D. E. Johnson's new novel is Detroit Breakdown.
From his Q & A with J. Kingston Pierce at The Rap Sheet:
JKP: Your first couple of books are replete with information about automobile technology and operations. How did you come by such an education? Or were you simply making it all up as you went along?Learn more about the book and author at D.E. Johnson's website and blog.
DEJ: Mostly, I was learning it as I went along. I live in fear of people shooting holes in my history, so I research everything carefully. Of course, that’s not to say I’ve gotten everything right, but so far I have not had a fact challenged that I couldn’t defend. I know they’re out there, but nobody’s caught me yet.
You’ll note that I stay away from engineering even though Will has a degree from the University of Michigan. I don’t even know enough about engineering to be dangerous. I chose it for him because I think that’s what a boy in his position would have chosen to try to live up to expectations, which is a key motivator for Will.
JKP: Did you drive some of those old autos to get the details right?
DEJ: I did. I got to drive a Model T and have ridden in a Detroit Electric, and I’m really glad I did both. The Model T operates with a different logic than the cars of today, and I don’t think I’d have gotten it had I not driven one. I made sure to take lots of notes, which I refer to if I’ve got any extended travels for Will in Edsel Ford’s old “Torpedo.”
Through serendipity, I met a man in Ann Arbor named Jack Beatty who had restored a 1916 Detroit Electric coupe, and he was kind enough to take my wife and I out on the town in it, so I got to experience not only how it drives, but the stares he gets while...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: Motor City Shakedown.