Skip to main content

Into YA with Kathleen Glasgow

I'm beyond thrilled and honored to host Kathleen Glasgow on the blog. She's in my Top 3 favorite authors, and I was honestly intimidated to reach out, but then she approached me about doing this. It's a dream come true for me, and I hope you'll love reading our conversation about her books as much as I do. If you don't know much about How To Make Friends with the Dark, I suggest, you check out my review before going on.

1. Both of your books, but especially HTMFWTD, are deeply emotional. There were many moments as I read where Tiger’s feelings started to meld with my own. How do you make your stories so impactful and resonate? Do you have any tips for writing emotional or difficult scenes?

I knew going into How to Make Friends With the Dark that it was going to be an emotional read. The death of someone close to you impacts you in ways you could not ever imagine. I lost my my mother and my sister within four years of each other. I had no idea what grief was going to do to me. You can read books about it, follow steps for self-care, but it is so hard to live through, and with. I tried to always remember that Tiger was sixteen and losing a mother and what might that mean at that time in her life?  I tried to be honest when telling her story: that no relationship is perfect, that guilt is real and feels terrible, that loss hurts so much. I think when writing scenes that carry heavy emotion, stay honest to what your character feels.

2. To create such strong responses in the reader, I imagine writing takes a lot of emotional energy on your part. These complexed and nuanced stories are some of the most important in the YA world, but I think that a lot of writers are nervous to share such vulnerable stories, even when they feel passionate about them. Did you ever consider not sharing either of your books? What advice do you have for writers who are hesitant to share their personally connected or heavy books? 

I think writers should write what's in their heart. I write the stories that I write because they are the ones that speak to me. I try to be careful in how I present emotional and complex issues. But realistic young adult books aren't the only books that tackle complex and emotional issues. You can find plenty of characters dealing with mental illness, depression, grief, and more in fantasy and thrillers! I ALWAYS feel nervous sharing somewhat personal stories in my books! I don't think that nervousness ever goes away.

3. HTMFWTD explores the foster system as Tiger experiences many different homes after her Mom’s death. How much research did you do leading up to writing the book? Were there details that surprised you or changed the direction of the story?

I read blogs by former foster children, researched foster care through articles and books, thought about my mother's story, and then imagined how a 16-year-old girl would feel if she were suddenly put in a home with complete strangers, new rules, and no hope. I tried to give Tiger a variety of experiences in foster care: some good, some iffy. There are so many foster parents out there trying so hard to love and help kids; I didn't want to do them a disservice. We hear a lot about the worst foster care experiences, and of course, that's necessary, but through the character of LaLa, I did want to show that nurturing foster parents exist. 

4. Girl In Pieces and HTMFWTD both deal with mental health and traumatic events that aren’t as widely discussed as they should be. Do you have any recommendations for readers who want to help raise awareness about the importance of mental health or support those in situations like Charlie’s and Tiger’s?

If you are teen and you know someone who is struggling with self-harm, mental illness, or suffering from trauma, offer them emotional support, not judgement. But also: you are not expected to cure your friend. You can't take on their problems for them. Be a friend. And that means urging them to get help. It means telling someone, like a trusted adult, that your friend needs help, you know? Reading books is a great way to learn more about things your friends are going through and books can also provide a safe way for you to explore your own issues. If you like a book that deals with some of these subjects, tell your teacher. Tell your school librarian. Tell a librarian at your public library. Maybe start a book club with friends and read together and talk about these subjects together in a safe space. 

5. Even though How To Make Friends With The Dark is brand new, I’m already excited to hear about what might be coming from you in the future? Are there any upcoming projects you can talk about (or even hint at)?

Ha! Thank you for asking that. I'm hoping to be able to share some fun and interesting news in the next few months. 

*Giveaway Information* If you didn't see it in my review, I'm running a Twitter giveaway for a signed copy of HTMFWTD. To enter, visit my Twitter page (@readwriteandme) where there will be a pinned tweet with more details about how to enter. You'll just have to retweet and comment. Additional entries will be given to those who follow me on Instagram (@readingwritingandme) and Kathleen. This will close on Friday April 12 when I will chose a winner.

Books By The Author...
How To Make Friends With The Dark: Review Here
Girl In Pieces: Review Here

Links of Interest: 
The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig: Review Here
Social Media Sells Books: Here
In The Neighborhood of True Excerpt: Here
Every Moment After: Review Here

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Halsey's I Would Leave Me If I Could Poetry Review

  I Would Leave Me If I Could  by Halsey  I've started this review a couple times and scrapped all of them. I've written hundreds of reviews before, and this is the first time I have absolutely no clue how to review a book. It's not just because it's poetry. And it's not because I don't have thoughts on every single poem. I've read the book twice and scrubbed a million notes around her words and highlighted every poem on my second read through. I have so many favorites, and my heart feels like it's going to burst after finishing each poem. Halsey exceeded every expectation I had set to the high bar of her music. I almost feel like this book is too good for my review to remotely do it justice, so I don't even know where to begin.  This book is extremely vulnerable. Halsey has never held back on telling the ugly truth in her lyrics, but the poetry takes it so much farther. She has space to tell the entire story, fewer constraints than what will fit in

Swimming Lessons By Lili Reinhart Poetry Review

  Swimming Lessons  by Lili Reinhart  Overall: 5 This is the first poetry book I've ever read in its entirety outside of Shel Silverstein, so I've checked off one of my reading goals for the year with this one. I've now read a graphic novel and a book of poetry. I've been anticipating Swimming Lessons  so long that I can't believe it's actually in my hands. I've been a fan of Lili since Riverdale, and I've continued to be a fan of hers even when the show got a bit too ridiculous for me to keep watching every week. I've been excited for the chance to get to see something completely created a controlled by Lili.  I'm not sure what I expected from Swimming Lessons . I think I had almost no idea what it would be like or the topics it would cover. After the first couple poems, I was completely hooked. In the intro, Lili prefaces the collection by noting that poetry has always given her solace in knowing other people felt the same specific emotions tha

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon: YA Book Review

Super Fake Love Song  by David Yoon Overview: Sunny Dae is sick of his California neighborhood where everyone pretends to be something they're not to keep up with all the other rich families. He's happy in his own world, LARPing with his friends, even if he gets made fun of for it at school. That is until Cirrus comes into the picture. She's undeniably cool and he's undeniably a loser in everyone's eyes, so he finds a new personality. He borrows a life from the coolest person he used to know, his older brother Gray, who's on his way to becoming a rockstar. Of course, lies like that always fall apart, and the music industry is unforgiving. It's a long fall from the top. Overall: 3  Characters: 3 This is the weirdest book I've ever read, which I'll get into more later. One part of that is the book is basically only told in details. You'd think this would help with characterization, but so many characters are left completely flat. Sunny is unashamed

My Most Anticipated of 2021/2021 ARC TBR

  A few days ago, I put out a list of my favorite books of the year that I couldn't stop talking about all year long. Now I'm here to introduce you to a brand new slate of books that I'm predicting will make my favorites list next year. These are the books I can't wait to get my hands on because they sound absolutely amazing! I've decided to separate the list into an ARC TBR so far for 2021 of ARCs I have and then to make a wishlist section below that with ARCs I hope to get or books that I'll splurge to buy. I'll include preorder links to the books that are already up for preorder so that you can easily grab a couple surprise gifts to show up throughout the year if any of these books look exciting! These will be affiliate bookshop links which means shopping the links support the blog at no cost to you. Also, if you're looking for even more 2021 books, Rachel and Vicky made the most amazing database/spreadsheet/blog to collect all the 2021 debuts togethe

evermore book tag!

As you probably know, I absolutely adore Taylor Swift, and I recently did a folklore book tag, so I figured I should make a version of evermore as well! If you want to read that post, you can find it here . And if you want all my thoughts on folklore, you can watch my original folklore reaction on my YouTube channel here.   I'm so happy to have found an evermore book tag I loved created by  Star Is All Booked Up ! That post is linked (I really enjoyed it!), and those are the prompts I'm using here.  In this tag, I just talked about books for the prompts and didn't get into the songs. If you want more of my evermore thoughts specifically, check out my blog post of favorite lyrics here and my new reaction to evermore here . You can also scroll to the bottom of the post to watch the video as well. If you want to know more about any of the books I mention, all of their titles are linked to my review.  I hope you love the post, and let me know your favorite evermore songs in the

The Best, The Brightest, The Totally Biased List of my Favorite Books of 2020

 Welcome to my big list of 2020 favorites! Usually, I do this award show style and give out different awards in a variety of categories I made up. This year is a little different because it's 2020, and I'm out of brain power to think of categories. These books appear in no particular order, and I selected them purely based on which books are still in my head months after I read them. I didn't read nearly as many books this year as usual, but I think I managed to read more books that I fell head over heels for than ever. Publishing a book this year is a major accomplishment in itself, so these authors all deserve extra rounds of applause for launching their books into an uncertain world, and even if a book from this year doesn't make a list, it's still incredible for existing. Even though I've already talked everyone's ears off about these books all year long, I'm going to do it one more time because they got me through both a hard and hectic year and pro

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant: YA Book Review

  Happily Ever Afters  by Elise Bryant  Overview: Tessa gets the writing opportunity of her dreams, but her words run out at the same time. While she can't wait to take a novel writing class at her new school, the idea of sharing her work with anyone but her best friend, Caroline, makes her unable to keep writing, even for herself. Caroline devises a plan to get her to fall in love so that she can jumpstart her creative juices for the romances Tessa writes herself into. Real life inspiration is clearly not the answer, and Tessa is left even further from the answer to all of her problems. Overall: 4 Characters: 4 While I knew this book was going to have a kind of forced dating situation as Tessa tried to get this boy to fall for her, I didn't predict the love triangle till I started reading. I'm not going to fault Bryant for using a love triangle because everyone does it, but I do have to note that these characters fall into the unfortunate side effect of most love triangles

Positions Book Tag

Today, I'm sharing a new book tag created by Cielo over at Bellerose Reads who tagged me in her new Positions book tag. I love working on book tags inspired by pop music, so I was thrilled to get the tag. If I'm being totally honest, I wasn't super into Positions, Ariana Grande's latest album. I'm much more of a Thank U Next fan because that album was far more lyrically focused. Positions reminds me a lot of Sweetener. I do like "POV", the closing track of the album. Still, I'm super excited to share the tag because these are some of the best tag questions I've ever seen. Cielo did a wonderful job coming up with really cool prompts. I had a blast thinking of books that fit them. As always, just click the book title to read my review of any of the books I mentioned. And don't forget to read the original tag here .    shut up – a book you couldn’t shut up about  There are way too many. Honestly, a ton of them are already sprinkled through this po

This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry: YA Book Review

  This Will Be Funny Someday  by Katie Henry Overview: Izzy is sick of being 16. She's sick of being the "easy kid" who never causes a problem for the family or demands attention. Her mom is always busy working at her law firm, and her dad just isn't super invested. School is awful, and her controlling boyfriend makes her question what it means to be in love. And then she stumbles into a bar on comedy night, and suddenly, she finds a world so different from her own- one that's better. Though it requires maintaining more than a few lies, this new life with her college friends is too good to give up. That is, until it all comes crashing down. About growing up, being your authentic self, and navigating intense relationships for the first time, this book is incredibly relatable and quite unique in the way it approaches common YA questions. Overall: 5 Characters: 5 I relate to Izzy on a deep, deep level. From the second I read the synopsis, I knew the book was going to

Wrapping Up 2020: How'd My Reading/Blogging Go This Year

 It feels weird writing a year end post, which is probably why we're almost a week into the new year and I still haven't posted one yet. 2020 was such a hard year for the world and a weird one for me personally, and it still feels far from over. From a reading perspective, there were parts of the year that were super strong and others where I hardly picked up a book. I started the year working at a bookstore which, contrary to popular belief, made me read less than usual. I had a good run during lockdown and through the summer (though that certainly had ups and downs too), and then I started my first semester of college. That created a serious reading slump, though it wasn't like I stopped reading! In one class alone, I had 1,000 pages of reading saved in my class notebook. All the academic reading replaced my fun books, and there were moments where I honestly thought I hated reading. I wondered what was wrong with me and if I was just done with that part of my life. Over b