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Teens’ Top Ten: Five Questions for Katie McGarry

2013 November 12
by Faythe Arredondo
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Photo Jul 03, 8 11 39 PMOver 32,000 teen readers cast their vote for the 2013 Teens’ Top Ten, and The Hub is celebrating their choices! Today we feature Katie McGarry, whose book Pushing the Limits is #4 on this year’s Teen’s Top Ten list.

Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits is the story of Echo. In one tragic night she went from popular girl to much-gossiped about outcast with weird scars on her arms. No one know what happened that night, not even Echo who just wants life to go back to normal. Any thoughts of normal go out the window when Echo meets Noah who is surprisingly understanding and has secrets of his own.

First of all, congratulations! I am not at all surprised you won since I can’t keep seem to keep any of your books on the shelves at the library or any of the eBooks checked in! I know a lot of my teens are happy that your characters aren’t from perfect homes, or have to struggle with things others take for granted. Is this something you wanted to tackle or did it just happen?

Thank you! This is such an unbelievable honor for me.

Yes, I definitely wanted to write characters who aren’t from perfect homes as well as characters who face difficult struggles.

When I was a teenager, things were tough at times. Not only was this true for me, but it was true for several of my friends. For a lot of us, we didn’t work because it was a great way to make extra cash, we worked because we needed money for the day to day stuff.

A lot of us faced some very real issues and at times, we felt alone in those struggles. Reading for me was a life preserver. When I was able to read about characters who faced adversity and they won—it gave me hope.

What was the most difficult part of Pushing the Limits to write?

Grief is a strong theme in Pushing the Limits. Echo lost her brother two years before the story starts and Noah lost his parents four years before the story started. In order to make Noah and Echo authentic characters, I had to visit some dark places inside of me and deal with my own grief. It can be emotionally exhausting to write this way, but I’m very happy I did. I think Noah and Echo have touched a few lives.

When you started writing Pushing the Limits did you know you would be telling the stories of Beth and Isaiah?

No. I originally wrote Pushing the Limits as a stand-alone novel. When Harlequin Teen bought Pushing the Limits, they offered me a two book deal. We all quickly agreed that Isaiah and Beth needed their stories told.

When did you decide to tell West Young’s story?

December of 2012. I remember it clearly because I was outside in the freezing cold on my cell talking to my agent about who would be the lead in my next book. I was at one of my kid’s practices and I couldn’t hear inside so I took to the twenty degree temperatures outside. My fingers were turning blue and I could see my breath in the air when I said, “Out of all of my secondary characters, West has the best story to be told at this moment.”

And he did. West’s story, Take Me On, will be released in May 2014 and it’s a story that has just stolen my heart.

Are there any more stories planned for the Pushing the Limits series?

Dare You To (Beth’s story) was released on May 28, 2013 and Crash Into You (Isaiah’s story) will be released on November 26, 2013. As mentioned above, West’s story, Take Me On, will debut on May 27, 2014.

It is my dream to continue the series. Especially when there are still characters like Logan and Abby who are begging to have their stories told, but right now I’m focusing on my contracted projects.

- Faythe Arredondo, currently reading Gris Grimly’s Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus by Gris Grimly

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