Interview with Elizabeth Reinhardt

What’s the strangest thing that’s inspired one of your stories?


I wrote a book called Skin (not yet fully edited and out there) that was inspired by this horrifying acne I had as a teenager. My skin, face, chest all broke out in sore, purply, oozing lumps.
Luckily my mother rushed me to a dermatologist and got me this intense acne medicine called Acutane. It was so intense I had to glop Vaseline in my nostrils to prevent nosebleeds and became a constant chapstick addict because my lips cracked all the time. But it worked like a miracle, my skin went back to normal, I eventually didn’t have to lube my nostrils every night (and, yes, it was as gross as it sounds!), and I’ve only had one minor skin setback since then.
As a teenager, I felt like my skin betrayed me, and I was thinking about those days when I came up with this character, Nico, whose life changes in really unexpected ways when his acne is finally cured. It had a lot of gross acne descriptions taken from real life.
Wow, zit cream ads made me so mad! Look at that girl! Does her skin look like it’s ever had a single zit on it?! When you’re a teen with bubbling pizza face acne, zit cream ads can literally make your blood boil!

 

Have you ever based a character on someone you know? If so, did you tell them? If not, is there someone in your life you’d like to base a character on?


Oh, if I know you, you’re in my book! I’m a total life stealer, and I don’t even try to pretend that I don’t pirate everything; character traits, conversations, looks, descriptions…all of it!
One day I’d like to write a book with my daughter in it, because she’s super cool and cracks me up. Also, my husband plans to get a big tattoo of her name on his arm, and I’m not really into ink, but I want to be in contention for the awesome-parent award, so I’ll just write an amazing book about her! That would make me swoon, and she’s a lot like me, so I think I have a good shot at edging my husband out!
Aww! (This is not my husband/child, but it is pretty cute, right? Geez,  I better write a really good book!)

 


What do the people in your “real life” think of your writing?

My husband has resigned himself to his role as second fiddle to my fictional guys.
My daughter milks my typing time so she can get extra hours logged in on the Nintendo DS her uncle gifted her with in order to ‘hone her gaming skills early.’
My dad and mom rub their hands together and dream of the day when I’ll be rich enough to support my own family and them. Whenever I tell them how many books I sold they say something like, “That’s enough for you to buy us a pizza! That’s enough for you to fill the gas tank in our car!” They’re pretty greedy, but I owe them big time for being the best parents ever!
Oh, and my sister is awesome about being extremely hateful to anyone who dares give me less than five big fat stars in a review or says anything less than a hundred percent flattering about me or my writing. She hisses and sneers and says terrible things, and it makes me feel so much better when I’m sad. And she’s my go-to beta reader!

 

Ah, the glamorous life of the young authoress!

 


Tell us about your latest book.


So, I don’t want to gush, but I really, really love the book that’s out right now, Double Clutch. It’s a love triangle, and I did a good job! I know it, because I can’t even pick between the two guys.
I LOVE Jake. And I LOVE Saxon. If I had to bedazzle a ‘Team’ shirt for only one of them, I’d just be crying over my sparkly crystal beads, because they’re both amazing! And so, so bad.
If my daughter grows up and wants to date a boy like either one of them, I’ll sweep her away to Finland and we will live on a reindeer farm with no neighbors for twenty miles on every side, I swear!
My protagonist, Brenna, has her hands full trying to decide which one of them she wants to be with and why…and it’s no easy decision! And this is just the first book; there are more all lined up!
“Voit jolloin olet 30!” (That’s Finish for, “You can date when you’re 30!”

 


Is there a plot you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t been able to yet?


Yes! Or, not a plot, exactly, but a character. I want to write a romance where they have a kid.
But not a kid who’s a perfect angel the nanny conveniently sweeps away just when things get romantic. Or a kid who’s a sniveling brat every second. Or a creepy kid who controls TVs or is half-vampire and ages at an astounding rate.
I want to show a real adult romance, in tact, with a funny, cool, frustrating kid. Mostly because I have a pretty romantic marriage and a funny, cool, frustrating kid, and I like to share! (Or overshare, depending on who you ask…)
Not my kid, but she represents the same adorable craziness my kid embodies!

 


What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to?


My sister and I took this 7-week backpack trek through Ireland and England.
We were supposed to see all this amazing, mind expanding stuff and become really cultured, but we mostly wound up watching a lot of MTV Euro, gossiping, checking out guys, and squealing with glee every time we got served in a bar, since we were still underage by American standards.
Even though my shoulders were rubbed raw from my gigantic backpack and I had to spend a very long night in a hostel bathroom after a few too many pints, it was hands down the best trip ever!
MTV Euro Top 20 August 2009
I swear, MTV Euro is cooler than this strange icon makes it look!

 


What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever set a story in?


This will sound so boring to any of the couple thousand residents of Sussex County, NJ, but Sussex County it is!
Can I just say, poor NJ! It’s gotten sort of a bad rap in the media recently. First all the scary, mean Jersey housewives flipping tables on each other, then those orange clubrat Jersey Shore kids (who aren’t even from Jersey…they aren’t!) have messed up the Garden State’s rep!
We’re sane people! Loyal! Hardworking! Smart! Funny! (Well, a lot of us are a decent mix of some of those things!) There are lovely fields and farms and open, green spaces! Sussex County is the setting for Double Clutch, and I hope I represented it well so you can all come away with some of the Jersey love and pride I feel having grown up there!
Sussex County, the jewel of NJ! I swear! And it’s practically devoid of self-tanner!

 

What’s your favorite thing to drink while you’re writing?


I try to drink a gallon of water a day, because I like to take lots of breaks and stretch my legs, and a really full bladder pretty much guarantees that.
On the upside, it fills my stomach and makes me not snack on too many unhealthily tempting high-calorie foods every day.
On the downside, I walk around with a weird, sloshy feeling in my gut and have to pee like I’m in the third trimester of a pregnancy!
Yikes! I kind of have to go to the bathroom just looking at this picture!


What genre are most of your stories? Why did you choose that genre?


I was a genre jumper from early on.
I started with adult single-title Western romances.
I moved on to adult category contemporary romances.
I jumped to YA vampire, then catapulted into YA angel books. (Yeah, yeah, I’m trendy and I know it!)
I finally gave in and admitted that I LOVE YA CONTEMPORARY ROMANCES AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!
I love the passion and fun and excitement of romance; I love the angst and confusion and open-endedness of YA. I love reading them, writing them, dreaming them, sharing hot fudge sundaes and long bubble baths with them.
I may have a problem!
Ahh! I love love! Don’t you?!

 

Thank you so much for letting me crash your blog, Jo! If I may, I’ll leave you all with a blurb about my book, Double Clutch, along with a picture of the cover (which I love!), and my all my cyber-info, just in case you want to cyber chat!

 

Double Clutch (A Brenna Blixen Novel)
Double Clutch is available for Nook, Kindle, and will be in paperback soon!

What happens when you fall for 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. And by unforgettable, she imagined awesome classes, fun friendships, and maybe a little romance.

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 darker and more complex than Brenna is willing to deal with.

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 classes split between academic and technical high school, and running the track like a maniac, Brenna has enough to worry about without juggling two guys who make her heart thud and drive her crazy all at once.

She has to make a choice, but how is she supposed to do that when giving her heart to one of them might mean breaking the other’s?

Recommended Age Group: Older YA

 

Visit my blog at elizabethreinhardt.blogger.com! Email me at lizreinhardtwrites@gmail.com! And you can like me on Facebook! Thanks for putting up with my craziness!

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