Kira Glasgow, an English teacher at Merritt Secondary School (MSS), has recently published her own novel, entitled, Lifted.
“Lifted is a low fantasy Young Adult romance novel,” explained Glasgow, who was looking for a subject that would inspire her while she attended classes at the University of the Fraser Valley.
“I have always loved YA novels and was inspired to write this novel when I was struggling to find success in my university creative writing classes. I found that I wanted to write something more like the books I loved rather than write stories for university professors who seemed to want assignments I wasn’t passionate about. I wrote Lifted during my time at the University of the Fraser Valley studying English Literature. A lot of the emotional aspects of the novel came from my own experiences with family and friends. I found an escape in books all my teen life and wanted to be able to add something to that world of stories.”
For Glasgow, however, reading and writing hadn’t always been a passion. As a child, she found reading difficult and didn’t often find stories that were engaging to her. The idea that she would one day be a published author didn’t occur to her, and she credits her family for their lifelong support as the catalyst for both an eventual love of reading, and the decision to write a novel herself.
“I actually had a hard time reading when I was in elementary school,” confessed Glasgow.
“I found decoding books to be hard and reading aloud to be terrifying, but my parents were huge supporters of me and of literacy, so they pushed me to read the stories I loved. I fell in love with YA novels and although reading was still hard, I found myself enjoying it more and experimenting with writing throughout high school. I didn’t know publishing a book would even be an option, but my father-in-law encouraged me to self-publish. I am so grateful for my family and their faith in me.”
That faith and encouragement is something that Glasgow hopes to show her students at MSS, where she has been teaching since she and her husband moved from Abbotsford to Princeton and now Merritt. Having struggled with reading as a child and feeling a disconnect from her assignments at university, Glasgow’s own teaching style is one which attempts to inspire creativity and learning beyond the pages of a textbook.
“I believe that teachers should teach more than just literature or content but teach important lessons in life and that is what I have been aspiring to do in my English classes at Merritt Secondary,” said Glasgow.
“I love the relational aspect of teaching and the creativity of my students.”
One of the most difficult parts of putting her work out there and taking the leap into publishing was to overcome the fear of criticism, mostly from herself.
“I think that as writers, and humans, we can be our own worst critics,” said Glasgow.
“I spent a lot of my time criticizing my own writing and being afraid to share it with anyone. That fear really held me back. I would say that the two qualities a writer really needs are perseverance and courage. The perseverance to write when you feel like the words on the page just won’t come together, and the courage to share your writing and accept feedback, but also praise.”
Glasgow has taken that perseverance and courage and channelled it into a second book, which will be the first in a series of YA dystopian fiction. While there isn’t a timeline yet of when Glasgow will publish this or further novels, the first draft has been completed and the work is in the revision stage.
In the meantime, Glasgow continues to teach and hopes that others will get as much enjoyment out of reading Lifted as she did writing it.
“Writing has given me the ability to express myself and practice creativity,” Glasgow said.
“I have always been a daydreamer, but now my daydreams get to be written down, edited, and shared. When Lifted was first published, my niece sent me a picture of her reading my book. That was so uplifting!”