Books by Glenda Young - click on the picture below to find out more

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tomorrow: A magical visit to my old Junior School


I write this on the eve of a very special day.

Tomorrow, I am spending the day at my old Junior School.  I've been invited in by the Head to officially open the school's renovated library. It's an honour and a privilege to be asked. I've already been in for a recce and library is wondrous, colourful and calm. A learning haven, a safe place to get lost in a book without fear of being unable to find your way out again.

I've asked if I can stay for school dinner and the Head has told me I can. My mam worked as a school dinner lady in the infant school across the yard from the juniors when I was there. Every time I think of mam in her green school dinner pinny I think of pink custard and coconut tart. If it's on the menu, I'll have it of course.

Not only that, but I'm also giving talks to each of the nine (gulp!) classes in the school. I'll talk about being a junior there myself and about the love of reading and libraries the school instilled in me. I'll ask the children about their favourite authors, stories and books.

I'll also tell them it doesn't matter if they hate books and writing so much it makes them cry. I was much the same with maths and still am.  But I will tell them that whatever they do feel passionate about, whatever it is that's within them that makes them happy to learn more at school - art, crafts, dancing, singing, maths, science, computers - whatever it is, I'll tell them to embrace it. To ask the teachers to show them, to help them learn more. To never be afraid to do what you love. To never let anyone tell you that you can't. Because you can.

And I did.



Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets

Now out in hardback, audiobook and e-book
Pre-order paperback, released March 7 2019 

Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

Sunday, January 27, 2019

BELLE OF THE BACK STREETS - Waterstones book signing


I'm going to be in Waterstones Sunderland (in The Bridges shopping centre) signing copies of the paperback version of BELLE OF THE BACK STREETS - and you're invited to come along. 

It's Saturday March 9 from 11am to 2pm.

All details here.

If you can't make it to my book signing but would like to perhaps come along to the book launch or a talk I'm giving on the book or come to my book signing, all my events are listed on my website here.




Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets

Now out in hardback, audiobook and e-book
Pre-order paperback, released March 7 2019 

Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

BELLE OF THE BACK STREETS: An invitation to my book launch


I'm having a book launch when the paperback version of BELLE OF THE BACK STREETS is released in March- and you're invited.  Yes, you, sitting there reading this.

You're invited to the book launch which will be held on Thursday March 7 at 6pm in the Albion Inn, Ryhope Village Green, Ryhope, Sunderland.

That's the Albion above, an imposing pub on the corner of the village green in Ryhope, where my novel is set. The Albion features heavily in the book too, the reason I'm holding the book launch there.  If you can make it and you'd like to come, you'll be very welcome indeed.

The facebook event is here.

If you can't make it to my book launch but would like to perhaps come along to a talk I'm giving on the book or come to my book signing, all my events are listed on my website here.




Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets

Now out in hardback, audiobook and e-book
Pre-order paperback, released March 7 2019 

Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Corrie weekly update - Spade, Shovel and Baby Secret

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street has just gone live here. 



This week Corrie called a spade a spade. Or was it a shovel?




Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets

Now out in hardback, audiobook and e-book
Pre-order paperback, released March 7 2019 

Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Writing: Do you prefer silence or noise? #amwriting


All through my writing life I've demanded silence. A quiet house with no-one in it but me. The only sound the tapping of the keyboard or the bashing of my head against the wall. I shun the radio, turn off the TV.  I have found the way I write. It needs to be quiet...

... until it wasn't any more.

This week I've been fully focused on writing a short story for a national competition. It's a story that features a world-famous singer and the narrative revolves around four of the fans. On the surface the story is fun. But read deeper, between the lines and you'll find the undertone mournful, one of loss.

While I've been writing it, I needed to feel mournful too. I needed something to give me, as the modern parlance goes, all the feels.

I've got a box set of hits from the singer who features in my story. I stuck on the CD. There was one particular song I was waiting for and when it began I rode the wave of emotion. I listened to the words and the tune, the voice and the drums. I could see the singer on stage, playing to thousands in an arena, to millions more on TV. I typed. The song hit me in my heart, right there, just as I knew it would.

Could I... should I... weave the song into the story? Dear reader, I did. And I believe my story is all the better for it. I'm not finished with it yet. There are still a few weeks before the deadline in which I'll refine my story until every single word earns its place. Not until then will I let it leave home.

And now I've got a dilemma. Knowing I can not only write to background music, but incorporate it into my work, it's made me realise I'm not the writer I thought I was.

Will I ever write in silence again?




Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets
Now out in hardback, audiobook and e-book

Monday, January 21, 2019

Belle of the Back Streets - would you like to find out more?


My debut novel BELLE OF THE BACK STREETS comes out in paperback on March 7 2019.

I'd be really happy to come and talk about the book, the characters, developing the story, the research I did before starting to write - and to answer any questions about the book set in Ryhope in 1919.

And so, if there are groups in the north-east who might like to know more, just get in touch via my website.




Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets

Now out in hardback, audiobook and e-book
Pre-order paperback, released March 7 2019 

Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Corrie weekly update: Baby Bertie and the Barlows

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street has just gone live here. 



This week Corrie was all about babies and the Barlow kid.





Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets

Now out in hardback, audiobook and e-book
Pre-order paperback, released March 7 2019 

Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

Sunday, January 13, 2019

5 books that changed my life


Browsing in a charity bookshop yesterday, I came across an old copy of Erin Pizzey's The Watershed. I stopped what I was doing and took a long, deep breath.

That book, more than any other I've read since, has truly changed my life. I was in my early twenties when I read it first, finding my way in the world with life in general and fellas in particular. I think I must've bought it at the time because on the front of the book there's a quote from Cosmopolitan (my Bible back then) saying it was up there with Scruples, Princess Daisy and Lace - all of which I'd read and loved. 

But The Watershed isn't anything like Scruples, Princess Daisy or Lace.  It's a hard book to read, vital  as you'd expect Erin Pizzey, outspoken fighter for women's rights, to write. Except I didn't know that back then. I'd never heard of Erin Pizzey.  The Watershed is at times, a difficult book to read. You want to shake Rachel, the heroine. You want to tell her to leave her abusive husband, you're begging her to escape... and yet, she stays for a long time. The book's content, written as a saga, changed me, hardened me, made me aware of the evil that can go on behind closed doors.  I still have it, of course, my copy is pictured above.

And I came out of the charity bookshop thinking of the other books that have had such a profound impact on my life.

Here then are another four books that have changed my life.

Naughty Amelia Jane by Enid Blyton



This book was given to me as a Christmas gift in 1971, when I was 7 years old. I cherish it to this day and this is a photo of my copy. It has long ago lost its jacket and I keep it wrapped in a very old British Home Stores bag. The reason I love it so much is that as a tall lass myself, I felt a kinship to Amelia Jane. She was the biggest doll in the toy box, the other toys never knew how much of an outsider she felt. And by her, I do of course, mean me.

366 Goodnight Stories

A poem or a story for every day of the year. I know them all off my heart. Not only that, but I keep the book close to me if I'm looking for inspiration for my own short stories. It could be a picture that'll inspire me to write something new, or a title for one of my own. The illustrations are gorgeous. As a child, it's a book I snuggled down under my brand new continental quilt with my torch to read in bed at nights.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood


And the spine cracked over and over... 

There are many books I have read more than once. Some even I've read twice. But The Handmaid's Tale I've read so many times I've forgotten the number. When I studied my MA in Gender, Society and Culture at Birkbeck College in London, the book was on the curriculum to read and critique. I couldn't do it. I couldn't look at a book I loved, knew inside and out, and attempt an academic reading of it. I didn't want to spoil the enjoyment of the book by looking at it from another angle or through another lens other than my own. I chose another media text to study instead. I know I will read it again.

Belle of the Back Streets by Glenda Young



My debut novel. All of my life, all I have - ever - wanted was to be a writer. How could I not have this in my list of the top five books that have changed my life? It is the first of three books set in the village of Ryhope on the northeast coast where I grew up. It is published by Headline after three publishers bid for it. Belle of the Back Streets will forever hold a special place in my heart, my life, my future and in everything I do.

You might also like to read:

From Twinkle to My Guy, my life in Women's Magazines

Radio, Radio





Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets

Now out in hardback, audiobook and e-book
Pre-order paperback, released March 7 2019 

Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Corrie weekly update – Nick nicks nan’s notes

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street has just gone live here. 


This week Corrie was all about Claudia's hair. 




Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets

Now out in hardback, audiobook and e-book
Pre-order paperback, released March 7 2019 

Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

Friday, January 11, 2019

From Coronation Street to Riverside


Just today I realised that not only do I write about the world's longest-running soap opera Coronation Street ...

but ...

I also write weekly soap opera Riverside for the world's longest-running woman's magazine, The People's Friend!

That's quite a double act.




Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets

Now out in hardback, audiobook and e-book
Pre-order paperback, released March 7 2019 

Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The People's Friend 150th anniversary party #PF150

Dancers from the Fly Right Dance Company at The People's Friend party

I've just returned home from a trip of a lifetime. No, it wasn't the Caribbean and I haven't been on a round-the-world cruise. I've been to Dundee.

Yes, Dundee.

It's a smashing little city with an enormous heart.

I was there at the invitation of The People's Friend magazine, it's the longest-running women's magazine in the world and I'm proud to say I write for them. The magazine celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and the birthday party was in full swing last night.


Along with many of the writers for the magazine, I was there last night, rubbing shoulders with the magazine's staff, illustrators, accountants and all manner of staff who work in the impressive, historic D C Thomson building.  Here's a photograph I took of the building before the party began.


And here's a little look inside The Counting Room inside the building, an area named after where the old finance department was based.



I'd guess there were a couple of hundred people who turned out for the party and it was incredible to finally meet the people I've been emailing for over three years.

My first short story was accepted by The People's Friend in December 2015 and published in spring 2016. Since then, I've had many stories accepted and they liked my stories so much that they asked me to write the first ever weekly soap opera in the magazine's history. What a privilege (and what fun!) it is to write. The soap opera is called Riverside and I now live with a small community of people in my head, all waiting for their turn on the page.

It was writing Riverside that gave me the courage and confidence to send my work to a literary agent and in 2017 I was taken on by the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency in London. I've since been given a three-novel deal with publisher Headline. All of the novels are set in the north-east coal mining village of Ryhope where I grew up, on the outskirts of Sunderland.  The first of the books Belle of the Back Streets is available now with the second coming out in hardback this May.

Anyway, back to last night and that amazing party.  There were dancers who kept the crowds entertained, showcasing dancing through the decades from Charleston to Lindy Hop and Jive. It was fantastic, a real-life Strictly right in front of our eyes.

There were speeches too, from those at the top of D C Thomson and an emotional and wonderful speech from Angela Gilchrist, editor of The People's Friend.  Magazine readers were there too, a  lucky few who had won a competition to attend the celebration.

It was a very special event. I can't quite put it into words, which is odd for a writer, but I'm still feeling very emotional after the party last night. The People's Friend is a magazine that is a true friend to the reader, and to their writers too. My life wouldn't be what it is without them.

And no birthday party is complete with a cake (and delicious it was too!). Here's the birthday cake being piped in by the bagpipes... enjoy!

There will be many more pictures from The People's Friend's party in the coming days.

You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter and their website is here. 



Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets

Now out in hardback, audiobook and e-book
Pre-order paperback, released March 7 2019 

Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Corrie weekly update – Prince of packing picks a perfect packer

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street has just gone live here. 


This week in Corrie we enjoyed sparks, chemistry and fireworks to usher in the new year.



Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets

Now out in hardback, audiobook and e-book
Pre-order paperback, released March 7 2019 

Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

Friday, January 04, 2019

Waterstones Sunderland book signing, Saturday March 9


The paperback of Belle of the Back Streets  is released on March 7 2019. I've been invited to Waterstones in Sunderland (in The Bridges shopping centre) to do a book signing from 11am to 2pm on Saturday March 9.

I do hope you might pop in and say hello.

All details here




Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets
Now out in hardback, audio and e-book 


Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

Thursday, January 03, 2019

All of my Coronation Street fan books - now just 99p


Today I have reduced all of my Coronation Street fan / companion eBooks to just 99p each on Amazon.

Yes, they're all now just 99p.

They're all at Amazon, here.





Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets
Now out in hardback, audio and e-book 


Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com

Siouxsie and the Banshees

I've a short story called Susie and the Bandshees in February's Take a Break's Fiction Feast magazine. 

The story is about a Siouxsie and the Banshees tribute band who reunite. It's a story of love, loss, grief and death - and a lifetime of domestic abuse. Not an easy subject to cover, but the second on the theme of domestic violence that I've sold to Take a Break.



Debut novel Belle of the Back Streets
Now out in hardback and e-book 


Kindle e-book just £1.99 

Website: glendayoungbooks.com
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