Jennifer Echols grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama--a setting that has inspired many of her books. Always interested in creative writing, she finished her first (and still unpublished) novel soon after graduating with a degree in English from Auburn University at age 20. She worked as an editor for newspapers, a writer for business publications, and a writing instructor for three major universities, completed a master's degree in English, and finished the coursework for a PhD in genre studies before selling a book. Since then, she has written many young adult novels for Simon & Schuster, including Major Crush, which won the National Reader's Choice Award, and Going Too Far, which is a finalist in the 2010 RITA, the National Reader's Choice Award, and the Book Buyer's Best. Her next novel, Forget You, will be released on July 20. Currently she works as a copyeditor and lives in Birmingham with her husband and son.
You can read more about Jenn and her books on her website, on facebook, on her blog, and by following her on twitter.
Two irresistible boys. One unforgettable summer.
Lori can't wait for her summer at the lake. She loves wakeboarding and hanging with her friends--including the two hotties next door. With the Vader brothers, she's always been just one of the guys. Now that she's turning sixteen, she wants to be seen as one of the girls, especially in the eyes of Sean, the older brother. But that's not going to happen--not if the younger brother, Adam, can help it.
What inspired you to write ENDLESS SUMMER?
I grew up on a beautiful lake in Alabama, and this book captures the essence of those hot and lovely summers. It starts Memorial Day weekend, too, so I’m really excited that the book is being released at the perfect time, almost to the day.
Have you ever wakeboarded like Lori in the book?
I have not. I learned to water ski on the lake when I was five years old, but wakeboarding hadn’t been invented yet!
What songs would make the playlist for ENDLESS SUMMER?
Lori is a tomboy struggling to be more feminine so she can catch the boy she has a crush on. The music mentioned in the book reflects this: girl vs. boy = Kelly Clarkson/Christina Aguilera/JoJo vs. Nickelback. There’s also a really special love song playing at the end of the book. I took out the name of it, but you can think it in your head while you’re reading: “Endlessly” by Green River Ordinance. Oh man, I get shivers just thinking about it. I wish I could have included a CD with this book.
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I have most of a PhD in genre studies, which is a subspecialty of English. All I lacked for my degree was writing my dissertation. But I’m glad I wrote a novel instead.
What are you working on now?
My next novel, Forget You, is coming out with MTV Books on July 20. Right now I’m writing still another novel for MTV Books that will be published in July 2011.
If ENDLESS SUMMER were made into a movie, who would you like to see in the role of Lori and Adam?
I used to say Lucas Black from the movie Friday Night Lights, because he’s dreamy and perfect and he grew up in Alabama, and Ashley Tisdale from…well, everything, because she’s hilarious. But a reader informs me that both of them have gotten too old. Now I’m not sure!
What kind of chocolate best describes you?
Instead of it describing me, can I just eat it? In that case, Cadbury Creme Eggs.
To win a copy of one of Jenn's other fabulous novels, GOING TOO FAR, leave a note below, telling us - have you ever tried to change who you are to get your crush's attention? How did that turn out for you? This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, June 2.