Tuesday 1 November 2022

News 1 November 2022


Back to my inspirational home

Martin and I have just come back from spending a month at our favourite holiday destination.  This is the place that kick-started my writing. It was whilst we were there in 1988 and some strange things started happening that I realised I wanted to write for children.  I always find this place extremely relaxing and I usually use the time spent there to reassess where I’m going with my plans.

Not that we ever stop working completely. But then, if life has given you permission to spend your time on your default activity why should you complain? It’s just nice to be able to do it in such a beautiful space.     

We’re already making plans to go back there in June next year.


Current writing

I’m continuing with my new Peace Chid book.  I’m up to the seventh chapter. The title has no yet presented itself but as ever the characters are walking in fully formed. This time I’ve been a little less rigorous with the planning and am allowing more things to happen spontaneously.   

Whilst on holiday I did a lot of background work for my next Schellberg book. I’ve produced a lot of character sketches, scenes I’ll perhaps not use and mindmaps about how the characters interact. By the time I start writing it properly I’ll know my characters and settings very well. Again, a slightly new way of working.

I’ve had one short story published on Reedsy this month: Grilled Cheese and Satnavs  

I’ve also put more work on Kofi.  See my shop here.  You can now find The Prophecy, January Stones, The House on Schellberg Street and A Gallery for Nick there.

A great surprise is that my review of The Book Thief that is published on Talking About My Generation https://talkingaboutmygeneration.co.uk/review-the-book-thief-at-the-bolton-octagon has had over 14,000 views!    


On My Blog

I have three more interviews this month.

Dawn Knox and Margaret Bulleyment tell us about their contributions to The Script Challenge. Allison Symes talks about working on CafeLit.   

I have also added my own quirky article about calling yourself a writer: https://www.gilljameswriter.com/2022/10/the-beginners-guide-to-calling-yourself.html


The Young Person’s Library

This month I’ve added:

A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes This is a fluent reader text. I have a few concerns about it and have issued some trigger warnings though I’m not very keen on them.  I almost didn’t include this book in the library but then thought it was such a classic I had to.  I’d welcome your comments on this.

My Furry Foster Family, Apple and Annie the Hamster Duo by Debbi Michiko Florence and Melanie Demmer is  a lovely first reader for the child who has just left the reading scheme and who is interested in animals.  



Current reading recommendation

This month I’m recommending The Paris Network  by Siobhan Curham

A young woman defiantly sells banned books as a means of resistance during World War II.  

The stories of two women weave themselves together, joined by a third story, a story of romance. We witness Nazi brutality and the generous of spirit in the young woman who prescribes literature form her Book Dispensary. There is a strong sense of time and place in this work. All of the characters are well-drawn.   

Siobhan Curham’s writing is superb in The Paris Network, a gripping World War II novel.     



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 Clara’s Story, the second book in my Schellberg cycle.   

Clara will not be daunted. Her life will not end when her beloved husband dies too young.  She will become a second mother to the young children who live away from home in order to visit a rather special school. When life becomes desperate for a particular class of disabled children growing up in Nazi Germany she takes a few risks. Is her ultimate faith in the goodness of human beings a fatal flaw that leads to her tragedy, or is her story actually one of hope?

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:

I talk about Gabriela, the central character for my next Schellberg novel, and my new way of working on my character and setting. Introducing Gabriela and a new way of working


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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