Thursday 2 June 2022

News 2 June 2022


Drop, Liquid, Splash, Reflection, Crown

I have some big news this month, and even though strictly speaking it belongs to June’s newsletter, I’m writing on 2 June so I couldn’t resist:  

The Talking About My Generation e-zine for which I write has been granted The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service:  

244 groups have won this award this year.  It is the equivalent of an MBE.  

As you no doubt know, I have several articles on Talking About My Generation. I mention one further down.  

The article mentioned in the link above gives a clear picture of what this site is all about. Do take a look and have a browse of the site.  


Current writing

I’m now on edit two of the sixth book in the Schellberg Cycle. This is Helga’s story. Helga is a Holocaust survivor and the story is set partly in World War II and partly in 2001. The more modern part is set in North Wales and I have to learn about sheep farming! I found a plot hole. One of the subplots hadn’t resolved so I’ve had to add in a couple of other chapters. This will increase the word count by about 5000, bringing the novel up to around 80,000.

I’ve started to document the editing process on  I talk about Draft 2 here.      

Hers is my latest article for Talking About My Generation: another look at holidays in the past.          


The Young Person’s Library

I’ve started visiting the town library again and I’m borrowing children’s books to find material for this site.   

This month I’ve added:

Hatch by Jill Atkin and Emma Latham

This is a text for very new readers and shows us young birds hatching.  

Aunt Amelia by Rebecca Cobb

Aunt Amelia is not as formidable as she looks. She is a lot of fun. This text conforms with many picture book traditions but could also be a good text for emergent readers.    



Current reading recommendation

I was torn between two books this month and neither of them are a particularly easy read but I’ve finally decided on Michael Rosen’s Many Different Kinds of Love: A story of life, death and the NHS

This is a record of Rosen’s encounter with Covid.

He contracted the disease when it first visited us and when so little was known about it.  He was in an induced coma for eight weeks and his illness has actually lasted months. The text combines his own prose poems, the notes left to him by the NHS workers who attended him, and notes and diaries from nurses, doctors and from his wife.

Many Different Kinds of Love: A story of life, death and the NHS is a touching account of a journey through an illness. Michael Rosen tells part of the story in his own excellent writing.  Illustrations are by Chris Riddell.  



Note: these are usually mobi-files to be downloaded to a Kindle.  Occasionally there are PDFs.

This month I’m offering Spooking.

This is at a YA uplit supernatural romance.

Tom has died and must move on. So must his girlfriend Amanda.

He is unable to reach Amanda. They argued just before the crash. He meets cheeky but friendly Marcus, who, though younger than Tom, has more experience in the areas that now matter. But Marcus has his own concerns and eventually has to leave Tom to deal with his problems alone.

The story takes place in the Solent area and in North Wales. I have lived in both of those places and have studied at the university that Amanda attends. I hope this has helped to make it real.   

Spooking is a paranormal romance but isn’t scary.  

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

And please, please, please leave a review 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 of interest to other writers.

I’ve added three posts this month.

Hidden Wars

This discusses how civilian life suffers during conflict and reflects on what happened in the 1940s and what is happening now with the Ukraine and Russia.

Wartime Farm by Peter Ginn, Ruth Goodman and Alex Langlands

This is an introduction to this very useful resource that gives us a lot of information about civilian life in the countryside during World War II.

In Draft 2 Helga’s Story

I discuss my writing process and how a text like this is gradually shaped.   


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.     


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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