I hope you are all
well and surviving in these difficult times.
I filled the car
up the other day and it cost £82.50. It used to cost about £55. Still, we’ll
get over 600 miles out of that.
The prices are
rising in the supermarket.
We’re all worried
about what Putin will do next.
Yet I still find I
can write and I’m grateful that many of my writing friends are still writing
and readers are still reading. Doesn’t
the world need literature drama, and philosophy more than ever now?
It’s now three
years since we moved to this house. I am glad we spent the lockdowns here rather
than in the house we lived in previously. It’s a more comfortable house. The
garden is small and it was rather empty when we arrived. I’ve gradually introduced some more plants; some
have thrived and done well, others less so but it’s gradually getting prettier.
Alas, my lovely
lupins were battered by a storm the other day, though we suspect an animal may
have jumped on them. We’ve tied them up and we’re keeping everything crossed
that they’ll survive.
My first foray
into some self-sufficiency: we have a small pot of cut-and-come-again lettuce.
It’s delicious and a good way of avoiding waste. I have plans for more!
I’m now on edit five of the sixth book in the Schellberg Cycle. I’m looking at whether
the characters are believable and consistent.
Here is my latest article for Talking About My Generation: a visit to Ordsall Hall, keeping creative
writer, ghost-hunters and people over 50 in mind. https://talkingaboutmygeneration.co.uk/past-and-present-of-ordsall-hall/
is my near-future story about a day
in the life of an old person with dementia.
The Young Person’s Library
visiting the town library again and I’m borrowing children’s books to find
material for this site.
This month I’ve added:
A fictional text, which also includes a lot of factual information,
for fluent readers.
This is a
delightful picture book. We have an anthropomorphic bear that gets into books.
This is another picture
book that follows many of the normal conventions. In addition there is a lot of factual
information about trucks and garages.
This is a carefully graded early reader. The story is almost
like a fable. It gives insights into farm and animal life.
Current reading recommendation
This month I’m recommending
Grandmothers by Salley Vickers .
The lives of three
grandmothers and their grandchildren intertwine.
Each of the three
women has her own set of challenges. Their interaction with their grandchildren
brings them together. One character isn’t actually a grandmother but plays that
The characters are
well drawn. The grandmother and the grandchildren are the main characters. The generation
in between are more minor players but they are also believable and
It’s an easy read
and it’s good to have characters over 50 who are at the same time just like everyone else and yet feisty enough to survive
in the modern world.
Salley Vickers has
an easy style. Grandmothers offers a relaxing
holiday read but invites you to reflect a little as well.
Note: these are usually mobi-files to be downloaded to a Kindle. Occasionally there are PDFs.
This month I’m
offering a PDF of Veiled Dreams.
This is at a YA fantasy
Christina finds herself
transported to another world whilst she is in a coma after she is involved in a
Whilst in the other
world she manages to confront some of the issues she’s been facing in our
world. Will her parents accept her biker boyfriend, Jan? Can she live with her epilepsy? Can she learn
to get on better with her family?
We also get Jan’s perspective.
“I wish he was my boyfriend,”
said one of my Masters students who read the text.
I must admit I
also rather like Jan.
In the end though,
which world is real – the one she’s in now or the one she’s left behind? Will
she be able to get back to our place and time?
Veiled Dreams portrays otherness and how we might deal
Find out more. Grab your copy and lots of other
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
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
I’ve added two posts this month.
Here I discuss my experience of editing the third draft of
my current work but also going back to a text I finished some time ago. I have some distance from the latter and it
was good to have a look at it again after some editorial work by our own Debz.
This is something I’m debating a lot. Have a read of what I’ve
said and let me know what you think.
Some notes about my newsletters and
They do overlap a little but here is a summary of what they
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
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
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
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