Author A.L. Glennon reflects on flying by the seat of her pants and her compelling new novel, Hungry.
IngramElliott’s latest author, A.L. Glennon, is more than a writer—she’s a teacher, an occasional ballet student, and most importantly—a mother of three. Her passion for reading started at a young age when she would line up at her local library to check out the next Little House on the Prairie installment. “I still remember where my hometown library used to shelve them,” she says. “I would run straight for that shelf as soon as I entered the building!”
Times haven’t changed much, except these days, she’s the one doing the writing. With a master’s degree in communications from Georgetown and a previous novel already under her belt, the author believes we all have a story to tell.
The only thing holding us back, she says, is us. “Too many of us let busy schedules or the fear of rejection or the idea that ‘anything less than perfection is pointless’ stop us from putting words on the page. Carve out the time to write your unique tale, and then worry about next steps later!”
"I get an idea and . . . I fly by the seat of my pants, turning my characters loose and seeing where they take me and my story."
And A.L. Glennon has followed her own advice. In her new novel, Hungry, a new adult coming-of-age story, she’s brought to bear a truly unique tale about the ways that young people cope with loss. Weaving together storylines about ballet (a former love of the author’s—and indeed she still occasionally finds time to take ballet lessons), diverse family structures, and the emotions involved with losing a loved one, the author manages to create a narrative that is both entertaining and enlightening.
About the book
Sulie Bingle feels her loved ones slipping away. Her Grandma Nell has just died, her mother’s a wreck, and her lifelong best friend, Cam, is increasingly busy pursuing his dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer. Sulie’s been pulling away from everyone, hiding beneath layers of her late grandmother’s crochet, and trying to hold on to her loved ones in strange and unusual ways that leave her feeling empty and unfulfilled. Slowly, though, she finds ways to emerge from her crocheted cocoon and connect with the people around her, including the intriguing bad boy of Cam’s ballet studio, Serge. Sulie learns that moving on after a loss doesn’t mean forgetting the person who passed away; in fulfilling her grandmother’s rather bizarre last wishes, she both honors her grandmother’s memory and is inspired to make new plans for her future.
Interview with author A.L. Glennon
We caught up with the author recently for an exclusive interview about the launch of the novel, Hungry on September 12, 2023.
What fact about yourself would really surprise people?
I have loved ballet all my life. I took formal lessons from age four to age sixteen, and I have taken classes on and off as an adult in DC, NYC, and Charlotte, NC!
What is your favorite scene in your book? Why?
I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that there is a scene in which Cam has been working really, really hard and making sacrifices for his career that really strikes a chord with me. I know what it is to be driven, and I have been fortunate enough to know elite athletes whose dedication inspires me tremendously.
What motivates you to write?
My motivation for writing is the same as my motivation for breathing—I just have to do it! I’ll hear a story starting to tell itself in my head and, eventually, I need to write it down, so I don’t go completely crazy. (Or, rather, so I don’t go crazier than I already am, hearing stories in my head!)
Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
I sit at an antique wooden desk, in a very uncomfortable antique wooden chair. The furniture has really been through a lot—I bought it secondhand in college and tried sanding and painting it myself. But I love it. The desk tells its own unique story, and, over the years, it has really become a big part of mine.
What makes you the happiest? Where do you find joy in life?
I love going on adventures with my family, whether it’s a local day hike or a vacation to an exotic destination. My three sons have changed the way I see everything…even the biggest misadventures end up being a lot of fun with them.
Writing a novel can be personal. Did you ever question whether to include or exclude any of your personal experiences or feelings?
If there is a way to write a story that isn’t shaped by my own personal experiences and feelings, I haven’t found it yet! Everything I have done, seen, heard, and felt has made me the writer that I am, and—though it might not have been a conscious choice—those personal experiences and emotions absolutely impacted this novel.
Who is your first reader – who do you first show your work to?
I have been blessed to have been a part of a longstanding critique group. I have known some of the members for years and years now; one of them is always my first reader.
Hungry is available September 12, 2023, in print and e-Book. Pre-order today at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes or wherever books are sold.
About the author
A.L. Glennon has a Master of Arts degree from the Communication, Culture, and Technology Program at Georgetown University. She currently lives with her family in North Carolina, where she teaches high school English. She is the author of the YA novel Wait for It.
Follow the author on Instagram @alglennonauthor and on Facebook @ALGlennonAuthor or check out her website at www.alglennon.com. Learn more at www.ingramelliott.com/hungry.