Young Adult author Jennifer Echols will be releasing her first adult contemporary romance, currently untitled, in 2013. In today's interview with the author we spoil you with a behind-the-scenes look at how the author made this genre switch and what inspired her upcoming story.
What made your upcoming adult story a good fit for contemporary romance rather than YA? Are you considering that this may become a series?
Both the books I’ve sold to Pocket will be contemporary romantic comedies about a public relations firm that specializes in dragging stars out of PR disasters and protecting or repairing their careers. I’m really excited about writing lots of adult content that will be completely inappropriate for younger readers.
What inspired the books?
A long time ago, when I was unpublished and trying to come up with an idea for an adult romantic comedy, the Dixie Chicks expressed disagreement with then-President George W. Bush. Fans started burning their albums and threatening to kill them. A few years before this, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw were arrested for allegedly taking an unauthorized ride on a police horse and getting in a fight with officers. I was fascinated by how much attention these stories attracted—and this was before social media! I wrote a novel called Your Cheatin’ Heart, based in my hometown of Birmingham, AL, about a professional spin doctor hired to keep a raucous country band out of trouble. It never sold, but I got a lot of mileage out of it, because the PR firm in the new novels is based on the same idea.
Do you have any prospective titles you are kicking around?
I have come up with a few that I thought were brilliant, but my critique partner has shot them down. My critique partner is a very forgiving reader, so when she shoots something down, I know it is seriously flawed. Lots of my books have experienced title changes at the last minute!
Is there anything you've had to research while you worked on the story so far?
Happily, the book tentatively planned for April 2013 is set in Vegas! RESEARCH ROAD TRIP. I’ve enjoyed the Strip a couple of times, and I look forward to going back soon! The book planned for September 2013 is set in Hollywood. I will be attending the RWA convention in Anaheim in July 2012. If you’re there too and you see me driving erratically through the streets of Los Angeles while frantically scribbling notes, please just move off the sidewalk and into a nearby building, where you will be safer.
Did you ever think you would write anything other than YA?
My plan all along was to write romantic comedies for both teens and adults. It simply took me another six years to get the adult half of my dream career off the ground!
Will any of your YA characters be making cameos in this novel?
I’m not planning any crossover, but the publishing industry has taught me never to say never ..
Will you continue writing YA novels?
Absolutely! I love writing YA. My next teen romantic comedy, The One That I Want, will be published by Simon Pulse as an e-book on December 6 and in trade paperback on February 7, just in time for Valentine’s Day! My next teen romantic drama for MTV Books, Such a Rush, will be my hardcover debut on July 10.
Can't wait until 2013? In the meantime, check out our Everything Romance Page for more more upcoming releases!