Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Interview: Katie McGarry, author of Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry is one of my most favorite reads so far this year, actually probably one of the best Young Adult Contemporaries ever! So to be able to interview Katie, care of the wonderful Jess at Morey Media is an absolute honor.

Pushing the LimitsAuthor: Katie McGarry
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 31st July 2012
Source: Morey Media

Synopsis: "I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much
impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Welcome to Obsession with Books Katie, I have recently read and thoroughly enjoyed Pushing the Limits, are you able to tell us a little about your book and yourself?

Yay! I’m so excited to hear you enjoyed PTL! I’m a stay-at-home mom, a reality TV freak, and a University of Kentucky basketball fan. I’m also a sucker for an amazing love story.

Pushing the Limits tells the story of two high school seniors, Echo and Noah. Echo has no memory of the night that transformed her from popular girl to loner freak with scars on her arms, and she desperately craves answers. Noah is a foster kid who is fighting to reunite his family. Since they see the same court ordered therapist, the lives of the “good” girl and the “bad” boy collide. The two work together towards their goals, but neither foresaw the shattering consequences of learning the truth regarding their families or of falling in love.

When and why did you begin writing?

Writing is something I have always enjoyed. I had several teachers in high school who encouraged me to write, but I honestly didn’t begin to write until a couple of years ago. A story idea nagged at me so after my kiddos went to bed at night, I began to write.

Where did the inspiration for your book Pushing the Limits come from?

I was actually writing another book when I stumbled across the voice of Echo. When my character broke out into “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood” then later wished she would spontaneously combust, I knew I had found someone new…someone whose wit made me laugh, but whose hurt made me ache.

I write love stories so I free wrote for awhile in order to find the perfect guy for Echo—that one person who could help her with her pain. This person was Noah.
Pushing the Limits is an emotional story, were there any particular challenges when it came to writing your main characters Noah and Echo or particular scenes?

There’s a scene towards the end of the book where Echo and Noah are confronting each other after a whirlwind of awful events. There are so many emotions happening simultaneously between these two characters and it was difficult to wrap fear and frustration and love and hope all into one little scene.

Pushing the Limits is told from both Noah and Echo’s POV’s, was it hard to switch between the two?

Honestly, as a writer, it was refreshing. Echo and Noah were intense characters to write for different reasons. Shifting between their POV’s gave me a chance to rest in between chapters.

What is your ideal day as an author?

My ideal day would be to get as many words down on the page as I can. I’m a stay at home mom of three extremely active kiddos so my writing time becomes very limited very quickly.

Is there anything about you that would surprise your readers? Any quirks, habits, routines etc.

I run almost every day and love almost every type of music that is out there: from rap, to country, to heavy metal, to gospel. Most people would be shocked to hear that I don’t like candy. Don’t worry though, I do love chocolate.

Are you able to describe what your writing process is like?

I’m a mix between a plotter and a pantser. I usually free write the first couple of chapters in order to find out who my characters are and then I’ll stop and plot. Once I know the direction of my story, I’ll start writing again, but typically my characters love to tear up my plot, dance all over it, and head in a whole other direction.

Are there any books or authors that have most influenced you?

I absolutely love The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. It was the very first book I ever stayed up all night to read. I connected completely with her characters and how they looked upon their friends as their family.

If Pushing the Limits were to be made into a movie, who would you chose to play the roles of your main characters?

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been able to pick anyone to play Echo or Noah, but it is so much fun to see who my readers think should play them.

What is up next for you?

I’m currently working on revisions for DARE YOU TO, a companion novel to Pushing the Limits. DARE YOU TO follows the story of Beth, a secondary character from Pushing the Limits.

Quick Questions:

Fave band / television series / movie? Jason Aldean/Big Brother/Casablanca
Coffee or tea? Neither
E-reader or hardcopy? Hardcopy
Cats or Dogs? Cats
Ideal travel destination? Any place with a beach!

Thank-you so much Katie for taking time to talk to us today!


  1. What a great interview, questions and answers! Katie, it's so great that you find time to write even with three energetic kids. The way you utilize freewriting so often is inspiring. I can tell this story is really close to your heart and I can't wait to read it. Oh, and I'm not a tea or coffee person either...I wonder how many of us are out there.
    Sharon, thanks for your enthusiasm over the book...you made me want to pick it up tomorrow, or July 31st! :)
    -Jenna @ Fans of Fiction

  2. Aaaah awesome interview I loved this book and I always love learning the writing processes and a bit about the author. The dual POV in this was written so brilliantly - like my egalley didn't even tell me when it was switching and it was so easy to tell almost instantly. Great interview!!

  3. LOVE this interview, Sharon! I like the questions you chose, and I'm loving Katie's answers. I think it's cool that she free writes in order to brainstorm characters. That's something I want to start doing. And ahhh, she's a Jason Aldean fan. SWEETNESS. Again, GREAT post, Sharon girl!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  4. I love Pushing the Limits that I am afraid I won't get the review right. Reading the interview kind of helped me.

    A great interview with some very insightful questions!

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile


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