Corrigan: People who read The Middle Place will know that I have this close relationship with my father. If we were strangers and met each other we would be best, best friends.
Corrigan: Greenie. I think many people feel that way about Greenie. He is just an easy person to be around. And my mother, conversely, is just a different kind of person. She is not trying to make you like her. She doesn’t need any new friends. She has a great routine that she likes to do each and every day. And, for the first 35 years of my life I was trying to change her. Make her more like my father. More lovable. I wanted to change her interface. I got over it. So, Glitter and Glue—the title, comes from this expression my mom always says which is, “Your father’s the glitter but I’m the glue.” The older I get, the longer I’ve been married and the older my children get the more I have a sense of how she balanced the equation. You cannot have glitter and glitter. You cannot have, I hope no one has, glue and glue because that would be a little intense.
Fahle: I don’t think that Greenie, your dad, could be the glitter without somebody being the glue.
Corrigan: I think people enable each other. I also think people more than enable each other they kind of create each other. You adjust to the reality of you partner in this parenting game. If Edward is really frustrated with one of the girls I’m one that says, “Oh, she’s is fine. Trust me. I went on a field trip. They’re all like that. They’re all crazy.” But if I feel like he’s not taking the situation seriously enough and I say, “Edward, I think we need to talk to her. I think this is the third lie she’s told in three days. I think she could be a deceitful human being.” And then he talks me down off the ledge.
Fahle: The wonderful thing about Glitter and Glue is that you get to write about her [your mom]. She’s here. She gets to hear it. But that said, glue people aren’t always comfortable with their life being on display like that. How does your mom feel?
Corrigan: She loves it. She loves it. I waited a long time to show it to her because I knew from the first two books that things change a lot from each edit. I wasn’t entirely sure that she wouldn’t fall in love with some chapter that was then going to end up getting cut…by me. And then her saying, ‘What about this story. You know. About me and my girlfriends at the beach. Why’d you cut that?” So I kept waiting and waiting and waiting.
Fahle: She knew you were writing it?
Corrigan: Yes. And she kept saying, “When am I going to see this book. I want to see this book.” I think she thought I was going to hoodwink her. That I was going to give it to her the day before it went to press. I sent it to her finally. It took her like nine days to get back to me. You don’t think she read that thing cover to cover the minute she got it? Everyday I am thinking this can not be good. She got back and said, “I love it. I love it” I said, “You do?” And she said, “I do.” Then she just had one correction…