It’s always an exciting time when Molly McAdams has a new book out, so we were very pleased to be able to talk with her about her latest book: TO THE STARS. So settle back and enjoy our conversation with Molly. Leave your comments below to be eligible to win a copy of TO THE STARS thanks to her publisher.
Harlow is a very misunderstood young woman throughout the book. She can sometimes appear, on the surface, to be unsympathetic, but she was always interesting and spunky. How did you find the right balance in creating her and her story?
Well there are so many sides of Harlow that we see throughout the book. In the past scenes, we see her growing from a 15-year-old girl, to an 18-year-old young woman. During that time she’s trying to guard herself from the idea that she might not ever get to have what Knox is promising her, while falling in love with him. In the present, we see the broken Harlow that Collin has created: a young woman who has been so beaten down that she’s just living to survive and save her family. It wasn’t so much about finding a balance for her, more just attempting to show the stages in her life accurately, all of which are drastically different. Hopefully readers will see the stages of her life for what they are (the ages and how girls of that age can be), and they won’t view her as “unsympathetic”, they will just understand that in everything she has had to guard herself from something.
Knox loves Harlow so much, and his love for her makes the reader swing to her side, but he can also be naive to her shortcomings. For you, is love something people need to go into blind or is it important to see all the shades of someone?
I think love is different for everyone, so I can’t answer that in a way that would be saying this is how it should be. Sometimes you fall in love only knowing the bare minimum about the other person; sometimes you fall in love after years of already knowing so much of them. I happened to know I was going to marry my now-husband the day I met him, and I knew I was in love with him so so quickly; but my oldest sister didn’t fall in love with her now-husband until they had been best friends for something like six years. For Knox and Harlow, they fell for each other quickly. Harlow was up front in that she couldn’t promise Knox a summer—because at that time in her life, who could? I think she fell in love with Knox slowly, Knox fell in love hard and fast. But they didn’t need to know everything about each other in order to fall in love. And even after they bore all years down the road, it didn’t change their feelings. They still felt the same way they had long before.
Knox thrives as the white knight for Harlow, especially when those around her don’t always get why she stays with Collin. Can you talk about the push and pull of being a savior to those people who don’t necessarily want to be saved?
It’s difficult to help (or sit back and watch) someone who doesn’t want to be saved. Probably the hardest thing when you know even a fraction of what they’re going through. But it wasn’t that Harlow didn’t want to be saved—she felt like she couldn’t be saved. The lives of her family were at risk, and so she stayed with Collin for them. Even still, her insistence to stay with Collin (or anyone in real life that this is happening to, for that matter) is something that weighed heavily on Knox. Because not only was he the only one who knew about Collin’s true nature, but he loved her and he felt like he needed to protect her, and he didn’t know how to. I think it said a lot about Knox that he trusted her enough not to go to the police when she begged him not to—because in Harlow’s case, it would have made her situation so much worse. In everyday life, we would automatically think that we need to get police, or someone, involved. But in giving up that means of help for her, it just puts more strain and worry on Knox—as you can see in ‘To The Stars’: he starts getting paranoid about every little thing when it comes to Harlow.
Domestic abuse runs through the veins of TO THE STARS, and fiction is always a great place to have this discussion. What sort of research did you do to get the domestic violence in young relationships just right?
Without going into too much detail, Collin was made after someone from my past. So it was easy to slip into both Harlow’s and Collin’s roles in To The Stars’; especially Harlow Brushing off what someone does, blaming yourself for it, then growing to hate them and be scared of them was something I went through—though not nearly as intense as what Harlow goes through.
What do you hope younger readers of TO THE STARS get out of the novel?
While this story is pretty intense, and is listed for New Adult Romance and Suspense, I know that there is still a possibility that younger readers will pick it up. If they do, I hope that they will see the mistakes Harlow made in the early stages of her relationship with Collin—where she brushed off what was happening with him, or made herself believe that it wasn’t happening because she was in love with him. I hope they understand that they never deserve anything like this—or any kind of abuse. Also, if you ever find yourself in that situation and feel like there is no way out, I promise there is. There are so many websites, or people just waiting to help you. ncadv.org is one of them. It doesn’t matter how much time you have put in a relationship, or how much you love that person, there is someone out there who will love you, cherish you, and treat you the way you are meant to be treated.
About Molly McAdams
Molly McAdams grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry daughter. Her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling and long walks on the beach…which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes.
When she’s not at work, she can be found hiding out in her bedroom surrounded by her laptop, cell, Kindle and fighting over the TV remote. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies, fried pickles and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm…or under one in a bathtub if there are tornadoes. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.
About TO THE STARS
In the second standalone book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together.
He promised to wait for her.
She told him he was wasting his time.
Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life.
When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was two and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else.
Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?