Having only two doors alone is enough to disqualify the Corvette, but it’s a small distinction for anyone set on having one.

Or two, as is the case for OVERDRIVE’s Roger Montgomery.

Of the seven high-end cars on Roger’s “must have” list, two of them are Corvettes—but they’re not your average Stingray, and they each have unique sentimental value. You’ll have to read the book for details on the two drool-inducing cars Jules Parish and her team are tasked with stealing, but here are two other VIP “C” cars that make Roger’s list:

1968 ZL1 Camarocamaro

Chevrolet only produced 69 of these beauties, but the car still ranks as one of the most potent to leave the company’s shop—fast and rare. No wonder it’s ranked as one of the most collectable cars in the world. The truth is, Chevrolet never intended to put the car into street legal production; the engine—rumored to produce more than 500 horsepower—was built for Can-Am Racing, and perhaps ironically, was intended to be used in a Corvette body. I don’t know about you, but I’d drive it.

Coronet1970 Dodge Hemi Coronet R/T

By the peak of the muscle car era in 1970, the Dodge Coronet had lost a lot of competitive ground to the Super Bee and the re-designed Charger. But in a last-ditch attempt to boost its sales, Dodge gave the Coronet a heavy facelift which included a somewhat bizarre front end, a curvier body, and a 440 six pack. Sadly, the makeover wasn’t enough to edge out the Coronet’s competition, and the car is still considered the “ugly duckling” of the muscle car world. After all, Prince never wrote a song about it.

Which “C” car would you drive? Given this list, I’d pick the 1968 ZL1 Camaro if, you know, someone had to twist my arm—though I admit, the Chevelle looks pretty sweet in some years.

Check back tomorrow when I’ll talk about another Dodge muscle car featured in OVERDRIVE. And don’t forget to check out the other blogs on the #AtoZChallenge!

~ Dawn

Saturday, 02 April 2016 02:17

#AtoZChallenge: B is for boosting cars

Written by

OVERDRIVE finalThere’s still five and a half months before my YA novel OVERDRIVE drops—but I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend a month talking about it.

Fast cars, cute guys, a kick-ass protagonist, and the hot Vegas sun—OVERDRIVE is a culmination of all my favorite things. Which is why for this year’s blogging challenge, I am doing the A to Z of OVERDRIVE. (I know, you're shocked!)

Not familiar with the A to Z Blogging Challenge? Get the full details here. And then buckle up because you’re in for one hell of a fun ride.

(P.S. Comment on or share the posts throughout the month for a chance to WIN an advanced reader copy of OVERDRIVE!)

~ ~ ~

B is for boosting cars

The seven cars Jules Parish and her team are…forced…to boost in OVERDRIVE pale in comparison to the list of 50 that Memphis Raines had to steal in the movie Gone in 60 Seconds. (Though admittedly, there are some similarities…) But before there was Memphis and Jules, a whole host of car thieves were making headlines with car heists that range from daring to downright audacious.

You already know about the Aston Martin DB5 that was stolen from an airport hangar back in 1997, but here are four more real car thefts sure raise an eyebrow—or two.

Jim Morrison’s Missing Shelby GT500Morrison

Rock legend Jim Morrison—lead singer of The Doors—once had a Nightmist Blue 1967 Shelby GT 500 Mustang, a gift from his record company. As the story goes, he crashed it into a telephone pole on Sunset Boulevard on his way to a gig. Rather than call the accident in, he left the car by the side of the road—but when he returned for it hours later, the car was gone. It’s still missing…at least in real life.

Hint: The Shelby plays an integral role in OVERDRIVE. 

The Con Man and the Ferrari

A con man named Tom Baker managed to slick talk a North Carolina dealership into letting him test drive a 1989 Ferrari Testarossa. He sped off with the F50 at 100 miles per hour and disappeared, leaving the dealership with a $375,000 tab. Baker was eventually caught, but when the FBI went to move the car to another storage facility, they ran the car into a bush and totaled the vehicle. Whoops!

“Ninja Teen” steals Guy Fieri’s Lamborghini Gallardo

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri was shocked to learn that his Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder had been stolen from a San Francisco dealership—but it was the video of the thief (and the thief in action) that caused his greatest surprise. The video showed 16-year-old Max Wade abseiling into the dealership, cutting the vehicle’s locks, and driving off into the moonlight—talk about some serious ninja action! When the teen was caught, police found his storage locker filled with the kinds of tools Jules and her team could have used in OVERDRIVE—cell phone jammers, police scanners, disguises, and much more.

ChevelleQuentin Tarantino’s Missing Chevelle

Bond’s DB5 isn’t the only movie star vehicle to give audiences the slip. In 1994, Quentin Tarantino’s 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu—the same car that John Travolta’s character Vincent Vega drove in Pulp Fiction—was stolen. It wasn’t found for more than two decades. Yikes!

Obviously these heists took careful planning and special set of…skills. But car thefts happen daily, with far less plotting.

The 2015 Hot Wheels Report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau looked at the Top 10 Stolen Vehicles in 2014 by make and model.

Here’s how they ranked:

  1. Honda Accord (1996, 1997, 1994)
  2. Honda Civic (1998, 1997, 2000)
  3. Ford F-series full-size pick up (2006, 2005, 2004)
  4. Chevrolet full-size pick up (2006, 2005, 2004)
  5. Toyota Camry (1991)
  6. Dodge Ram full-size pick up (1999, 2003, 2004)
  7. Dodge Caravan (2000, 2002, 2003)
  8. Nissan Altima (2013)
  9. Acura Integra (1994, 1995)
  10. Nissan Maxima (1996)

Don’t worry if one of these is YOUR car—it’s safe from Jules and her team, at least. They prefer muscle cars. ;-)

“C” you Monday when the A to Z Blogging Challenge continues!

~ Dawn 

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