Tuesday 7 May 2024

News 7 May 2024


Looking forward to my book event tomorrow, 8 May 2024  

I’m launching the fourth of my Peace Child books at the wonderful Time for Tea Café in Prestwich. This is an amazing little café on a busy main road in Prestwich. Yet, the moment you walk through the door you find a haven of peace. There are beautifully laid tables with china cups and saucers as well as delicious cakes and sandwiches.

I’ve had book events there before and you’ll see if you look at the Facebook feed that this really is one of my Creative Cafés. Owner Julie Cornac hosts poetry and musical afternoons.

Look out for details of how it all went into the next newsletter.        

Writing news

I’m still working on edits of Peace Child 6. I’m currently in the middle of one about how description should be added in.  I’m finding that I’m cutting back quite a few words.  That can’t be bad.


Yes, The House of Clementine is out now. Here are the details: https://www.thebridgetowncafebooksshop.co.uk/2024/03/the-house-of-clementine-by-gill-james.html

And here is the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pho20T84UF4 I was very pleased to find an actor that looked exactly as I imagined Meelak.

I’ve also had several pieces published on Talking About My Generation/

There’s my review of A Taste of Honey at the Royal Exchange Theatre. This was an incredibly good production of a classic play, set in Salford. https://talkingaboutmygeneration.co.uk/review-a-taste-of-honey-at-the-royal-exchange-manchester

I have also had one my short stories published there: ‘Warm Spaces’ https://talkingaboutmygeneration.co.uk/warm-spaces-a-short-story-by-gill-james/

Then I spent a marvellous morning with a bunch of guide dogs and a colleague form TamG: https://talkingaboutmygeneration.co.uk/a-day-out-at-the-guide-dogs-tea-party/      

On My Blog

I have been busy of the blog. I consider how  We Need Fans and Followers, not so much Friends and Family Case in point. I have no family coming to my event tomorrow, and just those friends who are interested in literary events.  

I muse on Some Fun Things about Being a Writer

I have an interview with Sally Zigmond who talks about her new short story collection, The Story Weaver.

I’ve had a couple of nasty chest infections recently and so Ive written about how illness and creativity interact: Illness and Creativity

The Young Person’s Library

Making up for lost time, this month I’ve added three books:

A Tempest of Tea by Hafsah Faizal, a story for young adults and including vampires.

Wilding by Isabella Tree and Angela Harding is a beautifully illustrated book about rewilding. It’s hard to put an age group on this one and it might well appeal just as much to adults.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner This is the second book in the Maze Runner series. It is fast paced and shows a dystopian world. Suitable for teens.   

Recommended read

This month I’m recommending Wilding by Isabella Tree and Angela Harding.

It is a book about rewilding and Angela Harding’s illustrations are exquisite.

We read the story of how Isabella and her husband Charlie returned their 3,500 acres of land at Knepp in West Sussex to nature. There is so much information packed into this book. There is the history of the land and the rewilding, there are details about the kinds of wild life that live there and about the types of plants. There are examples of other rewilding projects and also hints and tips about if you would like to do your own rewilding

It is a bautriufl book and also very tactile.  It was marketed as a book for children but I believe many adults would also enjoy it.   

Find your copy here 

Sample pages

If you like what you’re reading you can click through and find out ways of buying the book. However, I’m still happy to give you a free copy if you’re strapped for cash and / or you’re willing to review.  Just contact me.  

This month I’m offering Girl in a Smart Uniform

23 March 1932 : food fight? 

The doorbell rang. I didn’t want to get up and answer it straight away. I was too absorbed in my history project. Whoever was there rang again and again. Then they kept their finger on the bell. It got louder and louder and started to hurt my ears. All right then. I opened the door, and there was Thomas standing on the step.

“Will you do something for me?”

“What? Why?”

“My mother’s expecting a parcel and I've got to go out.”

“Why can’t you wait for it?”

“Because we’re going on a hike, and we’re going to build a campfire and cook on it.” His eyes were shining.

“Well I hope you don’t mess up your lovely new uniform.” I felt a bit mean as soon as I’d said it.

“You could join the Jungmädel.”

Hmm. Herr Silber kept saying he would buy me the uniform and Kurt thought it would be a good idea. Bear, though, said I would have plenty of time for those sorts of things later. Mutti just smiled and shrugged her shoulders every time the subject came up. Anyway, back then, I wasn’t sure I was thant keen on creepy crawlies and sleeping outside. I wished, though, that I could enjoy things like Thomas did.

“Maybe. Maybe not.”

“Well, can you take this parcel or not?”

“Yeah, I guess. Just leave a note on the door.” 

“Well I hope you don’t get the hook-nose.”


“He’s a Jew.”


Thomas rolled his eyes. “Don’t you know anything? You know. Jesus-hater. Home-wrecker. Work-stealer.”

What was he talking about? “Oh, just put a note on the door and tell him to come here.”

      Thomas jumped on the spot and clapped his hands. “Thanks.” 

I shut the door and returned to my project. What an idiot! Getting so excited about going out into the countryside with a load of other idiots. 

Soon I was once again trying to work out who German people were really supposed to be. Herr Lindemann was always going on about how we should be proud to be German and we should look at all the history books to see how great Germans really were. But we’re not. We’re poor and we keep losing wars.

Then I heard Bear coming down the stairs.

“Hey, Giselchen. Are you doing your homework on a nice sunny day like today? You should be out getting some fresh air.”

I smiled to myself. I knew why he was in such a good mood. He’d come back on leave last night and he’d gone for a walk with Helga Brassel. Maybe they’d kissed. I was a bit jealous in a way. Maybe when he came home now he wouldn’t have so much time for me. Never mind, though, I was glad he was happy. He was so nice, my big Bear brother. Especially when he was cheerful. And that always made it nicer for me as well.

He leaned over to see what I was writing. “Oh, oh, oh. The glorious German people. Do you think so, really?”

“It’s what Herr Lindemann says.”

 “Well, if it’s what your teacher says, I suppose it must be true. Or at least you’d better pretend to agree just in case.”

As if I’d ever not do what my teacher told me. What was he thinking?

The doorbell rang again. Before I could get up out of my seat Bear had rushed to the front door and opened it. It was the parcel man. I could tell by the conversation.

“That right Giselchen? You’re to take in a parcel for Thomas’s Mutti?”

Did he have to call me that in front of other people? I quite liked it when we were at home together as a family. But I was growing up now and ought to be called by my proper name. “Yes,” I called.

 Read more here

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.

I’ve added a couple of posts this month. I’m now looking at many topics that will be useful for the next novel.

I look generally at resistance to Hitler and specifically at assassination attempts.    

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 books 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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