Friday, December 5, 2014

Interview with C. Lee McKenzie, DOUBLE NEGATIVE

Did you have a best friend in high school? If you did, are you still in touch in any way? How involved are you in each otherslives now?
I moved around so much when I was growing up that I had a lot of "best friends" in a lot of places. I do still keep in touch with one I knew in southern California, and I think that's because she's very outdoorsy. We both like hiking and river rafting, so once in a while we meet and do some of that together. The others are long gone from my address book.

If applicable tell us about a time when a best friend betrayed you.  How old were you? Did you ever make up?  How did you handle it?
I guess I'm lucky. I've never had a friend betray me. Well, unless I count the time one of them started dating my ex-steady right after the break up. But I guess I didn't care enough about the guy to get upset. It was more that their dating made for some awkward moments at dances or parties.

If you never had a betrayal or fight, what is something your best friend did for you, that probably no other person would ever do.
I remember that my outdoorsy friend gave me a kitten after my cat was hit by a car. I thought that was very sweet. No one else did that for me.

What did you love most about you teenage best friend?
Her homemade fudge! Really. She and her mom made this awesome fudge, so I was sure to show up whenever I knew they were stirring chocolate and sugar and nuts together. And I loved my friend’s generosity. She gave me as much fudge as my stomach could hold.

What drove you most crazy about your teenage best friend?
She had gorgeous hair, the kind models have in magazines. Mine, not so much. I never saw her without perfect long, waves swept back from her face. I took to wearing baseball caps a lot that year.

What did you learn from your best teen friend?
Relationships take work. She was the one who did a lot of planning and calling for me to do things. She was even the one who contacted me later, long after we were out of high school. If she hadn't, we might not have reconnected. 

Book & Author details:
Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie
Published by: Evernight Teen
Publication date: July 25th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

“My life was going, going, gone, and I hadn’t been laid yet. I couldn’t go into the slammer before that happened.” Hutch McQueen.

Sixteen-year-old Hutchinson McQueen is trapped between an abusive mother and an absentee father. Shackled by poor vision and poor reading skills, he squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. After another suspension from school and suffering through one of his mother’s violent attacks, he escapes to a friend’s house that turns out to be a meth lab. The lab is raided and Hutch lands in juvenile detention. When the court sentences him to six months in a new juvenile program, he meets a teacher with Alzheimer’s who will change his life and hers.


In my other life--the one before I began writing for teens and younger readers--I was a teacher and administrator at California State University, San Jose. My field of Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication has carried me to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. I can say, “Where’s the toilet?” and “I’m lost!” in at least five languages and two dialects. Go ahead. Pat me on the back.

My idea of a perfect day is one or all of the following: starting a new novel, finishing writing a blockbuster novel, hiking on a misty morning trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains, saying Namaste after a great yoga practice, sipping a cappuccino topped at a bustling café, reading in front of a fire with snow outside, swimming in an ocean someplace.

I've just set out my perfect life. Day after day after day.

Author links: