Meet Laura Anderson Kurk, author of Glass Girl and Perfect Glass.
Laura Anderson Kurk writes contemporary books for young adults, a genre that gives her the freedom to be honest. Her debut novel Glass Girl is an unconventional and bittersweet love story, and its sequel Perfect Glass makes long-distance love look possible.
Publicity intern Naomi Downing’s interview of BHP author Laura Anderson Kurk touches on the emotion behind Glass Girl and the universality of suffering.
In Glass Girl Meg is dealing with some pretty tough issues. Was it hard for you to talk about such a sensitive topic?
So much of this life is tough. For all of us. I think my outlook on the world has always been a bit melancholy in that I think about the issues that hurt our hearts. I want to crawl into the skin of others so I can figure out how to help. After the shooting at Columbine, I thought a lot about how it felt to be a survivor, especially to be a surviving sibling of one of the victims. Meg’s character came out of those ruminations and, although the circumstances were hard, the feelings were typical of any breathtaking moment of grief that we all experience at some point in life. We will all lose someone we love. We will all be overthrown by that sadness. We must prepare now in the good times so that we can survive the hard times. That’s what Meg learned and she carries that hard-won lesson into the second book where she gets to stretch those new muscles a bit.
How do you stay inspired when you really want to give up?
That’s a tough question. The fact is, sometimes I go off on writing tangents that do need to be given up and the mature thing to do is to move on. But when I know I’m onto something big and it’s a subject that touches my heart in real ways, I push through the fog and the blinders of writer’s block by surrounding myself with the art of others. I blast some soul-stirring music and read authors that move me. I go to an art museum. I talk to fine artists about their vision. I put away my own work and think about the work of others. Usually these things will lift my spirit and I get a new perspective on my own writing. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
Finding unusual ways to say what we’re all thinking and feeling. Painting pictures with words. Putting emotions into words.
What is your goal as a writer?
To keep writing. It’s pretty simple. I don’t think about how many books I’d like to write or how many I’d like to sell. I think about stories that need telling and consider whether I’m the one to tell them.
Where did you get the idea for Glass Girl?
I was touched by interviews from students after Columbine and had been having conversations in my head with a girl whose sadness was overwhelming. I decided I needed to try to put into words this unbearable fear we had as a nation–the fear that our children were no longer safe in their classrooms. What is the lesson in Glass Girl?
The lesson for me is that suffering is universal, but the human spirit is equipped to not only survive but to thrive and to create and to express. Meg stumbles but she figures out the most important truth in life–that we are not alone and that our Creator, in whose image we are made, feels our sorrow and walks with us.