Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Writers Like Us - Jennifer Echols

Whenever I read author interviews, I'm always looking for that one thing that tells me whatever it is I'm going through–rejection or acknowledgment or insecurity or excitement–is totally normal and just a part of the process. I want to know what makes that author like me.

Jennifer Echols, author of just about every single one of my favorite YA romances (GOING TOO FAR, SUCH A RUSH, THE ONE THAT I WANT, ENDLESS SUMMER, and LOVE STORY) and creator of just about everyone's favorite book boyfriend is here this week! Her new book, DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS, is out in July.

Her answers are below in bold. Let us know what makes Jennifer like you in the comments.

Jennifer on Writing
  • I've written 23 books, and 9 have seen the light of day, but 4 more will see the light of day this year, and 1 next year. Which leaves only 9 sad, unpublished manuscripts under the bed.
  • My favorite type of scene to write is dialogue-heavy. In fact, the editor for my first book, Major Crush, asked me if I had worked as a screenwriter, because the book had so much dialogue. I had to go in and add more of everything else!
  • No matter how long I've been writing, I still have issues with public appearances. I just spent 5 hours at a book fair yesterday and had to lie down afterward. I can pretend to be extroverted for short stretches, but it takes a lot out of me.
  • A typical comment from my critique partner, Victoria Dahl, is “HAHAHA.” She makes me feel like a million bucks, laughing at my manuscripts, but when it comes to line edits, she’s actually useless. What she’s so good at is pre-writing, setting up a story. Nobody knows the romance genre better than she does.
  • The book I wished I wrote is Rosemary Clement-Moore’s Spirit and Dust, which is coming out this year, or her hilarious Texas Gothic, which you can get right now.
Jennifer on Getting Published
  • When I was querying, I felt frustrated. However, there was no internet, and the typical wait time for a response was three months to one year. All hail the internet!
  • The biggest mistake I ever made querying was letting the description of the book feel like work. The description should look like the summary on the back cover of a book in the book store. It should draw the reader in and make her want to buy it. You’re trying to give the agent or editor the same feeling you get when you’re standing in the store, reading back covers, and thinking I MUST HAVE THIS.
  • When I got "The Call," my first thought was, “Finally.”
  • When I saw my book sale in Publishers Marketplace, I printed it out and taped it above my computer.
Jennifer on Life Outside Writing
  • If I weren't a writer, I would still be a freelance copyeditor for medical research articles. I loved that job, and I will try to go back to it if my writing career ever goes south. Writing novels is the best job in the world, but anything else working with words definitely comes in second for me, and I was grateful to have an editing career.
Jennifer Echols is an American writer of romantic fiction for young adults. A former newspaper editor, college teacher, and freelance copyeditor, Echols now writes full time. She lives in Alabama, where she was born, with her husband and son.


  1. Loved Texas Gothic. I have to read more of the books listed here, have not read any from this author yet. I'll have to catch up on a few of her other titles before the new one.

    1. Hi Stephanie! I definitely suggest Going Too Far for a first time Jennifer Echols read. I also liked The One That I Want a lot and it doesn't seem to get talked about as much.

  2. Would you believe I still have yet to read a Jennifer Echols book? (Despite the fact that they sound AWESOME!) I have one on my shelf, so I really should get on that. :)

    1. Get on that, Jaime! Jennifer Echols is awesome. Which one is on your shelf and I'll be harassing you to read??

    2. Same here. I just saved a few to my list on goodreads and see afew are at my library.

    3. The one that I have is THE ONE THAT I WANT. I'm totally in the mood for this kind of book, so I think I might read it after JUST ONE DAY. :)

    4. The One That I Want was actually my favorite...it's such a sweet read! I really liked Love Story too--the premise was really cool!

  3. Ohhh!! YOu got to interview her? That's awesome! I'm reading GOING TOO FAR now, and omg, I'm loving it. I'll tweet you when I finish so you can recommend what book of hers I should read! :D

    1. I've read almost all of them! I have an armload of recommendations. I loved Going Too Far (John AFTER! <3), but I think The One That I Want is my absolute favorite (and doesn't get nearly enough mention).


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