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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Interview with Christina Garner, Author of Gateway!



Ember has always known she doesn’t belong in this world. But when she tries to correct the mistake, she wakes to find herself in a mental institution.

She’s soon drawn to Taren, the mysterious boy with hazel eyes. He’s not what he seems, but what is he?

When chaos erupts, they are forced to flee the institution together, and the secret that Taren has been keeping brings Ember closer to understanding her own. And leads her to… the Gateway.
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In Gateway, Ember finds herself fleeing from a mental institution with a mysterious boy named Taren . Can you tell us a bit more about the book and share with us a favorite line, scene or passage?

Gateway tells the story of troubled teen, Ember Lyons. After a failed suicide attempt she wakes to find herself in Windsor Mental Hospital where she meets a cast of characters--most notably, Callie and Taren. Callie wants to kill her and Taren thinks he knows why...

“You're OK, Cal, I'm here.” Taren's reply was so soft I almost didn't hear it.

Not for the first time, I wondered at their relationship.

Callie was panic stricken. “No, I have to get out of here. Get me out—”

“Please,” Lauren interrupted, “do as she says, get her out of here.”

“Shut up, shut up SHUT UP!” The voice that erupted from Callie seemed too big to be housed in such a small girl.

She lurched up from the table and launched herself across it—straight at me. I was taken by such surprise that I didn't have time to react. One instant I was sitting in a folding chair, the next I was knocked to the cold tile. Callie was stronger than her looks suggested; it was all I could do to fend her off. As blue as her eyes were, they seemed on fire. Her hand arced up and I saw it—a plastic knife. My eyes widened. My last thought was going to be what the fu— 

And then Taren was there, pulling her off me. Stunned as I was, I saw him try to pocket the knife, but orderlies had rushed over by then and confiscated it. 

Taren no longer needed to restrain Callie, she was sobbing into his chest. The orderlies pried her off, though she clutched at him. 

Her eyes bore into me as they dragged her away. “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I swear I didn't want to. I'm so sorry…” 

What three words best describe Gateway?

Edgy, Engrossing, and Relatable. (I hope!)

What is it that you love most about Ember’s character?

I love her sense of compassion for those around her that are psychologically wounded. I appreciate her willingness to do whatever it takes for the people she loves.

What was the hardest aspect of building the world within your novel and how did you overcome it?

I think the hardest part might have been, "Why Ember?" I had this idea that I wanted to explore, but needed to justify it, otherwise it's just a cheap plot device. Between the first and the second drafts I needed to do a rewrite from the ground, up. Much of the novel changed, but I think it deepened both the characters and their motivation, which in turn strengthened the story and made it more relatable. And honestly, being relatable is what I want most for this story. Gateway deals with elements of fantasy, but they are metaphors for what the average young adult is going through. The books I have always loved the most are the ones that suck me into a compelling story and also leave me with something to think about in my own life. That's my intention for Gateway.

Which of your supporting characters would be perfect for a spin-off or novella and why?

I think Callie is a great character to explore. She starts out so soft-spoken and fragile, but begins to come into her own. I plan on giving her more attention in future volumes of this series, and can see her carrying her own story in a spin-off. When I created her, I had in mind the Hindu Goddess, Kali, who is both chaotic (which is how Callie starts out) and the "destroyer of illusions." I'm looking forward to unearthing different facets of her character.

What can we look forward to next from you? Any upcoming projects or new series in the works?

My next project will be book 2 in the Gateway Series. I want to deepen the relationships and ratchet up the danger.

I'm also going to be adapting a screenplay I wrote a few years back, called Coventry House, into a YA novel. It focuses on a sorority that also happens to be a witches' coven.


Writer, traveler, hopeful cynic. Vegan gelato enthusiast. Too much angst for my age. Author of the YA Urban Fantasy, Gateway. Official Website


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great interview and 3 words.

Nita said...

Great interview! I loved the scene Christina selected to explore. I will certainly be looking forward to her next book in this series. Also, I thought having a spin-off series on Callie is a great idea.

BooksforCompany said...

Oh wow!
Thanks for this interview, l love the sound of Gateway =)