More on that tomorrow. Today my guest on the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit is my dear friend Jennifer Echols, who also happens to be an amazing author of contemporary YA novels. She writes romantic comedies for Simon Pulse and teen dramas for MTV/Gallery Books (equally well, I might add), like Going Too Far and Forget You.
Like her newest book, Love Story, which just came out last week. From the description, it promises to be another delicious, provocative read--the kind of story I love best!
She’s writing about him. He’s writing about her. And everybody is reading between the lines.
For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions – it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter… so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?
Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter… except this story could come true.
“A tremendously talented writer with a real gift for developing relationships.” –Romantic Times Magazine
And now, my interview with the wonderful Jenn!
Is there anything most people are able to do (such as drive a car, swim, ride a bike) that you can't?
I can’t cook. I do prepare food, but I have no talent for it. I can’t taste it and know what it needs. I can’t go off-recipe because I will ruin it. I have absolutely no ethnic food culture passed down through my own family. My Thai mother-in-law has tried to teach me to cook Southern soul food, which I think is just sad.
Which moment(s) during the writing/rewriting/editing of this book made you tear your hair out?
Originally I set the book in Atlanta, where I could easily drive from my home in Birmingham to do research. At some point it became clear to me that the book needed to be set in New York City, because the heroine wants to be a writer and work in publishing. I had to rely on my memory to reconstruct the city, and during copyedits I was informed that I’d gotten some things wrong.
Which moment(s) made you think, "ah, THIS is what carries me through the hair-tearing bits"?
To solve that problem, I called my best friend from high school, who lives in New York now. She dropped everything to talk me through New York and save me from massive rewrites, and then she called her New York cop friend to help me with more details. It is wonderful to have creative friends who don’t think my writer questions are the least bit weird.
Turn to page 99 of your latest novel. Which word on that page best evokes your story or main character?
Even though page 99 only has a few sentences, it’s a turning point in the novel with lots of possibilities, but I chose “home.”
Have you ever been starstruck when meeting another writer? If so, by who?
I met Jennifer Crusie at the Booksigning for Literacy at the Romance Writers of America conference a few weeks ago. I stood next to her name on the table and waited for her to show up so I could get a book signed for a friend before she ran out. I absolutely love her adult romantic comedies. I’m sure I didn’t make a great impression, but I didn’t fall on her or anything, and for that I was very grateful and proud.
Yay for small miracles! And I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't cook without a recipe.
Thanks to Jennifer Echols for stopping by to chat with us. Big congrats on the new release! And people, if you haven't read her books yet, you need to check them out. Like, now.