Spotlight Wednesday: LOVE STORY by Jennifer Echols

Jennifer Echols and I were early pioneers of the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies line of novels, so I'm extra-thrilled to be hosting her as we spotlight her latest release, LOVE STORY, out next week! 


For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment? 

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

Growing up, my mother encouraged me to read a lot--but not romance novels, which she considered “trash.” At the same time, she was handing me wonderful romantic suspense novels by Mary Stewart, one of the greatest romance novelists ever, in my opinion. So without meaning to or understanding what she was doing, my mom simultaneously made me shun romance and got me hooked on it.

Like many English majors, I decided in college that I wanted to be a novelist. Of course, I did not want to churn out trash by writing romance novels. I wanted to be the next Hemingway. So I wrote beautiful (I thought), pithy (I thought) novels full of romance (which is what interested me), sent them to agents and editors who were looking for heavy literary experiments rather than romance, and got rejected.

Determined to figure out what I was doing wrong, I worked on a PhD in genre studies. I read lots of popular culture criticism that decried romance because it implied that a woman could not be fulfilled as a person without a man. I did not agree. In the best romances, the hero and heroine both grow throughout the story, to the point that at the end, they finally deserve each other. And so I found myself presenting a paper at the Rhetoric Society of America national conference on the commercial packaging of the YA romance series LOVE STORIES while simultaneously writing one.

Soon after that, I gave up on my aspirations to be Hemingway, made peace with my need to write romance, and embarked on a journey to get published in the genre I truly loved. Ten or so novels later, LOVE STORY captures all of my longing to work in the publishing industry and all of my love of romance.

Thanks so much for joining us, Jennifer! We love a juicy romance -- especially yours!


Lydia Sharp said...

This is so true:

In the best romances, the hero and heroine both grow throughout the story, to the point that at the end, they finally deserve each other.

Cannot wait to read LOVE STORY! *hugs*

Jennifer Echols said...

Thank you Lydia! And Micol, thanks so much for hosting me on your fabulous blog!

Micol Ostow said...

Who doesn't love a good summer love story?! Who doesn't love Jen?

Lisa Schroeder said...

I've heard such great things about this book! Can't wait to read it. Thanks for joining us on the Contemps!!

Melissa Walker said...

I've heard amazing things too--can't wait to read this one with a tall glass of lemonade by my side. I LOVE a love story!

readandrevel said...

I haven't had the chance to read Love Story yet, but I just finished Going Too Far and really enjoyed reading and reviewing it. Meg's voice was so true and both she and John grow enormously throughout the book. Loved to see a relationship where both partners help each other to grow, instead of a damsel in distress sitch!

Looking forward to reading more, and so loved getting an insight into your thought process.

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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