Take Me On Blog Tour: Katie McGarry Interviews Her Editor + Giveaway
Author Katie McGarry is know for her riveting, emotional and edgy contemporary YA novels. She made her debut with with Pushing the Limits and has lead to Take Me On, Katie’s fourth book available now from Harlequin TEEN! Usually authors are the one getting the Q&A treatment…but for this blog tour stop, we’ve turned the tables and Katie is interviewing her editor, Margo Lipschultz! Plus, keep reading for your chance to win a copy of Take Me On…
Katie McGarry (KMG): What’s the best part of editing contemporary YA?
Margo Lipschultz (ML): The best part of editing contemporary YA—and, in fact, YA in general—is that it gives me the chance to experience again the tremendous and unforgettable emotional rollercoaster of the teen years. There’s such an emotional immediacy to YA storylines, fueled by the fact that much of what the teens are going through is something they’re either experiencing for the first time, or seeing through a new lens.
The teen characters in the books I edit open my eyes to new perspectives and give me an intense appreciation for challenges I know teens deal with in real life. They break my heart and then heal it again. (West and Haley in Take Me On are the perfect examples of this!) At the same time, no matter what unique hardships they’re facing, there’s something in their stories that’s universally relatable to anyone who is or was a teenager, and that forges a bond between the characters and the reader.
KMG: What’s some advice you’d give aspiring YA writers?
ML: Don’t write to the trends just because you think you’ll have a better chance of selling your book. Write what you love. Don’t censor yourself just because you’re writing for teens—the story should feel organic and authentic. Also, teen readers can be quick to call you out if they think your characters don’t talk/act/think/respond like they would, so do pay attention to your narrative voice and your characters’ dialogue.
KMG: Who’s your favorite Katie McGarry character and why?
ML: Argh! The question that’s almost impossible to answer! The truth is I love all your characters. They all make me laugh, cry, scream in joy or frustration, swoon, and generally just FEEL. If I absolutely have to pick one favorite, it might be Echo from Pushing the Limits. She’s so heartbreakingly lonely and self-protective. She’s an outsider who’s never quite given up on fitting in again with her friends and family, but she no longer knows who to trust. And she has all these delicious and scary feelings for Noah Hutchins, the guy she thinks is totally inappropriate for her. I utterly related to her vulnerability, her confusion, the way she questioned both herself and those around her, and above all, her desire to be normal—whatever normal means. And I loved watching her relationship with Noah unfold as they gradually became each other’s port in the storm.
KMG: While editing my most recent release, Take Me On, we decided to cut the first two chapters that were in the original draft. Sometimes cutting scenes, or adding them, is part of the editorial process. As an editor, how do you decide when a scene is unnecessary?
ML: There can be any number of reasons why I’d ask an author to cut a scene. Maybe it feels repetitive or covers the same ground as an earlier chapter. Maybe it slows the pacing and I’m afraid readers will abandon the book. Sometimes two characters will have a conversation that feels like filler and isn’t furthering the reader’s understanding of the storyline. Or a character will just do something that doesn’t feel true to what we already know about them, and I worry the reader won’t be able to empathize with that character’s responses or decisions. All of those would be good reasons to suggest that an author cut a scene, or substantially rework it.
In the case of Take Me On, the two chapters in question were both flashback scenes meant to give the reader a sense of the events that have shaped Haley and West’s goals and motivations. But because they took place before the present-day storyline, my gut reaction was that readers might feel like there was too much information to absorb so early on. You did a terrific job of moving the relevant info from those scenes to later points in the book, and I love the opening chapters you have now! I’m very excited for readers to fall in love with Haley and West just as I have.
For a chance to win a copy of Take Me On, leave a comment below answering this question: What is your favorite contemporary YA novel or author?
Contest closes June 15 at 11:59pm ET. One winner will be drawn from all eligible comments and announced on June 16. Open to residents of the US and Canada, excluding Quebec. For full official rules, click here.
UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed. Please check the comments to see who won.
About the Book
Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.
West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.
Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.
About Katie McGarry:
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 and Goodreads.