Cathy Glass (author)
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|Occupation||Author, writer, foster carer|
|Genre||Inspirational memoirs, fiction|
Her work is strongly identified with both the True Life Stories and Inspirational Memoirs genres. Glass has also written a parenting guide to bringing up children, Happy Kids, a guide to feeding children healthily, Happy Mealtimes, a general wellness guide, Happy Adults, a writing guide, About Writing and How to Publish, and three novels based on a true nmo Glass has been a foster carer for 25 years, during which time she has fostered more than 100 children. Her fostering memoirs tell the stories of some of the children who came in to her care, many of whom had suffered abuse.
The first title, Damaged, was number one in the Sunday Times best-sellers charts in hardback and paperback. She has now published 17 memoirs based on her experiences as a foster carer; each of these has reached the top ten in the non-fiction best-seller charts in The Times.
Early life and fostering
Glass used to work for the civil service but left to start a family. The author decided to foster a child after trying unsuccessfully for a baby with then husband John; she had seen an advert in her local paper seeking a foster home for a girl named Mary and applied.
Glass and her husband were assessed as foster carers, a process that now takes about a year, but they discovered Mary had been found another foster home.
Instead, they fostered a 15-year-old boy called Jack, who had been removed from his home after his stepfather broke his nose. The couple looked after Jack while his father, who was at the time living in a bedsit, found a suitable flat.
Three months into his stay, Cathy discovered she was pregnant with her son Adrian. Despite having a baby, Glass continued to foster, taking on Dawn, a shy and polite 13-year-old who Cathy came to treat as a daughter.
Dawn proved much harder to parent due to her background and in the end had to move to a residential home with professional therapeutic help. Over the last 23 years, Glass has fostered over 50 children aged 0 to 16, including several like Dawn who, as a result of past experience, had behavioural issues.
Because of the challenging behaviour and special needs of many of these children Glass usually only takes one child at a time. Some have stayed for a few nights or weeks while others for a year or two.
She went on to have another child of her own, Paula, now in her twenties, and also adopted Lucy, also in her twenties, following a long-term foster placement. In an interview with the Daily Mail, written by Kate Hilpern and published in February 2009, Glass listed some of the abusive backgrounds the children she has cared for have come from.
At the extreme end, these include being forced into prostitution and having to work in a sweatshop. Many of the foster children had been physically or sexually abused and a large number had come into care as a result of severe neglect.
Fostering and parenting expertise
In 2010, Glass released Happy Kids: The secret to raising well-behaved, contented children – based on her own child-rearing experiences.
It introduces the reader to Glass's own "3 Rs technique": Request, Repeat, Reassure.
Glass combines fostering with occasional freelance journalism and commercial writing. Before the release of Damaged she had written on health and social issues for The Guardian and the Evening Standard.
Glass's first book, Damaged was released by HarperCollins in 2007. It focuses on the relationship between Glass and Jodie, an abused child. Jodie had been at the centre of a paedophile ring before being brought into foster care. A year later, in March 2008, Glass followed up with Hidden.
Cathy has published 23 fostering memoirs now: Damaged, 2007, Hidden, 2008, Cut, 2009, The Saddest Girl in the World, 2009, Mummy Told Me Not To Tell, 2010, I Miss Mummy, 2010, The Night the Angels Came, 2011, A Baby's Cry, 2012, Another Forgotten Child, 2012, Please Don't Take My Baby, 2013. Her fostering memoir, Will You Love Me?, published in September 2013. tells the story of Lucy, her adopted daughter. Daddy's Little Princess, was released March 2014, in the UK. The Child Bride was released September 2014, Saving Danny was released in March 2015, Girl Alone was released on 10 September 2015. The Silent Cry was released on 25 February 2016. Can I Let You Go? was released on 8 September 2016 'Nobody's Son' was released on 23rd Feb 2017,'Long way From Home was released in Feb 2018, and Where Has Mummy Gone? Was released in September 2018
Popularity and critical appraisal
Although her books deals with harrowing subjects, Guardian journalist Esther Addley noted that Glass's work offers "a certain amount of hope". In an interview with the Daily Mail in February 2009, Glass said that she had received "thousands" of letters and emails from readers who had either related to her novel or had been inspired to foster children themselves.
In September 2013, Glass and her adopted daughter did an interview with the Daily Mirror, speaking openly for the first time about their relationship. Glass received a large number of letters and emails from readers in response to this article.
- Robinson, Martin (27 September 2012). "'Abuse could be widespread across UK', says foster expert". London: The Daily mail. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- "General hardbacks". The Times. London. 25 February 2007.
- "Paperbacks general". The Times. London. 26 August 2007.
- "Top 10 paperbacks: non-fiction". The Sunday Times. London: Times online. 3 May 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- "Top 10 non-fiction hardbacks". The Sunday Times. London: Times online. 17 August 2008. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- Hilpern, Kate (27 February 2009). "Meet the mother who has fostered fifty children". The Daily mail (online ed.). London. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
- Glass, Cathy, Lucy update, UK, archived from the original on 23 October 2013.
- Hilpern, Kate (20 May 2010). "Fostering: Adults of all ages have something to offer children in their care". Healthy Living, Health & Families. The Independent. London. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
- "Discipline tips from Gloucestershire author Cathy Glass". News. BBC. 1 March 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
- Snell, Janet (5 September 2007). "Cathy Glass: author of Hidden talks about children's services". Community Care. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
- Glass, Cathy, Love me, UK, archived from the original on 23 October 2013.
- Amazon.co.uk, Daddy's Little Princess.
- Addley, Esther (15 June 2007). "The rise of 'misery lit'". Society. The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
- Retter, Emily (12 September 2013). "Best-selling author Cathy Glass' new book based on moving real-life story of adopted daughter". Real life stories. The Mirror. UK.