Today, as part of Hearts, Flowers and Romance I have Jennifer Echols, author of Forget You, here to answer a few questions!
GC: Zoey’s life is very complicated at the time of Forget You, what prompted her back story?
JE: I wanted Zoey to be overwhelmed when she woke up without her memory. I wanted this extremely orderly person to lose the ability to make any sense of her life, which was the worst thing that could happen to her.
GC: Doug is such a sweetheart, and I gathered he spent a long time loving Zoey, was it heartbreaking to have to pull the rug out from under him when Zoey forgets about their connection?
JE: Yes, I felt terrible about everything I did to Doug in this book. I don’t think I’ve ever been this mean to a character before.
GC: Did you have any inspiration for writing certain characters, such as Zoey’s dysfunctional family, her Twin best friends, Keke and Lila, or either of Zoey’s boy’s- Brandon and Doug?
JE: I really wrote Doug from the heart. He is a lot like me, and I felt all his impatience and frustration. The minor characters come from somewhere, obviously, but I’m not consciously being inspired by something when I write them. They need to be a certain way so a certain thing can happen in the plot. Everything fits together like a puzzle, and there’s only one way those pieces can be shaped.
GC: I think the cover expresses the novel so effortlessly, what was the journey like and what kind of input did you have in the design?
JE: We agreed that it should look similar to GOING TOO FAR, so readers would know it was the same type of book, but different enough that they wouldn’t get confused. That’s all the input I had, but I think the art department did a beautiful job. I do wish they’d included Zoey’s diamond earring, which I think is so symbolic of everything going on in this story.
GC: Memory loss is such an interesting concept, when did that major plot point occur to you?
JE: A book blogger was talking about a YA amnesia romance she’d read a long time ago. She was making fun of it, actually. I agreed that it didn’t sound very good, but something just clicked for me and I thought THAT’S what this book needs! Everybody is a sucker for certain tropes. I am a sucker for the amnesia plot. It’s so fraught with possibilities for exploring who characters are and who they want to be.
GC: What’s next for you as an author?
JE: My romantic drama LOVE STORY will be published on July 19.
GC: And finally, since this is an event to celebrate Love, would you share your most romantic memory, or share a story that epitomizes ‘Love’ for you?
JE: Oooh I love this story. I dated this adorable guy for about a month when we were seniors in high school. We had a really strong connection but...I’m not sure what happened. Maybe we weren’t mature enough to handle that level of emotion. For whatever reason, we broke up and it was ugly. Plus, his best friend and my best friend were stepsiblings, so we saw each other at our friends’ house constantly for the rest of the school year.
Flash forward to college. We became friends again and went to breakfast a few times. But he was dating someone else and I was dating someone else. We lost touch.
Flash forward another 13 years, to New Year’s Eve. He was living in South Carolina, I was living in Kentucky, and we were both visiting our parents in our hometown in Alabama over the holidays. We ran into each other at a gas station. This time, we’d both just broken up with someone else. We started talking. We made a long-distance date.
A year and a half later, we got married.
True love waits.