Have you ever read a synopsis of a book and thought: “Oh my, this sounds like an amazing book.”? Yet at the same time, you get hesitant on thinking about reading the book? Kathleen Glasgow’s Girl in Pieces discusses such a hard-hitting topic. It is hauntingly spectacular to begin with, and a much needed read for everyone. Not every book out there tackles self-harm as this beautiful piece of literature.
When the opportunity of interviewing Kathleen opened itself in the form of the Sunday Street Team, I took it. It was the curiosity in me that triggered the sensation. Luckily, I was fortunate enough.
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health, Mental Illness
Date Published: 30th of August 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 4.5/5 stars on Goodreads
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.
An Interview with Kathleen Glasgow
Was it hard to write about a sensitive topic such as self-harm?
It was, in the sense that I tried very hard to give an honest voice to a very difficult topic. I felt like readers needed to know what it’s like, what happens, how lonely it is.
In the process of writing the book, did you experience a moment of writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?
I didn’t experience writer’s block so much as “writer’s dilemma,” which is a little thing also known as “life,” and which tends to get in the way of writing time. So I really had to carve out time to write, which took eight years. Because, um, I had two kids along the way and they kind of demand attention? The nerve, am I right?
Is Charlotte a real person in your life?
No, but I wish she was, because I think she’s beautiful, brave, crazy, awesome, and fearless. I’d also like her to teach me to draw, because she’s really good at it.
If given the chance, would you have changed the ending that took place in the book?
No, I wouldn’t change the ending. I considered one other ending, but this one seemed to fit. Some things are left open to interpretation, but some things are also wrapped up neatly. And (spoiler) I give Charlie the ending she worked so hard for, because she deserves it.
Do you have a favorite scene in the book where everything just seems to fall into place?
Well, I don’t know if I can say everything falls into place anywhere in the book, because the book is about life, and people, and being in pieces, so things are crazily jumbled and out of whack. But I can say that I love the last half of the third section of the book, when Charlie has found her voice and is coming into her own as an artist and as a person.
What would you say to other Charlies out there, struggling with their daily lives carrying physical and mental scars?
First, I would say hello and then I would say, You are not alone. We are out here, we struggle every day with darkness, and there are more of us than you think, and we are beautiful and strong and creative and positively angelic. Then I’d ask if they want to get some coffee, because that’s my favorite drink. And because sometimes the smallest conversation can help in the biggest of ways. And I would give them information about places to call for help.
What are the three possible things that you can say can pull people out of a dark time? (Like the in the song ‘My Favorite Things’)
“I’m listening.” “You can tell me anything and I will not judge.” “You can tell me anything and I will still love you.”
If you or someone you know is struggling and needs help, please consider contacting:
Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
To Write Love on Her Arms: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/
National Runaway Hotline: 1-800-621-4000
Kathleen Glasgow lives in Tucson, Arizona. She writes for the radio show The Writer’s Almanac and can probably provide you with some interesting anecdotes about historical literary figures if you asked nicely. You can find out more about Kathleen by following her on Twitter: @kathglasgow, Instagram: @misskathleenglasgow (where she posts about sunsets, depression, spirit circles, and books) or her website: kathleenglasgowbooks.com.
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Have you read Girl in Pieces yet? Any thoughts? What other books about self-harm have you read? I need recommendations.