Discover my sagas and cosy crimes

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Sunderland Empire and Me

I am very happy to announce that posters for my novels are now on display inside the wonderful Sunderland Empire Theatre. 

If you spot one of them, take a selfie as I'd love to see your pics! 

The posters will be in the theatre until March 2020. 

Sunderland Empire is a very special place to me as it's where my dad proposed to my mam and where my graduation ceremony took place when I graduated from Sunderland University as a (very) mature student. 

What a great way to end a wonderful year!


Glenda Young
Author of historical novels with Headline
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor

Karen the Karaoke Queen

I've a short story called Karaoke Queen in this week's The People's Friend magazine. It's a fun story about a woman gaining her independence back after her marriage falls apart - and it's all told through the medium of karaoke. A smashing little story, if I do say so myself.

Also in the magazine is the New Year episode of my weekly soap opera Riverside in which Mary gives Mike some food for thought.


Glenda Young
Author of historical novels with Headline
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor

Monday, December 30, 2019

My two favourite book reviews of 2019

Yes, it's the end of the year and time for some reflection. Actually, I hate reflection but I've got an hour and a half to kill before a dentist appointment this morning and thought I'd write a blog post while I wait.

So here are my two favourite book reviews that I received this year. Honest and to the point. No faffing, no chatting, these reviews just tells it like it is.

Both reviews were for Belle of the Back Streets, my debut novel.


Glenda Young
Author of historical novels with Headline
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Irish Women’s Christmas #NollaignamBan

Before writing my novels I always set aside two or three weeks of dedicated research. I visit museums and libraries, archives and records offices and most importantly of all, I walk around Ryhope with my ‘writing head on’. I try to look at the buildings and roads and imagine them as they might have been a hundred years ago. I peer over doorways, walk down cobbled lanes and breathe in the sea air. I imagine alighting from a train at what is left of one of the two train stations and try to catch a glimpse of old Ryhope through a fresh pair of eyes.

It was while researching for The Tuppenny Child, that I learned of something new and unusual. But it wasn’t something I discovered in a museum or old book, it was something I read, of all places, on Twitter!

My friend Emma lives in Dublin and on January 6 2018 she tweeted this. I am copying it below with Emma’s permission:

We’re celebrating #NollaignamBan (Women's Christmas) today 
in Ireland. Traditionally a day when men would take over the 
housework, we now celebrate it in this and other ways. 
So, to all the women in my life, in Ireland and abroad, today is for you.

I had never heard of the Women’s Christmas before and when I asked Emma about it, she told me about the wonderful Irish tradition. It’s sometimes called the Little Christmas too.

Traditionally in Ireland on January 6, the women who have worked so hard over Christmas, are celebrated on “Nollaig na mBan” – which roughly translates as Women’s Christmas.  It’s a day when women come together to celebrate with food and drink, with gifts, singing and joy as they take a break from looking after their families over the festive season.

I was intrigued by what Emma had told me and wanted to know more. I immediately went online and what I found was so magical that I knew I had to include a Women’s Christmas in the book I was about to start writing. To do so however, meant that at least one of my characters neeed to be Irish and so I created the character of pub landlady Bessie Brogan so that I could include this wonderful Irish tradition in my book.

The Women’s Christmas in my book is done in a typical Ryhope way. Bessie Brogan locks the pub door when the women are seated with drinks in their hands and food that she and Sadie have cooked is waiting at the bar. The men knock at the pub door, demanding to come in.

‘Bessie? You open? I’m dying of thirst here!’
‘We’re shut!’ she yells back. 
‘Shut? But you’re never shut!’
‘We are tonight!’   

Not only did I manage to include The Women’s Christmas in The Tuppenny Child, but it has a whole chapter dedicated to it where secrets are revealed, songs are sung, and a glass is raised to those lost in the war.

Thank you, Emma in Dublin!


Glenda Young
Author of historical novels with Headline
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor

Monday, December 23, 2019

Glenda Young: Upcoming talks and events for 2020

I am not the sort of person who gives talks. To say it doesn't come naturally to me is something of a massive understatement.

In all my 25 years working in University admin I turned down promotions and job opportunities if it meant, in any way, shape or form, that I'd have to stand up in front of people and talk. I was not that person who could give a, gulp, presentation. I still shudder at the mention of that word.

But I'm doing it now. Speaking with a passion about my writing and my books.

However, it doesn't come easy.  After each talk I give I'm exhausted. I feel mentally and physically done in. Once the adrenaline leaves me, I crumple. I feel like I've been beaten up. It takes a lot out of me.

But I've come to love talking about what drives me to write, about my research, characters, stories and more.

If you'd like to come along to any of my talks in 2020, there's a list on my website which I update regularly too.


Glenda Young
Author of historical novels with Headline
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Glenda Young - My year in writing 2019

2019. It's been quite a year.

As well as having 29 short stories published in women's magazines including My Weekly, Take a Break's Fiction Feast, The People's Friend and The People's Friend Fiction Special...

... plus 50 episodes of my weekly soap opera Riverside each week in The People's Friend magazine, here's a quick recap of some of the major milestones in my writing life this year.

Click on the links beneath each picture to find out more.


I'm invited to talk to pupils at my old junior school and to officially open the school library.  One little girl was so taken by my talk about my debut novel set in Ryhope, Belle of the Back Streets, that she dressed up as the main character of the book, Meg Sutcliffe, for World Book Day at the school.

Invited to The People's Friend magazine's 150th anniversary party.


My first gritty novel set in Ryhope, Sunderland in 1919, Belle of the Back Streets, is released in paperback.

Frost magazine interview: A day in the life of Glenda Young

Belle of the Back Streets goes on a blog tour

BBC Radio Newcastle: Interview

A full house for the Belle of the Back Streets book launch at the Albion Inn, Ryhope.

Women Writers interview, from Soaps to Saga

Mslexia Magazine: For the Love of It


A talk on Old Ryhope for Fulwell Community Centre - a packed house!

Two short story collections available from Amazon


Butterflies - a short story published in My Weekly magazine and a first for UK's women's magazine fiction.

My second novel The Tuppenny Child released in hardback. Goes straight to No. 2 in Waterstones Sunderland store chart and stays there for 6 months!


People's Friend magazine 150th anniversary weekend: Invited to be a guest speaker at Alvaston Hall.

Interview on the Romantic Novelists' Association website: Are sagas a feminist issue? (Answer: Hell, yeah!)


Sunderland Short Story Award: two stories longlisted


Sunderland Short Story Award: One short story shortlisted

A second three-book deal with Headline announced.

Invited to give the welcome speech at the official opening of the Tyne and Wear Heritage Open Days.
A huge honour.

Tyne and Wear Heritage Open Days: Hosted two events, a talk about Ryhope and a guided walk around Ryhope.

My second gritty novel set in Sunderland in 1919, The Tuppenny Child, is released in paperback.


Live interview on BBC Radio Newcastle with DJ Lisa Shaw

Sunderland Libraries Literature Festival: Two author talks

The Word at South Shields: author talk

The Tuppenny Child breaks into The Bookseller Heatseekers Chart of bestselling books.

One of six finalists in the Sketch for Sammy / Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement Comedy Award 2019. My sketch The Interview was performed at The Exchange Theatre in North Shields.

Won third prize (regional) in the Sunderland Short Story Award 2019.


My third gritty saga novel set in Sunderland, Pearl of Pit Lane, is published in hardback, audiobook and ebook.

I'm included in a mural of Sunderland authors on show in Sunderland civic centre. More on that here.

Twiggy's on the front cover and I'm on page 179 in Platinum Magazine. The article's called Hitting my Stride at 55 and I reveal all about my writing career to date. More on that here.


Invited in to the National Glass Centre for Museum Shop Sunday.

Article published in winter newsletter of Sunderland and South Tyneside Campaign for Real Ale. More on that here.

Article published in Cheers North East beer magazine. Read it here.

Here's to 2020 and all it may bring!  You can see some of the events I'm already signed up for here.

Glenda Young

Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor

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