Hey, everyone! Victoria here and today is the launch of New Adult stars week! We have some awesome authors stopping by. They'll be answering some burning questions and giving away copies of their books!
To kick off the week, I'd like you to welcome Author Jennifer Echols to the blog! She's been writing about college students and Upper YA characters for a while, and now has her first official new adult title called Levitating Las Vegas coming soon through Pocket Star books!
I met Jennifer last year at the Romance Writer's of America Nationals Conference, and she really is a new adult all-star writer!
Without further ado, the interview!
How did you personally get into new adult fiction, and why did you choose to write about college-aged protagonists?
When I turned it in, though, there were complications with my editor accepting it as the second book on my contract. She asked me to go back and write another romantic comedy, and that was The Boys Next Door (which was published by itself and later published in a collection with its sequel, Endless Summer). Eventually we had to sell Going Too Far elsewhere, to MTV Books, which at the time was accepting much edgier YAs than some of the other publishers.
But my struggle had everything to do with having no knowledge and no contacts, and writing in a vacuum. It had nothing to do with writing racier manuscripts with older characters. As far as that goes, I have always just written what I thought would make a good story. Personally, I think the cusp of adulthood is a fascinating place, and romance is an interesting and exciting exploration. I’d much rather read about that than an innocent younger teenager’s antagonistic relationship with her mean friends or her mom. It’s just my preference, and I’m writing the book I want to read.
In fact, looking back through my many failed submissions, I see that I proposed an NA series to my agent way back in 2007. But there was no such thing as NA, so she never sent it to an editor. In other words, I have been standing right here in NA forever, but the market has finally come around to meet me—just like a lot of my friends who have been writing erotica forever have suddenly hit the New York Times best seller list in the wake of 50 Shades.
I loved the idea, though. And in 2008, when I didn’t have a book out, the economy was crumbling, I’d turned in Forget You but nobody was buying it, Going Too Far and The Ex Games were scheduled for 2009 but I had no other contracts, and it looked like this might be the end of my career, I wrote Levitating Las Vegas during NaNoWriMo. Now, I knew I should not be making the characters 21 years old if I wanted to sell this book. It wasn’t YA, it wasn’t adult, and there was no such thing as NA. But the idea had evolved in my head since I first thought it would make a good YA book. Now the characters needed to be 21—old enough to go in casinos and bars and get in all the fun trouble you would expect out of a Las Vegas adventure, but young enough that it still made sense for them to be under their parents’ wings, more or less, and lied to about their magical powers.
|Jennifer and me at RWA Nationals|
Thanks for joining us Jennifer!
About the Author:
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.