Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Author Spotlight: Jennifer Echols

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written eight romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Her next two teen dramas, including SUCH A RUSH, will appear in 2012 and 2013, with her adult romance novels debuting in 2013, all published by Simon & Schuster. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

First off, thank you for stopping by!
Thanks for having me, Cathy.

Tell us 3 random things about yourself
I hate my hair, so every time I get it cut, I take in a picture to show the stylist what I want, and she clearly does what I want, but it ends up looking the same.
My goal in life lately is to move to the beach someday, because I go for a week most summers but I think about it all year long!
Last February I ran my first marathon.

If you could only describe yourself in one word, which would it be?

Let's talk about The One that I Want! What was the writing experience like for this book?
Very fast. Simon Pulse asked me for a romantic comedy in April to launch their new e-book-only line that December. Eight months may sound like a long time, but that’s a nanosecond in the publishing world. I had to stop writing Such a Rush, take a few months to write The One that I Want in the middle of it, and then go back to Such a Rush. Luckily, I knew where I was going with both books! In the end, Simon Pulse decided not to launch an e-book-only line, and The One that I Want is in print too like all my other books. I’m really glad, because some people don’t like e-books, and I wanted everyone to be able to read it.

Where did the inspiration for the story come from?
I think it’s pretty common to like your friend’s boyfriend and know this is way wrong. I was trying to capture those emotions.

Did you come across any challenges while writing The One that I Want?
I was born in Atlanta and lived there again a few years ago, but I found myself stuck in the middle of writing because I couldn’t quite picture the exact setting. The solution was to drive over there (it’s about three hours from my home in Birmingham) and walk where the characters walk.

Do you have any writing must haves? (Music, food, etc)
I make a soundtrack for every book and listen to it on my iPod. Coffee is also helpful.

If you could have dinner with any one of your book characters, who would it be?
I don’t base characters on real people, but Max is closer to my husband than anyone else I’ve written. There are some choice quotes from my husband in Max’s dialogue. So I feel a bit like I’ve been to dinner with him before.

Which genre do you enjoy writing the most? Adult or Young Adult
Honestly, I love writing both, because I thrive on the variety. If I had to write the same type of book every time, it wouldn’t be as much fun.

What is 'A Day in the Life' of Jennifer Echols like?
I get up at 4:30 and write (or answer interview questions!) until my son wakes up at 6:30. I bundle him off to school, go for a run, and then write until I pick him up at 2:30. We run errands or work in the yard, and then I may go back to writing when he settles down to building Legos. Then there might be soccer practice, football practice, or a drum lesson. At night I read.

Spring is right around the corner! What books are on your Spring reading pile?
Right now I’m starting It Had to Be You because so many people say that’s their favorite Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Then I’m working through the last of the Jennifer Crusie--I think I have three to go--and then I’ll probably go back to working through the Sarah Dessen, Susane Colasanti, Deb Caletti, and Lauren Barnholdt. It’s nice when authors you enjoy have lots of books.

Thank you for stopping by! It is a pleasure having you at The Crazy Bookworm!
It’s been fun!

Visit Jennifer
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Jennifer's upcoming YA novel Such a Rush hits shelves July 10th from MTV Books

A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.
High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever. But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business--until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers--and the consequences could be deadly.

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