I was so delighted to participate in an interview for Jennifer Echols! Her books are amazing, and I am particularly stoked for her new book, Dirty Little Secret, as I play the violin. I am actually taking a strings (instrument) camp right now... So, here is the awesome interview with this awesome person and a giveaway....
1. Could you describe your new book, Dirty Little Secret, in 3 words?
2. How did you get your inspiration for the musical aspects of Dirty Little Secret?
As for country music, I grew up listening to my dad teach himself to play banjo. There was always bluegrass or country music on the radio or VERY LOUD on the stereo while he played along. I guess my brain reached capacity at some point, and all that music was going to have to come out again somehow.
As for music in general, I wrote a lot of music for jazz band and marching band when I was in high school, and I was a music major in college before I switched into English and got serious about writing novels. I don’t have perfect pitch like the heroine, Bailey, and I’m definitely not that proficient on an instrument, but I do know my way around figuring out the chords in a song like second nature.
3. Where did you mostly write Dirty Little Secret?
I have a screened porch on the back of my house, on the second story so it’s nestled in the trees. I think most people would have trouble writing out there in the heat and humidity of an Alabama summer, but I grew up here and I just drink it in.
4. Who were the characters you had the most fun writing about? And why? (This can be for any of your books)
I wanted desperately to hear the music I was writing in high school and college, but it wasn’t always easy to convince people to play it for me. Later, I wanted desperately to have a novel published, but that road was long and hard. So writing about Bailey and Sam, two determined but heartbroken musicians, was cathartic for me.
Now, some quick fun questions!
5. What's your favorite color?
6. In a game of Truth or Dare, which option do you normally pick?
I don’t think I’ve ever played. Maybe I’ve always run away to hide when this was going on, because I don’t like either option. I wouldn’t pick Truth, because my life is none of other people’s business unless I say so. And I wouldn’t pick Dare, because I don’t like people telling me what to do. Maybe this is why I’m a novelist...
7. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
My grandmother was an unpublished writer, and I was a huge reader as a kid, so become a writer myself was always in the back of my mind. I wrote a lot of poems and stories for school and on my own time. But I think a lot of writers have that one book that made them think, “THIS is what I need to write!” For me, that book was Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice? by Paula Danziger. It’s a YA romantic comedy—by today’s standards it would probably be called Middle Grade rather than YA because the heroine is in ninth grade—and it was so sexy and hilarious that I could not BELIEVE the author had gotten away with this.
8. Are you a cat person or a dog person? (Or neither?)
I think of myself as a dog person. I always had a pound puppy growing up. But right now we live in the city and don’t have running room for a dog, so we have a cat we found abandoned by his cat-mom under my father-in-law’s porch. When I meet a new cat or dog, I’m down on the floor petting it, either way.