Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Author Update: Dead Heat by Lisa Nowak

It's so great when I can welcome back a guest on the blog to talk about new projects. Today we're catching up with author Lisa Nowak who's here to talk about her novel, DEAD HEAT.

Hi, Lisa! Welcome back to We Do Write. Tell us about your new book, DEAD HEAT. What's it about?

I’m feeling terribly lazy today, so I’ll just give you the Amazon book description:

Alex is a machine whisperer. He can tell what’s wrong with a broken-down car with a touch. But his gift can’t save him from the brutality of his meth-addict father. For two years, Alex experienced kindness through Cole, his mentor. Now Cole’s dead, and the violence in Alex’s life is escalating.

When Cole reappears as a ghost, Alex clings to the tenuous link. Then he learns Cole might’ve sacrificed his chance to cross over. Jade, the first girl to look beyond Alex’s past, assures him Cole can reach the Other Side—if Alex escapes from his dad. But a previous terrifying attempt has convinced Alex it’s impossible. Unless he can find the courage to try, his friend may be earthbound forever.

What inspired you to write this book?

That’s a funny story, actually. Dead Heat never would’ve come to be had it not been for an agent rejecting my book Driven because it “wasn’t edgy enough.” Teens, according to him, won’t buy a book unless it’s edgy. I reacted with an, “I’ll show you edgy, buster,” and Dead Heat was born. I still think his opinion was bogus, but I owe him one for shoving me in a direction I never would’ve taken on my own.

Without giving to much away, what's your favorite aspect of the book?

There are two. The first is that it deals with child abuse and that controversial topic of what to do when you think reporting it might result in more harm than good to a child. I know this isn't a popular subject, but I think it's realistic, and it was intriguing to me to explore it. I didn’t set out to do that, but the plot forced me to come up with a believable explanation for why a good man would allow such a thing to continue. Second, Dead Heat features a protagonist with a learning disability, and the story is told in first person through his slang and somewhat limited vocabulary. This is just Alex's voice (imagine a modern day Huck Finn) and I didn't think much about it until my editor told me how glad she was to see someone up-ending the stereotype about kids like Alex.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm ...

Messing around on Facebook. No, seriously, I have a small landscaping business, so except in the winter, running that is my “day job.” I’ve also been know to do a little welding, teach classes on indie publishing, and give yodeling lessons to cats. Okay, that last one might not be completely true.

Tell us where we can find DEAD HEAT.

You can find me at:


Author Bio:
In addition to being a YA author, Lisa is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are.

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