I am so thankful to be able to feature one of my favorite authors on the blog this month. This is the month of giving thanks, right? I am so incredibly grateful to this particular author for making me enjoy YA contemporary and giving this genre a chance when I'm not one of the biggest fans. I am thankful to Jennifer from Harlequin Teen for allowing me to feature one of their best authors here. Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome Katie McGarry to Step Into Fiction for the month of November. If you're not aware of who she is then check out her Pushing the Limits series: Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Crash Into You, Take Me On and the upcoming, Breaking the Rules.
Katie was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
Katie is the author of the full-length Young Adult novels PUSHING THE LIMITS and DARE YOU TO, and the e-novella CROSSING THE LINE. Her debut novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS, is a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and an RT Book Reviews 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel.
Writing has given Katie an excuse to pursue her passions. Research for her books has provided her with the amazing opportunity to train with baseball players, ride along in a drag car at ninety-six miles per hour and experience boxing and mixed martial arts. The most memorable moments for Katie are when she speaks to groups of teenagers about her research, writing and the truth that no dream is out of reach. Katie would love to hear from her readers.
Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, at Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook, Goodreads and Instagram.
Now that you’re working on a new project that isn’t part of the Pushing the Limits series, does it feel weird or refreshing diving into a new set of characters, new stories?
My new series follows teens who are raised in the world of motorcycle clubs. It is titled Nowhere But Here and it will be released in May 2015. Nowhere But Here was the book I was working on when I was querying Pushing the Limits. When I sold, I had to stop working on it so I could focus on the PTL series, but I never stopped thinking about these characters. It is a fantastic feeling to dive back into their world.
Have you ever considered writing in a different genre? Like fantasy or paranormal or even adult (new adult)? If you could write something other than YA contemporary, what do you think you’d write?
Yes, I’ve considered writing in a different genre. I absolutely love writing YA contemporary, but having a writer’s mind, I think of stories outside of the YA contemporary genre all the time. I often think about writing New Adult, Adult, and I would love to write a dystopian someday.
When you first started writing, who was the most supportive and inspirational person that you met? What kind of advice did they give you?
My husband is easily the most supportive and inspirational person in my life. He encouraged me when I wrote my first manuscript and has stood by me through the years of rejection. He has also been with me through the past few years of becoming published.
His advice to me has been to go after my dreams, but to remember what my original goals have been. It is important for me to chase my dreams, but to also keep my family my priority.
Which of your characters in the Pushing the Limits series is most dear to you and why?
All of my characters are important to me, but there is one that I have become highly attached to and that would be Abby. She is a secondary character from Crash Into You and Take Me On. She is extremely complicated, very tough, but has a layer of vulnerability deep within her.
Beth is a character that is also very dear to me. Out of all the characters I wrote, she is the character I could relate to the most because I understand her emotional pain.
What is one book you loved so much that you wish you came up with the story?
The Stand by Stephen King. I absolutely love this book and it is pure genius.
How much research usually goes in to your writing? What’s the coolest thing you’ve done in regards of the research?
I do a ton of research for my books. I have talked to therapists and people involved in the foster care system. I have hung out at baseball training facilities, gone down a legal dragway, and I spent a year in a gym that trains MMA and Muay Thai fighters.
Some of my favorite research has happened while researching the motorcycle story, Nowhere But Here.
For those of us who aren’t too keen on YA contemporary (though there are exceptions, like your books, of course), what are some books you’d recommend to us?
I love anything by Trish Doller and Huntley Fitzpatrick. I also love Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley.
eBook or Physical book? Physical book
Series or Standalone? Series
Winter or Summer? Summer
Vampires or Werewolves? Werewolves
Coffee or Tea? Hot chocolate
Bad Boy or Jock? I married the jock.
Fall or Spring? Fall
Hardcover or Paperback? Hardcover
Cookies or Cupcakes? Cookies
Snow or Rain? Rain
I am giving one lucky reader the opportunity to have one of Katie's books (of your choosing) signed/personalized just for you. The only problem is this book won't be signed until the end of February so the winner's prize will not be shipped out until March 2015. Please understand this before entering. This is open internationally so I encourage all of you to enter. You have until 11:59 PM EST on November 25 to do your thing. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!
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