Monday 2 January 2023

News 2 Janaury 2023

New Year'S Day, 2023, Sylvester 

Happy New Year

There’s still a lot to worry about but I hope you can all find some reason to be hopeful. I’ve noticed shoots from bulbs in the garden. Petrol and diesel have come down in price near us and our food bill has come down slightly. We’re grateful that we’re still able to enjoy good drama and literature.  

And I enjoy the way I sped the bulk of my time: reading, writing and editing. Even marketing and admin are rewarding.    



Current writing

I’m continuing with my new Peace Chid book. I’m also doing a lot of thinking about Schellberg book 7. This will be about Gabriela, the aunt of one of the girls featured in earlier books. Gabriela is a peripheral member of the German resistance.

I’ve only just realised that the Peace Child series and the Schellberg cycle are actually about similar issues. I’ll leave you to judge for yourselves how I’ve worked that out. Odd though: one is about a not so near future and the other about what happened in our parents’ generation.

I’ve noticed that my latest Peace Child book is taking on a mind of its own more so than any other.  In this devoted planner becoming a panster?  

Also for Schellberg 7 I’m working in a new way. Whilst I’m out and about – on trains, in cafés, etc. I’m creating lots of mind maps and then writing scenes that will probably never make it into the finished story but that are helping me to understand my characters more. It’s actually a lot of fun.

You can read my review of a play on at our local theatre at:

Also on Talking About My Generation I’ve written an article about a day conference for the Older Persons’ Network :             

My story ‘A Miracle in the Back-to-Backs’ appears in Secret Attic Volume 2 Issue 2 available at: This is one of those stories that is a vignette from a novel I hope to write later.   

I’ve also published a story on Medium: : ‘Colours’       

Ans the big news: book 4 in the Schellberg Cycle is now out on Kindle. Find it here. 


On My Blog

This month I have a couple of posts about my writing journey.  One describes how I came to work for Talking about My Generation: How I became involved with Writing for a Community Magazine  

How I Wrote My First Book - and then what happened takes you right back to the beginning.

I also feature on a blog myself. You can read the post here:  



The Young Person’s Library

I’ve added just one book this month:   

Upper World by Fadugba Femi  This is a YA text and quite a demanding read. It is fascinating in that it deals with time travel in quite a scientific way. A good understanding of maths and physics is recommended if you are to enjoy this text.   


Current reading recommendation

This month I’m recommending Shifting Horizons: Stories of lives lived and journeys taken by Sheena Billett

I can hand on heart say that this is the best book I’ve read in the month of December. What a joy that this is a book written by one of my writing friends. Yes several of the stories in this volume have appeared in CaféLit and Sheena also has work on Secret Attic where I’m also published. So, it’s rather obvious that Sheena writes the type of story I like to read and hope to write.  

As I read I tried to define what it is about them that I like. I’ve concluded:

·         They all have a convincing voice.

·         They make you think.

·         The language is simple but not dull.

·         There are solid story arcs though they are also subtle.

·         The ending is often upbeat.

·         There is some room for the reader to decide what is actually happening.

·         They are not clichéd

So Sheena Billett’s Shifting Horizons, highly recommended.



Note: these are usually mobi-files to be downloaded to a Kindle.  Occasionally there are PDFs. This month I’m offering a mobi-file of Our Daily Bread, my first short story collection.

This is an odd one. We experimented with this and it was published via Draft2Digital, a very easy platform to work with and they publish in all e-book forms. However, Amazon seems to have “lost” the book. I’m going to republish it one day. But anyway, here you can have a look at it.    

Find out more. Grab your copy and lots of other freebies here.

And please, please, please leave a review, perhaps on Amazon, Good Reads and / or Story Graph, when you’ve finished.    

Note: Normally my books and the books supplied by the imprints I manage sell for anything from £0.99 to £10.99.  Most on Kindle are about £2.99 and the average price for paperback is £7.00. Writers have to make a living. But I’m offering these free samples so that you can try before you buy.


The Schellberg Project

The posts may be helpful for teachers who are familiar with the Schellberg stories or who are teaching about the Holocaust.  They may also be interesting for other readers of historical fiction.

Sometimes I also write about what might be useful to other writers.


I’ve added just one post this month:

Invaders or refugees?

This refelect on semhting that is happening today



Some notes about my newsletters and blogs

They do overlap a little but here is a summary of what they all do.


Bridge House Authors For all those published by Bridge House, CaféLit, Chapeltown or The Red Telephone or interested in being published by us. General news about the imprints. News for writers. Links to book performance. Sign up here.


The Bridgetown  Café Bookshop where you can buy my book and books published by Bridge House Publishing, CafeLit, Chapeltown Books and The Red Telephone.  Visit us here.     


Chapeltown Books News about our books. Sign up here.


The Creative Café Project News about the project and CaféLit – for the consumer rather than for the producer.  Sign up here.   


Gill’s News: News about my writing, The Schellberg Project, School Visits and Events. Book recommendations and giveaways. Find it here.   


Pushing Boundaries, Flying Higher News about conferences and workshops to do with the young adult novel. (infrequent postings) Sign up here.  


Red Telephone Books News about our books and our authors. Sign up here.


A Publisher’s Perspective Here I and some other editors blog as a publisher. Access this here.   


The Creative Café Project Listings and reviews of creative cafés. See them here.   


CaféLit Stories Find these here


Gill James Writer All about writing and about my books. View this here.


Gill’s Recommended Reads Find information here about books that have taken me out of my editor’s head and a reminder of the ones I’ve highlighted in this newsletter.    


Gill’s Sample Fiction Read some of my fiction here.


The House on Schellberg Street All about my Schellberg project. Read it here.


Writing Teacher All about teaching creative writing.  Some creative writing exercises. Access this here.  I also invite other writers to provide prompts and work for critique.     


Books Books Books Weekly offers on our books and news of new books. Find them here. 


The Young Person’s Library The children’s book catalogue. Access it here.


Fair Submissions  Find it here.   

Opportunities for writers are added several times a day. Roughly once a month I send it out to a list. If you would like to be on that list, sign up here.  

Happy reading and writing.


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