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

Bi Book Love

I'm so excited about this list and the upcoming list on Aro/Ace/Demi rep because I feel like these areas of representation have grown so much recently. I also feel like it's harder to find these identities on specific lists or super easily, so I wanted to share some of my favorites for those of you who are seeking them out. I've made book rainbows for Pride Month and made general lists (which you can find here), but I wanted to do something different this year. I didn't want to repeat the same list, and I also realized I don't have a complete rainbow of LGBTQIA spines anymore after getting rid of most of my books. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I picked a couple of my favorites that I wanted to spotlight. To learn more about each book, click the title to read my full review.

Verona Comics  by Jennifer Dugan This is one of my new all time favorite books (which I'm extra pleased about because my expectations were sky high from waiting well over a year). …

YA Book Review: I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver 
Overview: Ben is nonbinary. The book opens with them working up the courage to finally come out to their parents. Even though his parents are religious and conservative, Ben feels like it might be okay. Mostly, they feel like they can't keep living with a secret that big. They want their parents to know them fully. Instead of love and support, they get thrown out of the house. Ben calls their older sister who they haven't seen in ten years, but she shows up right away. As Ben transitions to living with their sister and her husband, they have to navigate a brand new school, a new family situation, and a new therapist all at once. While it's a lot to process, Ben comes out stronger, healthier, and happier on the other side. Overall: 5 

Characters: 5 Ben and I have honestly nothing in common yet I found them so incredibly relatable on a minute detail level. We have a ton of similar thoughts and reactions and just life philosophies, which…

Ace/Aro/Demi Book Love

Last week, I shared all my favorite recent releases with bi main characters. A lot of you commented and shared your favorites as well, and it was so fun to learn about some new books! As Pride Month comes to an end, I wanted to make one my post to celebrate. Today I'm talking about my favorite books with Aro, Ace, or Demi representation. Again, I've found it tricky sometimes to find books with this specific representation, so I wanted to share in case some of you are looking for new books! This is a quick, little post, so if you want to add more books to it, just leave a comment!
Tash Hearts Tolstoy By Kathryn Ormsbee I've been a huge fan of this book since I first read it a couple years ago. It was the first book I ever read with ace rep. Tash is such an intelligent, lovable character, and the friendship story is also strong too. Even as she achieves career success with her scripted YouTube series, she's still navigating what her identity means to her, and being open ab…

Into YA with Lindsay Sproul

Hi, everyone! I know I've been gone for a minute, but I'm excited to come back with my interview with Lindsay Sproul. Lindsay and I have been working on this interview for a while, ever since I first read We Were Promised Spotlights. I'm so excited to have a more in-depth discussion about the book and get to look at it through this new prospective. It was a super eye opening read for me and probably most other teens my age who weren't alive when the story takes place. If you haven't had the chance to read Lindsay's book, you can check out my review here to get up to speed.


1. The most notable part of the book right from the start is that it doesn’t take place in 2020. It’s set in 1999-2000 in a small beach town. Why did you decide to set it in the near past? How do you approach writing a book for teens who mostly hadn’t been born when the story takes place? 

Aside from the fact that I was a teen in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, I think it’s important for teens to b…

Books I'm Looking Forward To: July

Can you believe it's almost July? I'm shocked that June is coming to a close. Just like last month, June is packed with an amazing set of books that I can't wait to start reading. We're also starting to see some of the spring books that got pushed because of COVID come out, and I'm so glad that these authors are getting that chance, even though conditions are still less than ideal. I've been waiting for most of these books since I seriously started blogging again back in March, and I'm so excited to finally start reading them. I wanted to share a quick list of some of the books I'm most excited to read over the course of the month. I have ARCs for all of these, so expect reviews coming soon. I just started I Killed Zoe Spanos, and I'm already sucked into its atmospheric, mysterious world. 
As always, preorders, especially now, are so important for supporting authors. Many of them are offering fun preorder incentives if you send in your receipts. I&#…

My Eyes Are Up Here- YA Book Review

My Eyes Are Up Here by Laura Zimmermann
Overview: Greer's life has been governed by body insecurity. She hides in XXL sweatshirts to try to take her chest out of the conversation. It doesn't stop the cruel jokes, the pain, the logistical nightmare with sports, and the impossibility of finding a dress that feels made for her. Over the course of her sophomore year, she starts to test the self-imposed limitations as she gets closer to the new guy, tries out for the volleyball team, and takes her voice back from society and her body image constraints. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 Greer is such a fun main character to follow. She is sarcastic and has a worldview that really matches my own, so we clicked quickly. She's a realist with a streak of idealism. A lot of identity comes from her braininess as she leads all her classes, and she uses it as a way to compensate for trying to pretend her physicality doesn't exist. This emerges for a wide variety of societal pressures that is u…

I'll Be the One Review

I'll Be The One by Lyla Lee
Overview: Skye loves K-Pop, singing, and dancing. She's studied for countless hours and has gotten really, really good. When the first LA based K-Pop competition starts holding auditions, Skye knows it's her time to shine. While her dad and her friends are supportive, her mom hates the idea. She doesn't believe fat girls can dance. This only pushes Skye more as she's determined to prove to her mom and to all the fat-phobic haters that she can do whatever she wants and be proud of it. Even though the competition isn't an easy road, it's full of fun new friends, self discovery, glitzy performances, and a possible love interest. Overall: 5

Characters: 5 Skye is a character that's easy to like. She radiates light and determination without ever crossing into annoying territory. She has a clear view of what she wants, and she's not afraid to work for it. Despite years and years of hurtful, self esteem wrecking comments from her m…

Into YA with Jennifer Dugan

I'm so excited to introduce my first repeat author for Into YA! Jennifer Dugan is back on the blog to chat about Verona Comics, one of my favorite books of the year (and probably all time). If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you probably know about Verona Comics by now, but if you want a refresher or some context for our conversation, check out my review of it here.
Also, if you're curious about my first interview with Jennifer about Hot Dog Girl, you can find it here.  And if you want to get a copy of Verona Comics or learn more, here's a link to her author website with all the links.

1.I absolutely love that Verona Comics is such a clear nod to Romeo and Juliet. Did you set out to write a modern retelling? You explore and contextualize a lot of the more toxic elements of the original story. Were there any major changes that you had to make to Shakespeare’s outline to make it fit YA today?   
I actually didn’t go into Verona Comic’s with the idea of mak…

YA Book Review Parachutes by Kelly Yang

Parachutes by Kelly Yang 
TW: Sexual Assault
Overview: Claire and Dani start out feeling like they live on two different planets. Claire has lived a glamorous life in China, cared for by live-in help and constantly picked up after. Every argument with her dad ends in a new purse or pair of shoes, and she's never had to seriously want for anything. Dani and her mom work for a housecleaning service to stay afloat. She attends American Prep on scholarship and works hard to fund her debate travel. Eventually, her mom signs up to host an international student to make a little extra money. While Claire and Dani originally clash, their experiences over the course of the school year make them realize they have more in common than they originally thought. Overall: 5 

Characters: 5 Every single character in this books was so well drawn and thoroughly paid attention to. Through subtle nuances, even the most minor characters were stunningly clear and realistic. Every character had their fair mix…

Top Reads of 2018

This year's best of 2018 list has tons of new categories to fit all of the amazing books I read this year. I've had the chance to read so many advanced books and recent releases, so most of what I read were books that came out in 2018. I mostly choose contemporary, so I've started with my favorite debut as well as the best books in other genres I've ventured into. After that, I have smaller categories in the contemporary genre. I hope you find new books to love and give to your friends and family for the holidays. If you're interested in learning more about the books on the list, click their titles to go to my reviews. Let me know if these are some of your favorites in the comments, and tell me your favorite books!
Best In Genre Top Debut
Nothing Left To Burn by Heather Ezell Nothing Left To Burn gave me the craziest book hangover. I was so immersed in the story, and I couldn't stop reading to do anything that I actually needed to be doing. There is a toxic relat…