While New Adult has been making waves throughout the literary community, some authors have already been writing some pretty steamy books with teenage characters.
Katie McGarry, author of the upcoming Crash Into You, has been publishing YA with some very sexy scenes with Harlequin Teen for the past two years, but she never had an explicit intention of writing racy books.
“I set out to write my characters’ stories. I’m a plotter by nature and will ‘know’ my entire story before I get too far into writing, but regardless of what I plan, my characters take over and demand I tell their story and not mine,” said McGarry.
With this approach to writing, YA just happened naturally for McGarry.
“I’ve never set out to write one way or another, I just let my characters stay true to who they are. Sometimes that means writing a steamy scene. Sometimes that means breaking their hearts and mine. All of it is part of the storytelling process.”
Crash Into You is the third book in a series of companion novels by McGarry. The first book, Pushing the Limits, was an ALA Pick for Reluctant Readers this year and a nominee for Romantic Times Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Young Adult Contemporary Novel.
Writing a series – which now includes a novella – was never quite the plan for McGarry, though.
“I wrote Pushing the Limits as a stand alone novel. I was very excited when my publisher asked about continuing the series with companion novels. I immediately knew that I wanted to write stories for Beth (Dare You To) and Isaiah (Crash Into You),” explained McGarry.
Each of McGarry’s books in this series tackles some serious topics, from family issues to mental health, as well as some aspects that aren’t as commonly found in young adult literature. In Crash Into You, that aspect is drag racing, which required some research.
“I read a lot, but I learned most of my information by hanging out at a local, legal drag way. I met some amazing people there and they were more than happy to talk to me about cars and racing,“ said McGarry.
A life of researching drag racing and writing books doesn’t come naturally to most people, but McGarry is happy to do whatever it takes to write the best book she can.
“When I was younger, I read S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and that book changed my life. It gave me hope. When I began writing, my goal was to write a book that inspired hope like The Outsiders did for me,” said McGarry.
Even though she’s busy, McGarry has found she doesn’t need any special things or routines to get her writing done – which is a very good thing indeed. “I’m a stay-at-home mom of three very active children so my writing revolves around their schedules.”
Despite the unconventional life of being a writer and mother, there are a lot of positive things about being an author. For McGarry, it’s the readers.
“When I receive an e-mail from a reader and they share how the story has touched their lives. It’s an amazing feeling and I love knowing that my stories are spreading hope,” said McGarry.
Crash Into You doesn’t release until November 26th, but McGarry is also excited about what is coming for readers in 2014, which will be the fourth book in the series.
“Take Me On follows West, a character my readers will meet in Crash Into You. West has become one of my favorite characters and I felt like I blushed the majority of the time while writing his book. He’s just so fun to write and he always took my breath away,” said McGarry.