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Interview with Jamie Little & Danielle McCormick of Essential Car Care For Women

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

Yesterday I reviewed Jamie Little and Danielle McCormick’s Essential Car Care For Women- a book about the importance of appropriate car care for women by women.  Today I am so excited to bring you an interview with the authors!!!  Remember if you are in the Las Vegas Area March 8th and 9th you can meet Jamie and Danielle (see paragraph below interview for time and locations!)

Now onto the interview:
BG: How did you end up meeting and what made you decide to come up with this book?

Danielle – A few years ago I blew a head gasket on my car and decided it was time to learn how to maintain my car properly! I went to a book store to buy a book that was written for girls like me which just told me what I needed to know about owning and running a car. I was shocked when after extensive research the book store attendant told me that there wasn’t one! I thought there must be other girls like me out there and it was a really fun project to educate myself and write one. And I was right – as soon as it launched, it became a best seller in my native Ireland and went onto enjoy similar success in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.  It was an amazing fun adventure and I ended up getting a blog with Discovery and features on some of their shows.

I moved to Silicon Valley a few years ago to work for a start-up and my publishers suggested that while I was in the states, I should launch an American version of my book. I wanted to team up with a local writer and came across Jamie Little. As soon as I read about her – I knew that she was ‘the one’. I am a big skier and not only does she report on NASCAR, but she also covers the X-Games. I am super jealous of her job. I approached her and she has just been great and has added additional sections to the book to make it more relevant to US readers.

BG: As a female who travels in cars long distances usually alone (often between California’s central coast and Las Vegas) I admit that the thought of car trouble makes me nervous. And while I love my car and do keep it in as good of condition I can I was wondering what in your mind is the single most important thing I should do maintenance wise?  

Jamie -  I too have been driving through the desert from Las Vegas to California, and back, for years.  As a matter of fact, one of the many reasons I wanted to do this book with Danielle is because of something that happened to me on that long stretch of desert highway when I was 20 years old.  It was about 6 am and I’m driving to a motocross race (cutting my chops to one day be a reporter), I was moving along at about 70 mph, inside lane, when BOOOM! my right front tire exploded.  Yes, I had a cell phone. No, I didn’t have AAA or even know how to change a tire.  I had to stop in the middle of nowhere and wait over two hours for a tow truck to come put my spare on and show me to the nearest tire store (45 miles away).  So, to answer your question, to me, the single most important thing to maintain on your car is your tires.  Check your tread every six months and check your air pressure every month!  A blown tire at speed can take a life.  Take it seriously.  I was lucky in my situation.

BG: What constitutes a good emergency car care kit (what should no one be caught without)?

Jamie – I say flares, a gallon of water, a pumped up spare tire in the trunk, a caution triangle, owner’s manual and our book, in your glove box!

BG- What’s the one thing you hope women get from this book?

Jamie – I say self-help!  If we can help a woman save her own life, save her car or prolong the life of her car and even save her money, then we’ve succeeded.  I especially think that women will find the maintenance tips useful and the section on what to do when “When Things Go Wrong”.

Danielle – I think also that they should understand this book has been written for the everyday girl like me. It has step-by-step pictures and we tried to make learning about your car as fun as possible.

BG- I LOVED the chapter on driving in the snow because where I live in California- it just doesn’t snow.  One January evening while driving to Vegas I got caught in snow on the 15 around Mountain Pass and I admit I freaked out a little because I had never driven in snow before.  Luckily it was light and I didn’t need chains. When I got to Vegas I bought some chains- but had NO CLUE how to put them on.  I figured if I needed them I could pay someone to put them on for me.  Luckily I didn’t need them on the way home- but having this book then would have been such a peace of mind for me. Can you share with us a experience when having a book like this would have been a huge help to you?

Jamie – I really like your example.  I think that section will be a huge help to many! Especially those who just visit the snow, but need the knowledge about chains.  I think the section on “When Things Go Wrong” is extremely helpful.  Personally, I’ve been involved in about four different fender bender type of accidents in my driving life. If I had something like this that tell you first of all “take a deep breath”, then lists the information you need to get from the other party(s), and when it’s okay to move your car out of the way vs. leaving it put for the police to survey….it really would have saved me a lot of grief and confusion and stress.  The section on buying and selling a car is something everyone can use, no matter what the vehicle and no matter the age of the person reading it.

BG- How did you get into motorsports initially? Do you have a favorite form of it? What is your favorite part of your job? Do you find it difficult to be a woman in the garage area?

Jamie – I’ve always been a tomboy! Started out working on my tricycle with my dad in the garage.  I just loved things that moved, rolled, made noise and go fast. Ha.  That love turned into a passion for motocross racing and then went to auto racing.  I love doing it myself, I love speed and I love the stories throughout the industry.  That’s why I became a reporter…to bring those stories to the fans, like me.  My favorite part is the racing.  I love being in the middle of the pits, reporting on the happenings and stories during that race. Getting to interview all of the drivers that make the sport what it is is a blessing too.  Thanks to the women who came before me, when I got here it really wasn’t hard for me to work in the garage.  Sure, I am looked at through more of a microscope at first but I feel I’m known as an ESPN reporter….the one with the ponytail, not “the girl reporter”.

BG: How did you get involved with cars? Do you have a favorite form of motorsports?

Danielle – Before I wrote this book I think I was typical of many of my friends. I had a car which I had spent a lot of money on – but realistically had no understanding of the mechanics of it or how to maintain it properly. I just bought the car, got my license and drove it. Then one day I blew a head gasket which cost me thousands of dollars – when the mechanic told me it was because I hadn’t maintained it properly he didn’t give me much sympathy when I said no one had ever told me what I needed to do and how often I needed to do it. I went to buy a book and the rest is history (see first answer).

I am originally from Ireland where rally driving is the biggest motor sport. It’s amazing – these crazy drivers driving at 200 miles per hour on bumpy small Irish country roads and turning hairpin corners on narrow stone walled streets.

BG- Would you consider a second more in-depth book on specific or more advanced car maintenance?

Jamie – I wouldn’t ever rule something out.  This book though is so fun because it’s easy to follow, easy to understand and it teaches simple things that can have big benefits, to the car and the owner.

Danielle – I am open to it – but there are actually lots of in-depth books written. What was missing was an easy step-by-step basics one with lots of pretty pictures for girls who just wanted to learn what they needed to know.

BadGroove would like to thank Jamie and Danielle for taking time to answer some questions and we hope that you all enjoyed our interview with them. Remember if you are in Las Vegas this week for the race and would like to meet Jamie and Danielle they are having two meet and greet functions:

There is a book/autograph signing March 8th, 2013 from 7:00-9:00 pm at The Cannery Hotel and Casino located at 2121 E. Craig Road in North Las Vegas.

There is also a Book Launch Party on March 9th, 2013 from 7:00-9:00 pm at Pole Position Indoor Karting located on 4175 South Arville in Las Vegas!

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