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Interview with "Pushing the Limits" author Katie McGarry

Katie McGarry is a young adult writer, whose debut novel “Pushing the Limits” is available now! “Pushing the Limits” tells the tale of two teenagers who’ve gone through hell, yet find happiness and love in each other. Read our interview with Katie below, and get to know a little bit more about this phenomenal writer whose second novel “Dare You To” will be released in 2013. You can follow Katie on twitter here, and like her on Facebook here. Check HRC later this week to find out how to win your own signed copy of “Pushing the Limits”!

You explained in PTL why Echo got her name, but how did you originally choose to name your main character Echo, and her brother Aires since those aren’t “popular” names.

“Echo went through several name changes as I wrote the manuscript. For awhile, she had a very normal name, but it always felt off. It wasn’t until I looked at Echo from her mother’s point of view that I found her name. Echo’s mother loved Greek mythology so it made perfect sense that she would name her children after the myths. I read several Greek myths and the moment I found Echo’s myth, I fell in love. Echo, to me, was the girl who lost her voice. Thankfully, she finds it by the end.

Once I found Echo’s name, I then searched the myths for her brother’s name. Aires is the Greek god of war, but his name is more often spelled Ares. I preferred the name Aires over using Ares.”

You reference “The Wizard of Oz” quite a bit is that your favorite movie?

“No, but I had to take a look at the world through Echo’s eyes. During a character interview with her, she told me that she loved The Wizard of Oz when she was a child hence why I use the reference so often.”

Two of the themes of the book are mythology and astrology. Were you fascinated by both as a teen yourself? Favorite constellation?

“I absolutely love looking at the stars, especially when I was a teenager, but I was never focused enough to learn the constellations or they mythology behind it. My favorite constellation is Orion because I can find it so easily in the night sky.”

How would you define “normal”?

“When I was teenager, I always tried to define normal based upon what I thought other people’s lives were supposed to be—a sickening constant comparison. This only made me miserable.

As I got older, I understood that normal is what I made of it. To me, normal is that feeling of contentment: reading a good book, washing dishes after a great dinner, curling up on the porch swing with my husband, singing a song to my child before they go to sleep. Simple things. It’s not a routine. It’s not an expectation for the day. It’s that moment where I know that I love and that I’m loved in return.”

What originally made you want to be a writer?

“I’m a storyteller by nature. Since I was a child, my mind was always creating characters and stories. A couple of years ago, I decided to see what would happen if I wrote those stories down. Pushing the Limits is the result of that experiment.”

PTL deals with a lot of emotional and horrific issues. What made you want to write a book about bi-polar disorder, suicide, drugs, etc?

“Honestly, I didn’t go into writing Pushing the Limits with the intentions of dealing with those specific issues. When I got into the story, the characters told me this is where the story needed to go.”

You’re choosing to continue telling Beth’s story in “Dare You To”. What made her the character you wanted to further develop and explore?

*Spoiler Alert for those who haven’t read Pushing the Limit*

“I’ll try to keep it as non-spoilery as I can.

When Noah walks into his foster parent’s house to find Beth bleeding at the kitchen table, I knew Beth’s story needed to be told. She is such a tough girl on the outside, but inside, Beth is fragile and complicated. The moment I discovered her backstory, I fell in love with her. I can’t wait for the world to fall in love with Beth too.

Dare You To, Beth’s story, is scheduled to be released in 2013.”

You’re a music lover and you listed songs that helped you get in touch with your characters. Who is your favorite band?

“Tough question. I’m going to cheat and name several: Guns N Roses, Nickleback, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Eminem. Oh my, I could keep going!”

Did you base any of your characters off of people you knew or yourself?

“I didn’t base my characters off of anyone I know. Instead, I took small pieces of myself and inserted them not only into Echo and Noah, but into all of my characters. Echo has my sarcasm, Beth encompasses my fears, Isaiah and Lila share my loyalty, and Noah has my passion to love.”

What current YA book can you not get enough of?

“Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter. I absolutely loved it and I can’t wait for book 2 in the series!”

What do you think of your PTL cover? Do the actors on the cover correctly portray Echo and Noah the way you visualized?

“I love my cover for Pushing the Limits! The girl looks a lot like Echo. The guy doesn’t resemble Noah as much to me, but he is gorgeous and does resemble Noah some.”

After “Dare You To” what are your plans? A story with new characters or do you plan on exploring more characters from the PTL world?

“As of right now, I am planning on writing an additional story in the Pushing the Limits universe.”

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