January 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM
Fourteen years ago, my best friend died.
Yesterday, the grief pulled me under as if she died that very moment. I felt like I was drowning. I couldn't write - couldn't find the muse too. I didn't want to watch TV. I didn't want to read a book. I didn't want to listen to music. I didn't want to play with my kids. I only wanted one thing...
So I did. I called her mom - the woman who is like a mom to me - and I cried and I laughed and I cried some more. More importantly, I laughed. Laughter turned into a life preserver and suddenly - I wasn't drowning anymore. I wasn't really saved either. I hung onto the laughter while part of me stayed immersed in the grief. Part of me above the water line. Part of me treading water.
For years I treaded water. It was all I was capable of doing. Many people go through their entire lives never experiencing a friendship like the one I had with her. I'd known her since birth. I lost her at twenty.
It took me several years to pull myself up out of the water and finally rest. I let myself grieve when I need to and live the rest of my life at full capacity. My best friend, she would have wanted that. She lived a life full of laughter. I would only dishonor her if I didn't live life the same way.
I miss you my friend. There still isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you. There are still times I pick up the phone to call you. Today, I decided to pull myself out of the water and watch the sunset from dry land. I still miss you. It still hurts, but someday, I know, I'll see you again.
January 1, 2011 at 12:52 PM
I am very excited to announce that my wonderful agent, Kevan Lyon of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, sold Echo and Noah at auction to Margo Lipschultz at Harlequin Teen at auction! Right now we are looking at a Spring 2012 release date!
August 31, 2010 at 9:59 AM
Redefining Normal is the highest scoring finalist in the 2010 Lone Star Writing Competition! I found out in October where the manuscript places after another round of judging. Here are some of the judges comments:
"Absolutely adored the opening! Smart. Witty. Definitely made me want to continue on."
"I have to admit, you surprised me. I didn't expect to give anyone a perfect score. However, after reading your story several times, to find flaws I had to be missing...I came up empty handed, and loving the story even more. You deserve it. Well done. I'll be watching for this one in print, hopefully sometime soon."
"I was instantly sucked into the story. Echo is such a strong character with such an engaging POV. I loved the way you integrated seeds of conflict in the opening without making it feel heavy with excess information. Really beautifully done."
"Both Echo and Noah come across as witty, complex, and so real. I like that you've given them the promise of common emotional ground, but kept them individuals. And I love that they don't instantly adore one another on sight. The characterization shines through their reflections, dialogue, and desires. So well done."
"I adore your voice. So clever. And the way humor is used as a defense mechanism brings a sense of lightness to the narrative and makes the weight of the conflict manageable for a reader looking for a pleasure read rather than be preached at. Really nicely handled."
"This fits beautifully (I keep wanting to use that word with your book!) with the YA genre. The teen POV feels authentic and the pace is rapid without feel rushed."
July 3, 2010 at 11:10 AM
I entered this contest because my fabulous critique partner double-dogged-dared me to enter. She fell in love with Noah and Echo and thought other people would too. Though I'm not sure of the category breakdowns, this years' contest had over 1,100 entries. I found out last month that Redefining Normal is one of nine finalist. Here are some of the judges comments:
“The characters are admirable, flawed, conflicted, living extremely conflicted lives surrounded by people who don’t understand them or don’t care. The writing is gritty and real and funny, at times.”
“I look forward to finishing this story. I might even stay up past my bedtime.”
“I think you have rare ability to tell an engaging story, create characters that readers care about, and a wicked sense of humor to boot. A story like this, in the hands of a less talented writer, could become a club with which to beat in over the head, or be too heavy and humorless to read. Good work – I’ll be watching for this one.”
“Each characters dialogue defines their personality and role within the story, thus advancing its plot crisply, sharp tension, and suspense.”
“It is contemporary and relevant to teens in today’s world.”
July 3, 2010 at 11:06 AM
I'm already very proud of Noah and Echo, but it always helps when someone else enjoys your writing. Here are some comments from the judges of the RWA Chicago-North's 2010 Fire and Ice contest. I placed third.
“At the end of the story, I wanted to keep reading. I wanted to see how the relationship between the two characters, Echo and Noah, grows and changes.”
“The scenes were vivid and I was drawn right into each scene. I enjoyed your voice.”
“Vivid style and excellent writing.”
“I have high hopes that one day the rest of it will show up on a book shelf!”
July 3, 2010 at 10:50 AM
I updated my playlist for the songs that I listened to while writing Redefining Normal. Check them out on my playlist page.
Some songs helped with the overall theme like Scar Tissue, Sometimes Love Ain't Enough, Undone, and The End of the Innocence. While others helped with characterization.
The moment I heard Push playing on the radio while taking my kids to the park totally rocked my world. I already had an idea of who Noah and Echo were and I felt like this song was written for them. Don't misunderstand, neither want to physcially push the other around, but they keep pushing each other's limits and neither feel worthy of the other.
Hope when you hear these songs you think of my characters!
May 10, 2010 at 10:21 PM
Hi, I'm Katie McGarry. Welcome to my new website and blog. Check back often or subscribe to the RSS feeds for updates. I am an aspiring author and have written three manuscripts. Look at my pages for more information about me and my manuscripts.