Monday, 10 September 2012

Author Interview with Jennifer Echols!

Hey guys! Sorry I haven't been around much lately, that is because I have exams right now and I'm in a hectic study mode. That means almost no computer and no reading! *sigh* After this week, I'll be able to get back to normal and put some more reviews which I have been putting off for exams.

But today I'm inviting Jennifer Echols here for an author interview! Exciting isn't it? She is the author of many romantic contemporary novels: Such a Rush, Going Too Far, Forget You, The Boy Next Door, Love Story, Major Crush and quite a few more. She is also working hard on her upcoming novel (or novels?) right now too. I rather enjoyed reading Such a Rush, and you can check out my review here.

So, thanks Jenn for dropping in and share a bit about yourself to my readers and me! And welcome to my blog :)

Me: If there is one place in the world you could choose to live in, where would it be and why?

Jenn: I’d live in Key West, FL, because it’s basically in the middle of the ocean, it’s beautiful, and the people there have a live-and-let-live attitude that I really enjoy. I’ve been there several times, but I made the most memorable trip by myself as a penniless graduate student. I drove down from Kentucky, which took about 24 hours, and stayed in some of the most beautiful campgrounds on earth.

Me: Does Leah resemble you in any way or can relate to you in any way? If so, how? Do any of the other characters in your books reflect or resemble you?

Jenn: I understand Leah because I know how she got that way and why she does what she does, but I think we’re opposites. I’m much more like her spacey do-gooder friend Molly. But the character I've written who's most like me is Lori in The Boys Next Door and Endless Summer.

Me: Do you consider yourself an adrenaline junkie? If so, what is the craziest thing you’ve done?

Jenn: I’m absolutely not, but I try to push myself. I’m a very good swimmer but I tend to overestimate how good I am and nearly drown. See the beginning of Forget You.

Me: Was there some inspiration (or reason) that you’ve chosen to write in the contemporary genre? What do you like most about writing a contemporary novel?

Jenn: I’m writing the book I want to read. I’d rather read a contemporary than anything else, just as I’d rather watch a contemporary romantic comedy movie. With paranormal, I’m waiting for the paranormal stuff to be over so we can get back to the romance.

Me: Do you compare your main male characters and try to construct them differently? Who is your favourite character in out of all the books you’ve written? (I know this is a probably a hard pick XD)

Jenn: I do make a conscious effort to make my heroes different in each book. That isn’t hard, though, because the books themselves are different, and to create tension, the characters have to be the worst people that these circumstances could happen to. My favorite hero is always the one I’m writing at the moment, and that is the absolute truth.

Me: What inspired you to start writing? Did you just enjoy writing hence started writing your own novels, or was there something that prompted you to write?

Jenn: I loved reading so much already, but when I read Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice? by Paula Danziger when I was 12 or so, I realized you could write something really romantic and fun and get paid for it.

Me: After writing Such a Rush, do you want to become a pilot? Did you feel all the rush and adrenaline with each flight (during the writing of the book)?

Jenn: I do feel all the rush and adrenaline, because I’ve gone flying with my dad a lot. My son will probably become a pilot, but I had rather just write books about it, thanks.

Me: What was the reason (or what inspired you) for you to write a book with flying as a main theme/part of the plot? Did you have to do a lot of research (aside from asking your Dad and brother XP)?

Jenn: I was vacationing with my extended family at the beach and went with my dad and my son to watch the banner planes take off and land at the airport. When my dad told me that most of the pilots were really young because they were trying to build up hours to get their airline pilot licenses some day, I was hooked. I’m always on the lookout for situations young people get into that they’re not equipped to handle. As for research, I watched a lot of airplanes crash online, and my dad was kind enough to take me up quite a few times. I’ve been flying with him since I was five, but you notice different things when you’re writing a book about it.

Me: Was Grayson a hard character to construct? Why did you make him as who he was?

Jenn: Grayson was very difficult to write because he’s a character type that’s trying to be something else, and he’s hiding a lot. So there are many layers to him, and all of that has to come through correctly to the reader. As I’ve said, the characters have to be people who would be really devastated by what’s going on in the book, so I made him someone who would handle his family tragedies both heroically and badly.

Me: When you write, do you write in order from beginning to the end, or do inspirations and snippets come to you at random times? So you would then write them down as they are, and reorganise them later.

Jenn: The latter. It’s a terrible, disorganized way to write a book, and I wish I wrote in order!

Me: What was one important experience in your life that helped you become who you are today?

Jenn: I was drum major of my high school marching band (see Major Crush for that one), and though I’d always been that girl who does all the activities and is in charge of half of them, this was the first time I bit off more than I could chew. See, it’s that terrific plot for a YA novel--I was fifteen years old and not equipped to handle being in charge of 175 people, many of them boys, many of them older than me, by myself. But I worked through it, and it was also one of the best experiences of my life.

Me: What is one thing you haven’t done in your life, but would really love to do?

Jenn: Learn to surf. I will do it.

Me: Are you an outdoorsy girl, or an indoorsy girl?

Jenn: I’m definitely outdoorsy, as you can probably tell from my books! Not camping, though. Don’t ask me to camp. I like coffee and bathrooms. 

Thanks so much for visiting Jenn! One thing I would love to do is learn to skii and snowboard XD Haha, I like camping though, but not for too long, otherwise I'll miss the nice bathrooms and a comfy bed too!

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 nine 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. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son. 

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