Discover my sagas and cosy crimes

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My new soap in The People's Friend magazine

I have some very exciting news... very exciting indeed! 

Today, Wednesday September 28th 2016, The People's Friend magazine is on sale. And inside, for the very first time in the magazine's history, is the opening episode of a weekly soap opera.

The soap is called Riverside, and I'm very proud to say that I've wrote it.

is set in the fictional town of Ryemouth, an ex-industrial town undergoing regeneration. While most people welcome the changes, there are some who are resistant and like the old ways best.  It’s all about the old and the new and how the two interact. It’s funny in places; touching, dramatic and serious too.

When I received the email from the fiction team at The People’s Friend asking if I’d be interested in writing a soap, I almost fell off my chair with shock. I went through every emotion possible. I felt enormously privileged at having been asked but at the same time I was terrified at the thought of creating my own characters and storylines.  

And so, I wrestled with a great deal of self-doubt and anxiety. I knew that if I said yes, that I absolutely had to get it right for The People’s Friend. I had to forget about Corrie and every other TV soap I’d ever seen, and focus on the kind of drama that would work in such a beloved magazine.

I'd love to know what you think. 

It's in the shops today.

Find out more about my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Publication Day: Coronation Street: The official colouring book

Very happy, honoured and privileged to have been asked to write all the text for the first ever soap colouring book in the UK.  I chose all of the iconic images too.

It's in the shops today! Or you can order here.

Find out more about my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Sunday, September 18, 2016

My first foray into fiction

Last week I gave myself a bit of a bad time.

It got so bad that I felt the beginnings of a panic attack while on a training course in a busy city centre. I made my way as quickly as I could to John Lewis because a) I thought the staff would be trained and would know what to do if I passed out, and b) I might get a nice new tea towel out of them.

It started on Monday when I found out that a short story I'd crafted carefully and specifically for a local competition close to my heart hadn't made the short list. However, it had made the long list, so that's something, right?  (Post-blog note: I've just found out that one of the two stories I submitted to this competition has been 'highly commended').

It continued on Wednesday when a short monologue I was really happy with was rejected from a national competition.

And it ended on Friday when a short story I wrote - and absolutely love - didn't make the shortlist of the BBC National Short Story Award. Now this one, I guess I had no chance at anyway, not when the likes of Hilary Mantel made the shortlist. Ah well, I can dream. And I have a short story I will submit the chuff out of until it is recognised as the masterpiece that it is. Maybe. I do like it though, it's a story that won't leave me alone. I swell with fun and a smile every time I think about it.

And so, I've beat myself up a little this week.

Ok, a lot.

I told myself I'm a failure, I'm not cut out to be a teller of tales, a short story writer.

And then I sat down and had a word with myself.

In October of last year, spurred on by the confidence gained of having my non-fiction book published for ITV, I decided to see if I could branch out into fiction. I've always wanted to write stories, I've dabbled and tried but never got very far. And so I attended a creative writing class at Sunderland Women's Centre which gave me the kick-start I needed.

I learned a great deal. Then I read books on how to write and sell short stories. I wrote a short story and sent it to a women's magazine. They emailed back to say they liked it, they wanted to publish it - and not only that, but they would give me money for it too! I fell off my chair. I got back on my chair. I wrote another story. And another. And another.

Since that course at Sunderland Women's Centre in October 2015, I've written a total of over 50 short stories.

So far, I've had 18 accepted, 11 of which have already been published in women's magazines including The People's Friend (with over 200,000 readers every week), The People's Friend Fiction Special and Take a Break's Fiction Feast.  I have another 14 stories out under consideration by the magazines as I write this blog post. 

And there is something unique, very special and exciting coming up for one of the women's magazines which I can't mention until Wednesday September 28th.

My short stories I'm writing for the women's magazines inspire more literary, dark, quirky stories which I've been submitting to competitions over the last 12 months too. So far I've been unsuccessful, but I want to keep trying and submitting these more off-beat stories that don't fit into the women's mag market.

As well as all of that I've written a 40 minute monologue from the point of view of an old man at the end of his acting career, and a three minute radio script for a comedy show. Well, it made me laugh, even if no-one else seems to like it, so far.

What I suppose I'm doing here in this blog post is reminding myself in black and white that I'm not a failure at all. Far from it. And I needed to take stock of what I've actually done in the last year; what I've actually achieved.

And on the non-fiction side of life this year, I was commissioned to write all of the text and choose all of the iconic images for the official Coronation Street colouring book, which is in the shops on September 22nd.  I also self-published a Coronation Street fan book called The Little Book of Carla Connor: A decade in the life of a soap queen.

Yes, it's been a busy year, writing-wise and I wouldn't have it any other way. To be earning my living doing something I enjoy so much, something that I have always, always, wanted to do with my life, is a joy that even I don't have the words to express.

And as soon as I win my first short story writing competition, I'll be sure to let you know.

Find out more about my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Two short stories published today

It's been a week of two halves already - and it's only Wednesday.

On Monday this week I found out that the short story I'd submitted to the Sunderland Short Story Award hadn't been shortlisted.  I had my pet lip out all day.

And today I have two short stories published.  One is in The People's Friend magazine on sale today, Wednesday 14 September. It's a story called The Bicycle Belles.

And the other story is published in The People's Friend Fiction Special No. 129. It's a story called Summer Holiday.

Find out more about my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Coronation Street: The Official Colouring Book - in shops next week

I squealed like the girl that I am when the postman came to the door this afternoon. He had a mahoosive box in his hands and it was full of Coronation Street colouring books.

I'm honoured to have been asked to work with ITV on bringing the book to life.  Working with ITV I helped choose all 45 pictures for the book, writing descriptions of each of the key scenes and I also wrote the introduction. 

The new Coronation Street official colouring book is in the shops on Thursday 22nd September or you can pre-order it here.

You might also like to have a look at my books website:

Find out more about my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Friday, September 09, 2016

Pics: Inside the River Wear Commisioners Building, Sunderland

As part of this year's Heritage Open Days, we visited the River Wear Commisioner's building, in Sunderland.

It's a building that I've wanted to have a look around in for a very long time. And today was the day.

The chap who showed us around the building, sadly, wasn't a tour guide as such and hadn't been briefed on what to say about the history, the context or the importance of the building.

The River Wear Commissioners played a vital role in Sunderland's economic development. They transformed the Wear into a navigable river and supplied the infrastructure that allowed ship-building and commerce to thrive. 

The building is a little-known gem, a monument to the River Wear Commissioners with the image of a sextant emblazoned above the doorway amid decorative mouldings.

And the board room, well, can you imagine the decisions that were made in that room, around that table?

Even the ladies loos were worth a visit although I wonder how many women worked in there?

As the Sunderland Year Book of 1907 reported, ‘No expense was spared in order to make the building thoroughly worthy of the important body at whose instigation it was erected.’

Find out more about the building and the River Wear Commissioners here.
See my photographs on flickr here.

Find out more about my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Pedigree prose

I've a short story in this month's Take a Break Fiction Feast (October 2016).   It's a story about a woman who finds out all about her brother, when she looks after his dog for the weekend.

The story makes it to the magazine front cover too.

I couldn't be more chuffed.

The dog in the story, as I was writing it, was big and black with a shaggy head. I imagined him to be something like this:
But the magazine have inserted the word 'bulldog' as a descriptor into the story and the accompanying pictures show him as this.  It's strange how things don't always work out how you think!

Find out more about my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Thursday, September 01, 2016

The girl who wrote a colouring book

In advance of the official ITV Coronation Street colouring book coming out this month, there are some press interviews with me.

Interview in The Sunderland Echo

Interview in Sunderland Vibe magazine.
Interview in The SunMention of the book on HeartNorthEast radio

Published by Octopus Publishing Group, Coronation Street: The Official Colouring Book is on sale from September 22, and available to pre-order from Amazon at here.

Find out more about my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora
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