Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Interview with Cathy Glass

Cathy Glass is a foster carer and an author who has fostered many children. She has written numerous fostering memoirs, which tell the stories of some of the children she has fostered. These include Damaged, her first published novel and number one in the Sunday Times best sellers chart in paperback and hard back. 'Cathy Glass' is actually a nom de plume, because of the sensitive nature of her work she writes her books under a pseudonym.

I'm not going to copy Wikipedia and spout off a million facts about her, if you would like to know a bit more of Cathy Glass's background then you can look here. She also has her own webpage.

I am so pleased that I have had a chance to ask Cathy Glass a few questions, she is a massive inspiration to me, being a writer and also a foster carer. Foster caring has always interested me, it is something which I have felt very strongly about doing at some point in my life and reading her books, which show the ups and the downs of foster caring, have really given me an insight into the fostering world. I really do recommend her books, they have moments which will make you laugh out loud and moments which will make you sob your heart out (in my case, this has sometimes been on the tube. How awkward). The work which she, and other foster carers around the country do is invaluable. You can tell just by reading her books that the relationships the foster carers build with these children, the boundaries, love, shelter, food and nurture they give really do make a difference to so many vulnerable children and their families.

So, with her latest book Will You Love Me due to be released on September 12th, she has very kindly answered some of my questions about her fostering experiences and writing routines.


What do you find to be the most challenging and rewarding aspects of being a foster carer?

Probably the most challenging aspect of fostering is listening to a child disclose abuse. It is heartbreaking. Also, having to say goodbye at the end of a placement is difficult. The foster family bonds with the child and goodbyes are never easy. The most rewarding aspect of fostering is seeing a child improve – to learn to trust and smile again. That’s wonderful.

How do you fit your writing around your home life and children?

My children always come first so when I am writing a book I rise very early to write. I answer emails whenever I have the chance during the day.

Do you have any advice for people who are interested in becoming foster carers?

There is always a shortage of foster carers so if you are interested in fostering I suggest you contact your local fostering service and ask for more information. Different countries vary in their procedure for recruiting foster carers, but there will be an introductory evening where you will learn more about fostering and you will be able to ask questions and share your concerns. The application and assessment process to become a foster carer is long and in depth so you will have plenty of time to think about your commitment. Fostering doesn't suit all families but if you go ahead and foster you will find the rewards - of seeing a child improve and be happy - are never ending.

Do you have a designated 'writing space'? If so, what is it like?

I have two places – one is comfortable armchair where I write the first draft of my books in longhand, and the other is my desk in the front room where my computer and printer are. I describe these in more detail together with my writing routine in my book About Writing and How to Publish, which is out in December.

Do you have any favourite genres, authors or books which you enjoy reading?

To be honest I read many different genres and authors. I have recently finished The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence, and The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker.

Was it difficult to get your first book published?

Yes. Although I’d had articles and short stories published in newspapers and magazines it took me twenty years to have a book published.

Will You Love Me is out on September 12th and About Writing and How to Publish is out on December 6th.

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