SST: Guest Post from Author of Girl in Pieces Kathleen Glasgow

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Writing Girl in Pieces

Girl in Pieces was a difficult novel to write in many ways. It took eight years and thirteen drafts to find the version that landed me a book deal. I had two kids along the way, which necessarily influenced how I portray the adults in the book (and their interactions with their children). And it deals with some pretty tough topics: homelessness, addiction, depression.

I told myself when I started writing this story that if I was really going to write this story, I was going to write the hell out of it. (I hope it worked. Did it? LMK.)

And that was hard, but it was also necessary, because I wanted to respect what it’s like to feel hopeless and alone. And YES, after writing certain scenes, I most definitely needed a few days of Veep, Game of Thrones, and um, well, sometimes Octonauts, I admit it.

But you know the hardest part about writing this book and building Charlie’s story? It was writing her relationship with Riley West. Because I knew before she did what was really going on and what was going to happen. And that hurt. Sometimes I think readers imagine that authors are just giant puppeteers, pulling the strings of our characters, and sometimes we are, for sure, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t care when awful things happen to them. You might be yelling at Charlie, “Don’t open that door!” But there I am, at my desk, fingers poised above the keyboard, tears running down my face, taking Charlie’s hand and putting it on the doorknob.

Now, go enjoy this book that I tried to write the hell out of, okay?

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.

About the Author:

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:

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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: 
National Runaway Hotline: 1-800-621-4000

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