Discover my sagas and cosy crimes

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Corrie weekly update – Salon snogs and Saving Streetcars

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,  I drifted off a lot.

Why Beamish Museum is integral to my northeast novels

As a writer, my days are filled with wonderful things. New things, exciting things, and yes, some days, worrying and dark things as I struggle to find my way through writing a novel. It's not easy, as I think you might know.

But today is a good day, a nice day, a happy day. For I'm incredibly proud to be able to announce that my debut novel Belle of the Back Streets is going on sale in the gift shop at Beamish Museum.

Now, Beamish is not just any old museum. It's the award-winning, outdoors, living museum of the North. It's the most incredible place and if you haven't been, you should go.

For writers and researchers, they offer a resource room where you can access documents, catalogues, pictures and items that aren't on show to the public. And so it was that I went along to research Belle of the Back Streets and the volunteers working in the stores couldn't do enough to help. I held in my hands documents that made me cry, notes from world war one, books that laid bare the horrors of life in a pit village, accidents, death, babies dying, men being killed.

But there was joy too - a funfair set up in Beamish grounds led me to think about a fayre on Ryhope village green and I included this in the book. The pit village in the grounds of the museum provided inspiration too as I walked the back lanes, trailing my hand along brick and stone walls, breathing in the coal dust from fires in the cottages, imaging life when the air was thick with coal smoke and the washing on the line in your back yard would never be as white as you'd like.

I've been back to Beamish again and again, for research for my second novel The Tuppenny Child and for my third novel Pearl of Pit Lane.

Indeed, in The Tuppenny Child it opens with a heart-stopping scene set in a ladies' waiting room in a railway station as the heroine of the story hides there to escape. My inspiration for the opening scene came while I was visiting the ladies waiting room at Beamish, here it is:

And in my third novel, Pearl of Pit Lane, clippy-mat making is integral to the story and I went on one of the clippy mat making workshops at the museum. You can read all about my adventures here. Also, for Pearl of Pit Lane, I spent a huge amount of time scouring the old Co-operative Stores catalogues of 1919 to find out what kind of food would be on the shelves, in tins or in packets. It's fascinating stuff indeed!

And so, to have my debut novel Belle of the Back Streets, on sale in the museum shop, really is a dream come true. Thank you, Beamish. Thank you.

Visit Beamish museum website.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

How to make a middle-aged woman happy

Look what's arrived today at Waterstones Book Shop!

It's the hardback version of my second novel 
THE TUPPENNY CHILD, set in Sunderland 1919 and it's in the window too alongside my first novel, BELLE OF THE BACK STREETS. That one's out in paperback now and what a cracking read it is.

Want to see a middle-aged woman living her dream? Here I am in Waterstones today...

And here's my two amazing books - each with feisty heroines and a rollercoaster of a story to each one.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Butterflies... a first for women's magazine fiction?

In this week's My Weekly magazine, ignore Amanda Holden on the cover, it's what on page 64 that counts. 

I can't tell you how HUGELY PROUD I AM to have my short story Butterflies in this week's My Weekly magazine.

Because - as far as I know - it's a first for women's magazine fiction in the UK.

Want to know what the story is about? Grab My Weekly magazine, it's in the shops now.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The plot thickens and adventure begins

15 sheets of paper, one for each chapter. They're all blank right now, I mean, right at this minute. I can see them from the corner of my eye as I type up this blog post. This displacement  blog post. 

I want to start plotting, and yet... and yet I'm too scared to start. 

For once I begin I will lose myself to the story, a rollicking one at that. It could be my strongest yet. 

Another adventure begins.

I'll see you in October. 

Post-blog note: One hour later and the planning is starting to make some sort of sense. I love the physical cut and paste, the poring over my work as I plot and plan all the twists and turns. I'll leave it looking like this for a day or two on my study floor. Post-it notes will be moved, destroyed, added.  And only when I feel it sits right, that the action is spread evenly across the whole work, will I start typing up my chapter plans. But these will be written loosely, for anything unexpected that could (and should) happen as I write...

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Wonderful Waterstones

I'm absolutely over the moon about this.

Not only is my debut novel BELLE OF THE BACK STREETS back on sale in Waterstones in Sunderland after it sold out completely, but they've asked me back in for another book signing.

This time they've asked me in to sign hardback books of my second novel, THE TUPPENNY CHILD.

I'll be there on Saturday June 8 and you can see a full list of all of my upcoming events and talks here.

And if you'd like to, you can find out more about The Tuppenny Child here.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Audio preview: The Tuppenny Child

There's a preview of the audio of my next book, THE TUPPENNY CHILD (out May 30 in hardback, audio and ebook) at if anyone would like to listen to it. 

It's read by the wonderful actress, Janine Birkett, who also narrated my debut novel BELLE OF THE BACK STREETS.

You can listen to a preview here.

And if you'd like to order THE TUPPENNY CHILD in hardback, audio or ebook, the link is here.

I've been invited to do a book signing of the hardback book on June 8 at Waterstones, Sunderland. The full list of upcoming events is here.

Friday, May 10, 2019

My Local History Month

This month is Local History Month and there are heritage and history events going on all over the country. If you're in Sunderland, the booklet with all events is here.

We're only ten days into the month of May as I write this but already I've been on three events with another to follow later this month.

Elephant Tea Rooms, Sunderland High Street
I've been on a guided walk around Sunderland’s Historic High Streets to discover the fascinating history of Fawcett Street and High Street West, the principal shopping streets during the 19th and 20th centuries, and the historic buildings that remain today.

This was followed by a Sunday stroll along the river Wear looking at Bygone Transport and Industry. It was a brilliant riverside walk setting off from Cox Green and learning more about local sites like the wonderfully named Girdle Cake cottage and the Victoria Viaduct whilst keeping a keen eye out for wildlife like otter and kingfisher.

And on Wednesday this week I went on a vintage bus (pictured above - the 'vintage' bus is one I remember from my childhood; I'm definitely getting old!).

The bus took us all on a Magical Mystery Tour – exploring heritage sites around Sunderland with time to disembark and explore inside. Guided tours of each venue were given by dedicated volunteers.

We visited three sites, two of which I'd never been to before. These were Sunderland Maritime Heritage Centre and the Bowes Railway.

We also visited Ryhope Engines Museum, and as I'm from Ryhope and have visited the museum many times before it was good to see so many from the bus enjoying their first visit.

On the vintage bus I sat next to a chap I'd never met before. We starting chatting and it turned out he came from Ryhope too. I told him I'd been researching the history of Ryhope for the novels I've been writing that are set there in 1919 and I gave him one of my bookmarks. To my utter surprise and delight, he'd heard of the books, I was over the moon. Then he said: "Well, I'm not as famous as you but my name's Jim Pace."

Jim Pace.

Let's think about that name for a minute.

In all of the research for all of my novels I've been writing set in old Ryhope, I've been using books that have been written by Jim Pace. Ryhope Heritage Society even have the Jim Pace collection of photographs of old Ryhope.

It turns out that the Jim Pace I'd been sitting next to on the vintage bus was only the son of the Jim Pace whose books and photograph archive have been integral to my research for my novels. What an amazing coincidence and what an incredible day it was.

I'm still to experience my final event of Sunderland's local history month in a couple of weeks' time and I'll be blogging about that too.

It's been a wonderful way to experience Sunderland's heritage and history and I fully encourage everyone to take part and get involved - it's all free too.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Short story inspired by Killhope Lead Mining Museum

I've a short story called Special Flowers in The People's Friend Special 174 which in the shops today, Wednesday 8 May 2019.

It's a story inspired by my visit to Killhope Lead Mining Museum in County Durham.

I was really taken with the atmosphere of the place. And when I saw the tiny blue plumbago flowers growing on the hills of the old lead mine and hearing that the miners used to save some of the minerals they mined, calling them "bonny bits" I knew I had my story right there.

Warning: It might just make you cry.

Released on May 30: The Tuppenny Child

There's an announcement today on the Romantic Novelists' Association website of new books released this month.

The website includes The Tuppenny Child, my second novel set in Ryhope, Sunderland in 1919 and you can read more about it here if you'd like to.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

WIN! Belle of the Back Streets plus a sweet treat


Enter to win a personalised, signed copy of BELLE OF THE BACK STREETS. 

The book prize comes with a bookmark and postcard plus a lovely box of chocolates! 

Deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday 10th May 2019.

Good luck!

Enter at

Glenda Young
Author: Belle of the Back Streets

Saturday, May 04, 2019

My interview with Corrie Podcast - Talk of the Street

I'm interviewed on the Corriepodcast Talk of the Street in which I chat all things Coronation Street, blogging about my favourite TV show and writing my novels too.

Corrie weekly update – Silently retreating

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,  Norris went to a silent retreating.

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