Saturday, April 5, 2008

Interview with Jennifer Echols!

Jennifer Echols is the Simon Romantic Comedies author who has written The Boys Next Door and Major Crush. Her next book, The Ex-Games will be out in the fall of 2009.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

As soon as I got off that trapeze artist idea (doesn't every first-grade girl want to be a trapeze artist?), I knew I wanted to be a writer, a musician, or an artist. That stuck with me into college. I majored in music first but switched to English because I decided writing was a better career for me.

Where did you get the idea for The Boys Next Door?

I grew up on a lake in Alabama, so the book is filled with my summer experiences.

What is a normal routine that you follow on a normal day?

I get up at 4:30 a.m. and write. My son gets up at 6:30, and I make breakfast and do mom stuff until I get him off to school. I run between two and five miles, depending on whether I'm in an athletic phase. I do some freelance copyediting work, then write some more. When my son gets home from school, we do boy stuff. I end up watching a lot of NASCAR against my will. Then my husband may take over child care so I can write for a few more hours. All day I'm going with the flow to get everything done.

Where did your idea for Major Crush come from?

I was the first female drum major of my high school marching band.

What do you enjoy doing when you arn't writing?

I play with my son, read, and work in the garden. I love being outside.

What are some of your favorite books?

Pride and Prejudice and everything else by Jane Austen except Northanger Abbey (I have a thing about Northanger Abbey), The Sound and the Fury, The Sun Also Rises, The Great Gatsby, The Professor's House, Pale Fire...I'm classics nut so I could go on and on.

What was your favorite subject when you were in school and why? Worst, and why?

Favorite: English. I loved reading. Also, in ninth grade the teacher made us keep a daily journal, which really sparked my creativity. I started writing a lot of poems and short stories in my journal. I continued to keep journals into my twenties. They're terrific records of what I was thinking when I was a teenager.

Worst: French and Spanish. I made good grades but I had to study hard.

Which character was hardest for you to write and why?

I remember having a hard time with Virginia in Major Crush when I first started that book. To solve the problem, I made her more like me. None of my characters ARE me, but I was consciously trying to make her really different from me and that was handicapping my creativity.

Which of your characters can you ralate to the most?

Definitely Lori in The Boys Next Door. Again, she's not me, but she's close. I'm exactly that dorky.

What is your advice for teens who want to become writers?

Write the book you want to read.

Here's a few links:

Jennifer's Website
Jennifer's MySpace
The Writer Next Door - Jennifer's LiveJournal
Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies Blog (Co-blogger)


jennifer echols said...

Hope, thanks so much for posting the interview! This is a great blog.

Chelsie said...

Great interview! I haven't read any of Jennifer's books yet, but it's definitely on my to do list.