Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Author Uncovered: Jennifer Echols (Author Interview) + SIGNED books GIVEAWAY!

Hey guys! This entire week, I'm hosting Jennifer Echols in my first Author Week! YAY! Anyway, I had the pleasure of interviewing her and it is! Enjoy!

***Note: This is a part of Jennifer Echols Week! Come join my contest over here to win FOUR SIGNED Jenn Echols books!***

Her Books:

Her Upcoming Books:

***Note: These aren't the final covers yet***

Did you always want to become an author?
It was always in the back of my mind. I had confidence that I could do it because my grandmother was a writer (unpublished--she gave up too soon). I had this terrific role model, and it never occurred to me that I couldn’t do what she’d done.
However, I was also interested in art and music. I painted and airbrushed a lot when I was a teenager. In college I considered being an art major or an architecture major, but I concentrated on music instead. I planned to be a high school band director. But I absolutely loved my English classes, and by the middle of my sophomore year, I’d decided I wanted to be a novelist.

What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses as an author?
Dialogue is very easy for me. Characters’ conversations just pop into my head. What’s hard for me is writing what comes in between the characters’ words. In fact, the editor for my first book, Major Crush, asked me if I’d been a screenwriter, because the book read like a play. I had to add a lot of internal monologue and body language to flesh that novel out. I think (hope!) I’ve learned from that experience.

What's the most interesting thing a reader has ever said to you?
This was not actually said TO me...but book blogger Persnickety Snark said in her review of my novel The Boys Next Door, “Echols is the YA equivalent of crack.” I nearly died laughing when I read that. She is a trip.

Do you have any must-haves when you're writing?
Coffee and my iPod. I make a soundtrack for each novel.

How does it feel like, knowing your books are on those bookshelves in a bookstore?
It feels awesome. It took me a long time and a lot of manuscripts to get published, and I never, ever take the success I’ve had for granted.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?
No. I don’t think I could if I tried. The characters need to be a certain way to fit into the story, and the story is everything. If I set out to write about a real person but I also wanted to write a great story, I don’t think the real person would survive intact.

What are your ten, most favorite things?
1. My family
2. My best friend, writer Victoria Dahl
3. My job as a novelist
4. The beach
5. Cadbury Creme Eggs (Ohh! Yummy!)
6. My iPod
7. Incubus
8. The scent of roses
9. President Obama
10. Book bloggers! (YAY for book bloggers!)

What is your typical day?
I wake up at 4:30 a.m. and write for two hours. At 6:30 my son wakes up. I get him ready and take him to school. I run between 3 and 5 miles or go work out at the YMCA (which I’ve been doing a lot lately, because it won’t stop raining!). I come home and work as a freelance editor for about four hours. I write some more. I pick up my son from school and take him to the playground or soccer practice. I make a very disappointing dinner (I am an AWFUL cook). My son and I watch Mythbusters, Dirty Jobs, American Chopper, or car racing. (When I was growing up, my older brother controlled the TV, so I am used to this sort of programming.) My son goes to bed, and my husband and I read or watch a movie.
At some point during the day, I try to slip in more writing time, but it’s difficult around here. For instance, right now, my son is standing outside my office, shooting his Nerf gun, and the cat is chasing the Nerf darts. It’s not a peaceful place conducive to deep thought.

Congrats on the new release of Ex Games! Do you have any upcoming books apart from Forget You and Endless Summer? Are you working on something else?
Thank you so much! MTV Books will publish another of my YA romantic dramas in July 2011. I haven’t decided what it will be yet, but I will probably write a big chunk of it during NaNoWriMo in November. I’m also working on an adult romance that I haven’t sold yet. Cross your fingers for me!

Well, that's it! Good luck to Jennifer that her adult romance gets sold! I'm also going to be participating in YWP NaNoWriMo! Can't wait! And again, don't forget to join the contest for her books here!

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April (BooksandWine) September 23, 2009 at 5:48 PM  

LOL, Echols is hilarious. Seriously, "then I make a disappointing dinner" makes her a woman after my own heart, since I make a disappointing dinner as well!

Awesome interview, Reggie! Definitely a great start to my day anyways (I read feeds before school).

Kelsey September 23, 2009 at 6:29 PM  

Nice interview! Jennifer is so nice(: Can't wait to read her books.

Thao September 23, 2009 at 9:18 PM  

Lovely interview. I can't wait for Forget You and Endless Summer to come out :D

Unknown September 23, 2009 at 10:44 PM  

That was a really fun interview to read Reggie. Also kinda inspiring.

Donna Gambale September 23, 2009 at 11:29 PM  

I find it awesome that Jennifer's strength/weakness is IDENTICAL to mine. Because hey, if she's super successful and works through it, I can do it too!

Persnickety Snark is an awesome blog. It's so nice to know that authors read/appreciate bloggers!

And hahahah real people wouldn't survive long in my novel either. Sometimes I even feel bad for putting my characters through the bad stuff!

Great interview, thanks!

Shalonda September 24, 2009 at 5:58 AM  

I love Jennifer! She seems like such a fun person and she is a phenomenal writer!

Adele September 24, 2009 at 1:33 PM  

Awesome, I am a trip! I have to admit that the line Jenn was talking about was me at my most Echols-driven wackiness. But I completely mean it, discover Jenn's writing and you develop an addiction that wrecks havoc on your life....after all that's what great writing does (without the obvious pitfalls of actual drag addiction).

Anyone else excited for Ex-Games (already out) and those beautiful sounding titles for 2010?

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