Author Kathleen Glasgow wrote her first novel, “Girl in Pieces,” over the span of nine years and just recently published it in August.
In only three months, Glasgow’s book is No. 7 on the New York Times bestsellers list for young adult books.
Glasgow graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in poetry, but she also has a fondness for writing fiction.
“I’ve always wanted to write, and I’ve always written,” Glasgow said.
“Girl in Pieces” follows a young girl named Charlie struggling with self-harm and depression. Though this novel has a female protagonist, there is a male character who struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, a character with whom young men may identify.
Glasgow says alcoholism and drug addiction is another form of self-harm. This form of self-harm isn’t stigmatized as much for boys and young men because it’s considered “blowing off steam,” a preconception that’s also exemplified by the phrase “boys will be boys.”
“Girl in Pieces” is meant to help young adults struggling with these issues. The story is based on Glasgow’s teenage experience with depression and self-harm; although she says Charlie’s story is unique to the character.
“I felt a little bit naked in a way,” Glasgow said.
She believes understanding and discussing the issues young adults face is important. She thinks young adults should read these themes in their novels, because they’re all around them.
“It’s not about cutting, but it’s about a girl learning how to live in the world,” Glasgow said. “That’s a tough subject for teenagers, but they’re living it.”
In the novel, Charlie manages to express herself through art and music, giving the protagonist a piece of hope, something Glasgow wants her story to be to others.
Glasgow said she receives emails every day from readers thanking her for her novel and explaining how it has helped them in a remarkable way.
“I did the right thing in writing this book and writing it honestly,” Glasgow said.
Glasgow is currently on tour with other YA authors across the nation. She will be coming to Nashville, Tennessee on Oct. 27.
To all aspiring authors, Glasgow said, “You need to keep writing, because someone needs that story.”