Friday, July 13, 2012

Interview: Jennifer Echols author of Such a Rush

People of the wooooooooooooooooooorld!

I love Jennifer Echols' books. I love love love them. She's one of my favorite authors and if you've read my review of her latest book Such a Rush, you know I loooooved it too.

So I couldn't resist and had to write a mini interview for her about SaR.

Here you have it, enjoy:

- I love airplanes and it's Such a fresh idea for YA. But what I know about them pretty much starts and ends with Top Gun; so what kind of research did you have to go through for Such a Rush?
My dad got his pilot’s license when I was 5, so I’ve grown up around airplanes, airplane lovers, and tiny airports. I can’t fly, though, so my dad kindly took me flying a number of times and explained what he was doing and why. I was able to conduct a lot of research on the internet about the sort of banner planes and crop dusters the characters are flying. In fact, when I described to my dad how I was crashing an airplane in the book, he told me I’d done such a good job that I should get a pilot’s license myself. OKAY. My brother took issue with some details of the crash, though, and the three of us argued about it a lot last Christmas and finally got the thing crashed to everyone’s satisfaction.

- Who was the most challenging character to write?

I’d say Leah was the most challenging because I spent so much time on her. But honestly, she, Grayson, Alec, and Molly were all pretty difficult because they all know something they’re not telling the other characters. Writing people who are saying one thing while thinking another is really tricky, and I was doing this x4.

- The book also features a scene where Leah is stuck in her home while a tornado is coming her way, has that happened to you? where did that scene inspiration come from?

I live in Alabama, and I outlined that scene for the book in the middle of a tornado season that was very active, even for us. I actually planned the scene before our especially tragic tornado day--April 27, 2011--but wrote it after. On that day, a huge tornado that flattened parts of Tuscaloosa, then made a beeline for my house in Birmingham. My son and I hid in the basement as it came closer. It carved a path about 10 miles north of us.

What I was really trying to capture in that scene is how helpless Leah feels. She suffers from a lack of knowledge about the world and her options, and she knows it. And I had that feeling on April 27. Usually when a tornado is coming for me, I can watch TV and see exactly where it is. This time my power had gone out in an initial storm 12 hours before. I was weathering a difficult situation completely blind. I tried to channel that feeling into Leah’s narration.


- What's your favorite plane featured in the story?

Can I name a helicopter instead? Even folks who don’t know a lot about aircraft probably know what a Chinook is--the huge helicopter with two propellers that turn in opposite directions. I got the idea for the Chinook scene from seeing one land in a field in south Alabama when we were driving back from the beach. It was making such a racket and it had landed in such a strange place that everybody driving by pulled to the side of the highway to stare at it, including us. The Army folks inside the Chinook hopped out, walked to a nearby gas station for snacks, hopped back in, and took off. I am not making this up.

- What was the song you played the most while writing this book?

“Landed” by Ben Folds.
Ooooooooh, I think I see why (Leo DiCaprio looks yum btw)

- The cover for Such a Rush is quite different than your previous YA dramas, What are your thoughts on the new direction this cover took?

I loved my other covers, but I asked the publisher to go in a new direction this time, because I wanted us to stay fresh and current. They showed me this cover, and though I found it arresting, I thought it looked too harsh to convey that the book is a romance. The next cover they showed me depicted Leah and Grayson lying in a field with a Piper flying overhead, but I thought it looked too sleepy. My editor was really behind the first cover, so we doctored it a bit, and the designer came up with the beautiful font for the byline and title. I’m very happy with it now. I think we’re going to keep a lot of these elements for the cover of my next YA drama in July 2013, so stay tuned!

Thanks Jennifer! I loved all her answers! just as interesting as her books ;D

Follow her on twitter: @JenniferEchols
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  1. Great interview & awesome questions!

    I just recently finished Such a Rush and I loved it! I love how it's a sad romantic tale like any other YA, but Echols included this raw, dirty, gritty REALISTIC dark side to it too. She's so good at that :0)

  2. I love Jennifer Echols! And I really loved how different this book is .. with the trailer park setting and the airport. And oh my god, all the flying! It was written about so well that I really wanted to take up flying too!

    Zaira Lynn (Cash Advance Company)


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