Hi guys, today I have the pleasure of sharing an interview that I had with Kathleen Glasgow, debut author of Girl in Pieces!
I live in Tucson, Arizona and write for The Writer's Almanac. I received my MFA from the University of Minnesota and my BUS from the University of New Mexico. My poems and stories have appeared in Bellingham Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Cimarron Review, and many other journals. My first novel for young adults, Girl in Pieces, will be published by Random House/Delacorte on August 30, 2016.
Brittany: Hi Kathleen, it’s a pleasure to have you on the blog today. Thank you for doing this interview with me!
Kathleen: Thank you so much for having me!
Brittany: Could you share with us what your writing process is like? Do you outline? Do you have a schedule, etc.?
Kathleen: My writing process is one that I will call “letting it all hang out.” I’m a firm believer that you have nothing to work with until you have enough pages to work with. I don’t outline. Instead, I ask myself a series of questions that begin with, “What if…” Then I buy some brand new composition notebooks and new pens and…start writing and try to answer those questions. Ideas come easier to me when I handwrite, rather than starting on the computer. I only write on the right-hand side of the comp books; I keep the left pages blank because that’s where I’ll go back and make notes during revision. My former boss and Funniest Person in America, Julie Schumacher (no, really, she won the Thurber Award; look it up), taught me this. She’s the author of the young adult novel Black Box, which you should read. Like, right now.
I don’t particularly worry about what comes out when I am doing a first draft. I can always go back and fix things, chop them, rearrange, etc.
Brittany: What fictional character (not your own) do you most identify with, and why?
Kathleen: For a long time, I identified with Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye. This was the first book to speak to me about loneliness, depression, suicide, and being lost in the world, and I read it over and over and over. Recently, though, I had the chance to read Kerry Kletter’s The First Time She Drowned, and Cassie O’Malley’s story is so much like mine, it literally gave me chills. I guess I do have a type, then: the somewhat sarcastic loner with a painful past or secret and a deadly sense of humor.
Brittany: Who are some of your book boyfriends/girlfriends?
Kathleen: The people I’d most like to go to the movies with and share popcorn would be Holden Caulfield, Hermione Granger, Bianca Piper, Tom Henderson, Joss Byrd, Scarlett Epstein, and Ponyboy Curtis.
Brittany: What kind of research did you have to do in order to write Girl in Pieces?
Kathleen: I used my own experiences with self-harm that as the basis for Charlie’s experiences. The things I needed to research for GIRL IN PIECES include: crystal meth; alcohol bracelets; extreme blood loss; the length of time it takes to ride a Greyhound bus from Minneapolis to Tucson; how to correctly spell Supercuts; the meaning of puta madre; dissociative disorders; psychiatric holds.
Brittany: What is the most challenging thing about writing a book for you?
Kathleen: Editing. I think being in the thick of writing is the best thing. You get kind of lost in a new world and you’re meeting all these new people inside the book. It’s fantastic. Editing is a bit more difficult, because you are trying to shape that story. This is where you sometimes have to say goodbye to beloved characters or scenes.
Brittany: What is your favorite non-spoilery quote from your own book?
Kathleen: Charlie’s friend Ellis is fond of saying, “That’s positively angelic,” when she adores something.
Brittany: What is one material possession you could not live without?
Kathleen: Again, I have to go back to Holden Caulfield. It’s my mother’s 1951 copy of The Catcher in the Rye. It’s torn and dog-eared and marked up. My mother is gone now, but she comes back to me whenever I hold the book in my hands.
Brittany: What is one thing that would make you stop reading a book?
Kathleen: There was one book that I never finished that depicted a rape and took 12-pages to do it. The thing is, I don’t disagree with depicting this, what I disagreed with was: was it necessary to the plot and to the characters to go on for 12 pages? In the end, I decided the answer was no. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you need to, if that makes sense.
Brittany: What do you want your readers to take away from Girl in Pieces?
Brittany: Thank you, again, Kathleen for being on Brittany's Book Rambles today. I look forward to reading your book! For those of you who haven't added Girl in Pieces to your TBRs, check it out below and enter the giveaway!
Expected Publication: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: Random House/Delacorte Press
Pre-Order it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
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