A BLOG FOR READERS AND AUTHORS OF MTV BOOKS

The MTV Books Blog will close on October 31. Follow us to our new home at YA Outside the Lines on November 1!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Proud to finish 1665th

My next novel, BOY IN BLUE, is coming out with MTV Books in early 2009. It's about a 17-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.

In the book, both the chick and the cop are runners. He was the captain of his high school track team. She's been through a trauma she can't shake, and she figures if she can run five miles a day, she must not be dying. Right? I can't tell you what the trauma is--meet me back here in a year and three months. But you can read the first chapter here.

When I started writing the book I didn't intend for the characters to be runners. It happened naturally because I was training for my first-ever 10-K (that's 6.2 miles for the metrically challenged). I few days ago I ran in my fourth 10-K with a time of 1:06:48. I'm pretty sure that's bad. I was beaten by 1664 people. On the bright side, I beat 324 others, including several 86-year-old men. If you walked I had you. You were TOAST baby.

I ran my longest distance ever while training for a 15-K last March. That training program ended sadly with no race, a sinus infection, and two very large and painful shots in the tuckus. But now I've pledged to run a half-marathon in February. So you can bet my future books will be about runners, or--depending how things go--ex-runners.

Jennifer Echols

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congrats! On the book AND the running! I am in awe of both your talents!

-Victoria

jennifer echols said...

You're a sweetie. But you write books too. And I wouldn't say running is a talent of mine. Some things you do because they're a talent. Some things you do despite the fact that they're not a talent. I'm the runner's version of the audition episodes of American Idol. She bangs! She bangs!

Christy Reece said...

Jenn, love the first chapter of Boy In Blue. Can't wait to read the book!

Congrats on the run too. It takes discipline and determination to prepare for a run. You have tons of both, along with fabulous writing talent.

jennifer echols said...

Ditto on YOUR book! Since they're both coming out in Feb 09, we should make some kind of celebratory calendar that counts down the months, like counting down the 12 days until Christmas.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

You know I think marathon stamina and author stamina are pretty similar. Like getting to the end of the book or revisions, exhausting as reaching a finish line I imagine. But I can only imagine cause I don't have the guts to run a marathon. I'm sticking with the elliptical and pilates!

jennifer echols said...

Yeah, I think about that metaphor a lot. I like the pilates metaphor better. If I just targeted my energy more precisely, my books wouldn't take so long!

Marley Gibson said...

BOY IN BLUE is one of the best YA's that I've ever read. I hope it's a huge hit!

(Love the new do, Jenn!)

= )

jennifer echols said...

Marley, you rock. Thank you!

Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

You runners, it's a sickness, I swear. :-P My husband's cousin and his wife are both going to run half marathons tomorrow morning before coming home to host two dozen family members for Thanksgiving.

My husband came up with the perfect description for long-distance running, based in part on a Robin Williams skit: it's a socially acceptable drug addiction.

jennifer echols said...

Yeah, I wanted to do a 10-K Turkey Trot tomorrow but I have to leave too early for Granddad's. If it's an addiction, I'll take it. I spent my entire childhood as the smallest person in the class and the least likely to be picked for the team. It's very, very cool to have discovered a new interest in my old age and to be...if not good at it, at least consistent in my pursuit. ;)

PurpleRanger said...

So, you have a thing for pain, and you're sharing it with your characters, is that it?

jennifer echols said...

Nah, it doesn't hurt.

jocelyn said...

I read the first chapter of Boy in Blue, and it's awesome! Can't wait to read the rest of the book :-)

Anyone who can run at all impresses me :-) My dad, brothers, and uncle are all pretty serious runners, and my mom runs some too, but me, I just hate it so much! I'd even rather speak in public than run, and I have seriou stage fright :-)

jennifer echols said...

Joceyn, thank you so much!

I'm totally with you on the public speaking. I'm giving the program at my local writers' group in March and dreading it already.