Amy Clipston, well known for her Amish novels, turns her talent to a YA novel in Roadside Assistance.
Enjoy discovering more about her teenage characters:~
Emily Curtis, 16
She’s about 5’6” and slender with long, naturally curly hair and emerald eyes. Her curls are usually a mess since she can’t seem to tame it no matter how hard she tries. Imagine Emma Stone with long, curly brown hair.
Strengths and weaknesses
Emily dresses like a tomboy, but she’s strikingly beautiful. She loves to work on cars with her mechanic father. She’s quiet, sensitive, and usually a loner. Emily feels like she never fits in. She’s searching for something but not sure what. Her mother died a year ago from cancer.
Quirk (if any)
She always wears her mother’s cross around her neck, but doesn’t have faith anymore. She can’t fathom why God had to take her angelic mom.
Your inspiration for the character
Emily may be an outlet for the insecurities I battled during high school.
Alexander “Zander” Stewart
Of course, Zander’s a hunk! He’s 6’1,” lean, and muscular with dark brown hair and Caribbean blue eyes. Think Zac Efron!
Strengths & Weakness
Although Zander isn’t a very good student, he’s a whiz with a wrench. He’s building a 1970 Dodge Challenger in his garage. He tried to become a football star like his older brother, but that didn’t pan out. However, he’s still good friends with the jocks since he makes friends easily.
Zander is a devout Christian and is active in his church youth group.
Inspiration for the character
Zander is a combination of my husband, who is a mechanic, and also the sensitive male characters I’ve admired in books and movies.
Background to the story
A very bumpy ride.
Emily Curtis is used to dealing with her problems while under the hood of an old Chevy, but when her mom dies, Emily’s world seems shaken beyond repair. Driven from home by hospital bills they can’t pay, Emily and her dad move in with his wealthy sister, who intends to make her niece more feminine—in other words, just like Whitney, Emily’s perfect cousin. But when Emily hears the engine of a 1970 Dodge Challenger, and sees the cute gearhead, Zander, next door, things seem to be looking up.
But even working alongside Zander can’t completely fix the hole in Emily’s life. Ever since her mom died, Emily hasn’t been able to pray, and no one—not even Zander—seems to understand. But sometimes the help you need can come from the person you least expect.
The Making of Roadside Assistance
When my friends at Zondervan asked me to write a non-Amish Young Adult book, I was intimidated at first. After crafting three Amish novels, I wasn’t certain where to begin with a non-Amish book, especially a Young Adult story. I studied both inspirational and secular Young Adult authors, and I soon realized that I had a story to tell.
As the child of working class parents living in an affluent New Jersey suburb, I knew firsthand what it was like to feel inferior and struggle to fit in with the my peers. In Roadside Assistance, Emily’s story came from my heart and her emotions are loosely crafted from my own memories of my rollercoaster high school days.
I hope this story will speak to girls and give them hope when they go through those difficult times.
Thanks for visiting with us again, Amy :)
Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Timothy & Miriam
Character spotlight on Lindsay & Jessica Bedford
Interview with Amy