Monday, February 9, 2009

Awesome Authors: Jenn Echols

I first "met" Jennifer Echols when she took it upon herself to organize an author blog for the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies line, for which she and I had each written several titles. These days, much of our communication consists of her "gently nudging" me when it's my day to post on the blog, and me frantically scribbling some thoughts down, and apologizing to her profusely. Luckily, in addition to be MUCH more productive and well-organized than I, she is also kind and merciful. I'm so excited to have her here today!

Jenn's personal blog can be found at

Blogs are a central part of the Bradford Novels universe. They are also, more and more, a central part of the YA-writing universe. When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in October 2005 because my agent made me! My time was already thinly spread across writing, work, and family, and I didn't think I had room for one more responsibility in my life. My agent told me I needed to blog for the sake of my career, and I gave in. You can see my first post ever here: Aw, my little baby post, before I was published! Was I ever that young?

I'm really glad now that my agent put her foot down. I think blogging is the best thing I've done to connect me with my readers and with other authors. But do NOT ask me to join Twitter.

But how else will you keep up with the Tweets from all of our Bradford girlies? Okay,'re off the hook! So, what's your favorite thing about blogging?
When it goes well, writing a blog entry is like writing a pop culture essay or a newspaper column, something I have done in the past and dearly loved. Some authors come up with a great entry like this every day and I am amazed, but I can only do it once every few weeks. I do not have enough brain capacity to write novels and daily blog entries too. If you ever see me post longish blog entries for several days in a row, you will know I am not working on a novel, and my writing has to go somewhere.

I can relate. I'm no good at daily blogging when I'm under deadline—Bradford Blog Bash notwithstanding, of course. Okay, then—as someone who coordinates between a variety of different blogs, how do you stay organized?
I am the founder and web mistress for the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies Blog at and the MTV Books Blog at The Simon Pulse blog was very difficult to push through because the editors there had all kinds of legal concerns. I was just discussing this with my new editor over the weekend, and we agreed that today I would have no trouble starting such a thing, because blogging has become so much more commonplace in only a few years.

Now that both blogs are up and running, they're really not very time-consuming. I have a calendar that tells me when I should prompt writers to post (everybody has a target day), and I get an e-mail message when someone has posted a comment that I need to approve. The author bloggers are fantastic, so both blogs pretty much run themselves.

I will take that as a personal compliment! :) What are the pros and cons of running a group blog, as opposed to blogging strictly on a personal site?
On a group blog, obviously you and your books aren't getting as much attention as you would on your own blog. But the group blog theoretically draws a larger audience, and readers may discover your books because they were interested in someone else's.

Very true. I'm personally always interested, also, in how different bloggers group together to create joint sites, such as The Longstockings, or YA Fresh. What do you think the difference is between a blog and a diary? How confessional do you like a blog to get? What sort of blog posts most appeal to you? What are some of your favorite blogs (book or otherwise) out there right now?
Some blogs are essentially diaries, and I don't enjoy those. I love blogs where I can learn something or LMAO.

Hopefully the Bradford Novels blog has given you at least a few giggles. But it's not all fun and games! GoldenGirl is full of scandals and exposed secrets. What was the biggest scandal at your high school? Did your classmates discover any of your deep, dark secrets?
We actually had quite a few teacher/student romances! But secrets—no. It was a Southern town of 15,000 people. There were no secrets.

I keep hearing about these teacher/student romances. If this was going on in my high school, I was outside of the rumor mill, for sure. So tell me, what’s the worst thing you ever did to a friend? Are you still friends with her or him?
I went out with my friend's ex-boyfriend. I actually thought she would be okay with it, but she was NOT. She is still one of my best friends, though.

How very Bradford-esque!

And now for the promote-y part: Of course, we want to know about your books. What are your most recent books? What new projects are you working on now?

Going Too Far will be published by MTV Books on March 17. It's about a seventeen-year-old who avoids prosecution for a high school stunt by spending spring break on night patrol with the 19-year-old rookie cop who arrested her. I just finished revising The Ex Games, my new Simon Pulse Romantic Comedy set in the world of snowboarding, which will come out in October. And now I'm finishing a book I started during NaNoWriMo that I absolutely LOVE. There's no better feeling than loving the book you're working on!

Lucky for us—'cause we love READING your stuff! Thanks for stopping by our party, Jenn!


  1. Just wanted to add, since we had a lively discussion about titles over the weekend, that "The Ex Games" is one of my favorite RoCom titles so far! (My own books included!)

  2. Awww, Micol, you're so good to me. :) Thanks so much for having me on your blog!

    Also, I know "Going Too Far" was the result of much title brainstorming, and I think you came up with something perfect and grabby!

  4. I love Jennifer Echols' books. I cannot wait to get my hands on her newest books!

  5. Brag time: I got an early look at GOING TOO FAR. It is soooooo good!! Defnitely put it on your must-buy list.