Friday 1 July 2022

News 1 July 2022

             Lettuce, Leaves, Vegetable

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!            


Current writing

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.   

is my near-future story about a day in the life of an old person with dementia.


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:

The Secret Diary of Jane Pinny by Philip Ardagh and Jamie Littler

A fictional text, which also includes a lot of factual information, for fluent readers.

The Bear and her Book by Frances Tosdevin and Sophia O’Connor

This is a delightful picture book. We have an anthropomorphic bear that gets into books.

William Bee’s Wonderful World of Trucks

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.

The Tractor Factor by Amanda Brandon and Maarten Lenoir

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 role.

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 well-rounded.

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 / romance.

Christina finds herself transported to another world whilst she is in a coma after she is involved in a serious accident.

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 with 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 of interest to other writers.

I’ve added two posts this month.

Draft 3 Helga’s Story and editing Face to Face with the Führer

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.  

To put in dates and places or not?

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 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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