GCC presents Jennifer Echols

Today I’m touring Jennifer Echols and her new book, Such a Rush. Not only is Jennifer an amazing author but she is also our fearless GCC leader and so she is extra awesome because she keeps a bunch of writers totally sane-not always an easy task!!!

Anyway, this is Jennifer’s first hardcover book, which is super exciting and the story sounds wonderful!

High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.

But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business–until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers–and the consequences could be deadly.

1 How did you come up with the idea for this book?
My dad is a pilot, and on a family trip to the beach, he and I went to the tiny airport to watch the advertising banner planes take off and land. When he explained to me how difficult this job is and how young the pilots typically are because they need to log hours to become airline pilots someday, I knew this was my next book.
2 What’s been your favorite author moment so far in your career?
On December 26, 2010, Forget You hit #7 on BarnesandNoble.com. Before this, it had sold fine but was nothing like a best seller. I’d been watching it climb the rankings through the Christmas season, and on the day after Christmas, my husband called me in to look at the ranking. We both thought it must be a mistake, but it hovered there for many weeks–long enough for me to point it out to my editor. ;) A few months later, I was able to get a hardcover deal for Such a Rush. I am eternally grateful to everyone who got a Barnes and Noble gift card in their stocking and used it to buy my book.
3 It’s Oscar speech time! Who are the three people that you would most like to thank for helping you write this book?
First, my brilliant editor, Lauren McKenna. This is my ninth published novel but my first book for her, and she pushed me to make it miles better (and 20,000 words longer!). Second, my critique partners, who have helped me with every one of my published novels: Golden Heart finalist Catherine Chant and USA Today bestselling author Victoria Dahl. I would not want to do this without them.
 4 Describe a typical writing day
I wake up at 4:30 and write until 6:30, when I have to make breakfast for my son. I run between 3 and 5 miles when I’m not in training for a marathon (which I’m not at the moment), then write some more until my son comes home from school or camp. That’s it, usually. I’m not a night person!
5 Tell me one strange random fact about this book.
The back of the cover (which depicts the airport with a banner plane coming in for a landing) was originally the front, with the addition of a couple lying in the grass. We negotiated about the cover for a long time, but I love the way the whole package turned out.


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