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France and BEA!

June 2, 2012 at 1:58 PMKatie McGarry

I’m going to interrupt my song countdown for Pushing the Limits this week to squee for a few minutes!

Pushing the Limits has been released in France!!!!

 

This week, I’ll be at BEA. If you will be attending, I would love for you to stop by and see me. I’ll be at the Harlequin Teen Booth signing on Wednesday June 6th from 11:00 – 11:45 a.m and then I’ll be signing again from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. at table 26.

If you are in the New York City area, please come and visit the Jefferson Market Library for the Teen Author Carnival on Tuesday June 5th from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. I will be speaking on two panels for this event.

I look forward to meeting some of you!!!!

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Can You

May 28, 2012 at 1:18 PMKatie McGarry

Playlist countdown to Pushing the Limits release: nine more weeks. Song: Can You by Angela McGarry

I draw my inspiration from music. Scenes and characters can come alive from a word, a lyric, a melody. While I rely upon music, and other things, for inspiration, there are others who use writing for their inspiration. Enter a great friend of mine, sister-in-law, singer, and songwriter, Angela McGarry.

For me, handing over my work to be read is nerve wracking. I want people to love my characters and story as much as I do and at the same time I want people to give their honest opinion. Literature choices, as with anything else, are very personal and vary from person to person. What I like to read and what someone else likes to read can be different.

When Angela asked to read Pushing the Limits, I cringed. What if she didn’t like it? What if she hated it? Would she tell me? I mean, after all, we see each other daily.

The answer to my questions came in the form of an e-mail from Angela with the first lyrics of a new song. It turns out that she enjoyed the story and that I had inspired her. I was excited and humbled and in complete awe—I inspired someone. Eventually Angela wrote the entire song. The first time she played it for me on the piano, I cried. She captured Echo perfectly.

I am pleased to announce that Angela has recorded the song Can You and it can be purchased on various formats including itunes. Embedded in this post below is a sample of the song Can You and below that are the lyrics. I hope you listen to the song and love it as much as I do!

Itunes: ITunes

Can You

Verse: I wanna be invisible to the world I just close my eyes and I’m a different girl I don’t wanna be the one that they see Please set me free from this misery

Chorus: I’m shattered I’m broken I’m scarred Can you really see me?

Verse: I don’t wanna listen to the crowd I just wanna stop and cry and scream out loud I don’t wanna be the one that they hear Please let me escape from this wicked fear

Chorus: I’m shattered I’m broken I’m scarred Can you really hear me?

Bridge: Do you know that I’m damaged? Do you know I’m confused? Do you know that I’m shattered? Is that alright with you?

Verse: It’s hard to believe you’re looking my way Your eyes caught my stare and they chose to stay Could I be the one you were meant to save Might you be the love I’ve been longing to crave

Chorus: I’m shattered I’m broken I’m scarred Can you really save me? I’m shattered I’m broken I’m scarred Can you really see me? I’m shattered I’m broken I’m scarred Can you really hear me? I’m shattered I’m broken I’m scarred Can you really save me?

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Changes

May 20, 2012 at 12:31 PMKatie McGarry

Playlist countdown to Pushing the Limits release: ten more weeks. Song: Changes by 2 Pac & Talent

I needed an academic scholarship.

I owned two, maybe three pairs of jeans. My shorts were cut-offs of jeans from the year before. I had one good pair of shoes—men’s sneakers because I’d wear through the girl’s sneakers too quickly. Between juggling school, extra-curricular activities, and tennis, I could only work ten to twenty hours a week. Minimum wage at the time was a little over four dollars an hour so, needless to say, I never made bank.

I mowed yards. I babysat. Sometimes I even sold vegetables from my dad’s garden. I needed a prom dress, matching dress shoes, and my racket needed to be restrung before regionals. Actually, I needed new grip on the handle of my racket as well, but Duct tape worked wonders.

Notre Dame came and watched me play months before, but I choked on the court. Not that it mattered. My knees never worked the same since the car accident a year before. It was hard to beat great people when they knew that if I played net I couldn’t run backwards towards the baseline as fast as I used too. My crazy dreams of adding an athletic scholarship to an academic were fading quickly, but being stubborn I still tried.

And I reached a point in the middle of my senior year of high school where all I felt like I was doing was trying and trying and trying…and getting no where. I saw no changes.

I hit a low. Was I ever going to make it out or was I stuck where I was at forever?

The answer is no, but at the time, I didn’t know that.

When I began writing Noah and Echo I heard this song on the radio and it immediately took me back to those emotions of my senior year. That hopelessness I felt: I wanted Noah to have those emotions so I added this song to the playlist.

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Paint

May 13, 2012 at 12:58 PMKatie McGarry

 

The countdown begins! I have fourteen songs on my playlist for Pushing the Limits and eleven weeks until the release. Each week I’m going to discuss why I chose the songs for the Pushing the Limits playlist.

In 1988, I was in the eighth grade. My body and mind were struggling to break free from middle school awkwardness into becoming a full fledge teenager. My hair was growing out, my aunt bought me my first stylish pair of jeans, I figured out how to tease my bangs, and, thank God, I finally began to actually need a bra instead of only wearing one because everyone else was.

My English teacher had a cart full of books and it was there that I found a well-worn copy of Judy Blume’s Forever. I remember sitting at my desk and wildly glancing around the room when I realized what the book was about. Surely this wasn’t allowed. I mean, the book discussed stuff that no one ever talked about. Ever.

Unless it was with my friends or because some boy was being boastful or because some jerk was trying to make me blush. As me and my friends all took turns reading the book, we discovered that we had so much of it wrong. Especially the boastful boys—man, they were waaaay off.

Many a sleepovers were filled with the sound of my friends reading aloud from Forever. We’d laugh, we’d cut up, but eventually we’d all started talking about boys and parents and pressure. Suddenly, we weren’t so alone.

And as we talked, we listened to music. I remember sitting with my friends, talking, listening, and weaving stories the entire time in my mind. My stories were especially inspired by the music.

That Christmas, my parents bought me my second ever cassette tape: Roxette’s Look Sharp. I fell in love with a song—Paint.

Whenever I heard Paint, I knew I wanted to write a love story. I adored the beautiful imagery: the idea of someone being a blank canvass, that love is paint, and that when you combine the two you create a breathtaking piece of art.

When I went to create Echo, I remembered the song Paint. I dug out my old cassette, listened to the song then immediately downloaded it to my mp3. Echo is an artist and she, herself, is honestly a blank canvass. Love is what causes Echo to come alive.

 

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YAmazing Race

May 8, 2012 at 12:37 PMKatie McGarry

The YAmazing Race is officially over! Thanks to everyone who participated!

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YAmazing Race

April 30, 2012 at 11:58 AMKatie McGarry
This week I'm participating in the Apocalypsies' YAmazing Race. To see details of how you can participate in this blog hop, please go to my home page: www.katielmcgarry.com. There are lots of fun prizes!!!!

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Happy Book Birthday Masque of the Red Death!

April 23, 2012 at 7:35 AMKatie McGarry

Happy Book Birthday week to Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death!!!! In honor of Bethany’s release, me and two of my other YA writing friends, Colette Ballard and Kelly Creagh (author of Nevermore and the soon-to-be-released Enshadowed), put together a skit.

We absolutely adore Bethany and love Masque of the Red Death! Congratulations Bethany! And to everyone else: race out and buy the book—today!

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Whack-A-Mole

April 15, 2012 at 5:43 PMKatie McGarry

Book I'm currently reading: Matched

Sunday's running conditions: 60 degrees and sunny

Song I placed on repeat while running: It's the End of the World by R.E.M.

Why I love the song: It's just fun.

From my earliest of memories, I have been the Whack-A-Mole queen.

For those of you who either live in a box or have avoided carnivals your entire life, Whack-A-Mole is the best game ever invented. Several people gather around with overstuffed mallets in their hands and beat the hell out of moles that pop out of the machine. Whoever hits the most moles in a given period of time wins.

And I always win.

Until last week.

Now Whack-A-Mole comes in various formats. You don’t always beat the hell out of a mole (and for those of you overly concerned, they are not actual moles, but plastic representations). For instance, last week, it was Whack-A-Dinosaur.

I was so amped up to play. I never lose. I always win. This is something I could always depend upon myself to be good at.

Then I lost…to a teenage girl. To be honest, she kind of reminded me of me at her age. If I was going to lose, I'm glad it was to her.

For one second I had considered demanding a rematch, but I didn’t. Instead, the person running the game announced that the next round was for children under twelve. One by one I watched my children take their turns and one by one I watched them win. I guess the Whack-A-Mole gene is an inherited trait.

Let me tell you, watching them win was a far better experience than winning myself.

It is the end of the world as I know it and I feel better than fine.

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Pushing the Limits ARC Giveaway

April 2, 2012 at 7:37 AMKatie McGarry

Book I'm currently reading: No book right now. I'm entering the revision cave.

Sunday's running conditions: 50 degrees and rain

Song I placed on repeat while running: Scar Tissue by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Why I love the song: Inspiration for Pushing the Limits

The lyrics I love:

Scar tissue that I wish you saw. Sarcastic Mr. Know-It-All. Close your eyes and I'll kiss you cause with the birds I'll share. With the birds I'll share this lonely view yeah.

This song is on my place list for Pushing the Limits. Why? This is one of those rare songs where every single lyric fits my story perfectly. Not only the lyrics, but the mood of the music mirrors the mood of the story.

I love this song. I love Red Hot Chili Peppers. I love that one of their songs helped me create Noah and Echo. Want to know what I love more?

I’m giving away an Advance Reviewer Copy (ARC) of Pushing the Limits on YA Fusion this week. If you would like an opportunity to win the ARC, head over to YA Fusion and leave a comment. http://yafusion.blogspot.com/2012/03/prizes-from-tracy-bilen-katie-mcgarry.html

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Fear and Pride

March 26, 2012 at 7:40 AMKatie McGarry

Book I'm currently reading: No book right now. I'm entering the revision cave.

Sunday's running conditions: 60 degrees and sunny

Song I placed on repeat while running: Springsteen by Eric Church

Why I love the song: Brings back great memories

The lyrics I love:

When you think about me Do you think about 17 Do you think about my old Jeep Think about the stars in the sky Funny how a melody sounds like a memory Like a soundtrack to a July Saturday night Springsteen, Springsteen

So, I’m bummed.

There’s this absolutely amazing new song and no music video for it. I’ll admit it; I am a total sucker for music videos. In fact, when I was a senior in high school, I secretly thought about becoming a music video director. I also secretly thought I’d make a kick-butt stand-up comedian. But because of fear, I never pursued either of those options.

I did that a lot when I was younger: let fear consume me.

To be honest, I often felt terrorized about something with nearly every aspect of my life so I always tried to flock to what appeared steady or secure.

FYI—appearances are often deceiving.

I’m going to admit something about myself that the people who know me best will nod to: I’m proud. Too proud. And no, this isn’t the type of proud where I constantly pat myself on the back. It’s the type of proud that’s run me into the ground again and again: I refuse other people’s help. I’d rather eat nails than admit to someone I need help or that there is a problem.

So how is letting my fear consume me and being proud relate? They are so intertwined I can hardly unwrap the two from around each other. When I was younger, I created an image where everything was perfect because I never wanted anyone to see how messed up I was on the inside—how scared I really was. And that pride and that fear fed into one another and soon I made all of my decisions based upon whether or not people would see my fear or see who I was on the inside.

It’s a pretty pathetic way to live.

Unfortunately, it took me a really long time (a lot longer than it should have) to find courage. Writing saved me. I was able to take that fear and that pride and shove it onto a page. By somehow giving those emotions a name, by expelling them from me, I was able to gain courage and refuse those negative emotions control.

I still fall off the non-pride-and-fear wagon. I’m still pretty guarded around most people. But because I have found a way to gain control at times, I find myself relaxing and letting the messed up person on the inside shine to everyone.

Because of that, I’m becoming a published author.

Because of that, I made a room full of woman laugh on Saturday with one of them telling me I could be a stand-up comic if I wanted to give up writing.

Because of that…I’m now a happy person.

By the way, there’s no music video for Springsteen, but there is a live version and I think that is just fitting for this blog post: no pretend video of the song, but the real un-cut version.

Maybe one day, I’ll have the courage to write a blog post as to why I love this song so much.

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