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

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Tapping and chatting to #SatBookChat


Had a nice time tapping and chatting yesterday tea-time. I was invited to take part in Saturday Book Chat on Twitter. It's organised by @SatBookChat and you can follow the conversation using the hashtag #SatBookChat.

It was fun and my thanks go to Jorie who organised it.

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

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Join me - Facebook Live with The People's Friend magazine


I'm going Facebook Live with The People's Friend magazine on Friday 3 July at 11am.

Join me!

I'll be talking all about the weekly soap opera Riverside which I've been writing for the magazine since 2016.  I'll also be chatting about writing short stories and about my novels. 

If you have a question you'd like to ask, The People's Friend are accepting questions via Twitter @thefriendmag using the hashtag #AskGlenda

See you there!
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Glenda Young
Author of historical novels with Headline
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor

Coronation Street Weekly Update - June 27 2020

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



And if you'd like to support the Coronation Street weekly updates to keep them going (please), you can donate here
__

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Watch my YouTube talk for Sunderland Libraries #booktube


I've made another YouTube author talk, this time for Sunderland LIbraries who invited me to record an author talk to share on social media.
With apologies for the slight haziness of the recording, it appears the camera on our laptop isn't all it should be.

I was due to give some author talks at various libraries around the north east this spring and summer. However, as they've all been cancelled, it's a real honour (if slightly scary) to be doing the talks online instead.

Here's my talk today for Sunderland Libraries. I've subtitled it too and it's 14 minutes long.



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

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Writer's Life: Sitting down in Lockdown


Strange times, eh?

Just a couple of weeks into lockdown, I was sitting in our garden thinking how quiet the world was without traffic. How peaceful. Then I stood up from where I was sitting and twisted my ankle. As my brain scrambled to make sense of what was happening, I did what I realise now was absolutely stupid and pathetic but at the time seemed to make sense. I put the foot that I'd just twisted back onto the ground to steady myself, and went over on it again. Yup, twice-sprained in a couple of seconds.

My foot swelled up, it hurt, and when it wouldn't improve after a week of (NHS111 recommended) rest, ice, compression and elevation, I was advised to go to the fracture clinic at the local hospital. The good news is my ankle wasn't broken. The bad news is that it was a soft tissue injury that turned my foot black and blue. I was sent home from hospital, given a moonboot to walk in (not a good look) and instructions to rest.

I'm not the sort of person who rests. I'm a do-er. I like being up and about, walking, cycling. Instead, I've been pinned to the sofa. And so I've made the most of each minute of enforced sit-down in lockdown by writing every single day.

Last night I took stock of all that I've done during this strange time. And in no particular order, here it is.  I was surprised when I wrote it all down, there's so much I've done. I tend to take my skills for granted. Well, it's time I shouted about my achievements. I know from experience that if I don't do it, no-one else will. I think I might have to sit down more often. Preferably not with a bad foot.

If you'd like to know more, simply click on the links.
Away from writing, I also did some of this:
  • Set up a crazy golf course in garden (before I hurt my foot)
  • Made some art for Grayson Perry's art club on Channel 4
  • Read a lot of books
  • Watched some excellent films
  • Watched some awful films
And until my foot recovers completely, I'll be continuing with daily chair-based yoga followed by chair-based cardio exercise every afternoon.

Here's to what the future may bring. I have a feeling interesting times might lie ahead.

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

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Coronation Street weekly update, June 20 2020

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



And if you'd like to support the Coronation Street weekly updates to keep them going (please), you can donate here
__

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Longlisted in Limnisa short story competition


Absolutely delighted to be one of 20 writers longlisted in the Limnisa Short Story Competition 2020. 

No mean feat as there were over 500 entries received.

It does my confidence the power of good!

The winners are online here.
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Glenda Young
Author of historical novels with Headline
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Prostitutes and Proggy Mats in Pearl of Pit Lane


Pearl of Pit Lane is my third gritty novel set in 1919 in the northeast coalmining village of Ryhope, where I was born and bred.  It's available now in paperback, audiobook, ebook and hardback from all good bookshops and online and has received some cracking reviews!

The story centres around a young girl called Pearl who looks set to follow her aunt Annie into a life working the streets selling her body. But Pearl has other plans. The question is, can Pearl survive a life on her own terms when she runs away from Annie?  You'll have to read the book to find out, I'm not giving away any spoilers here, oh no!

But what I can tell you is about the research I did for the book. Pearl of Pit Lane features prostitution and proggy mats. Now, I'll assume you know what the former is but for those who don't know what a proggy mat is, also called a rug rat or clippy mat, then read on.

It's a mat made from scraps of clothes which women - and it was usually women - made to keep their homes warm and to decorate their homes too.  Proggy mats were sometimes made as bed covers before being relegated to the floor when they were old and worn.  We had a proggy mat in our house when I was growing up as my grandma used to make them.  This is my grandma's progger which she used to make her mats.


A progger is a wood and metal tool which fits snugly into the hand and you poke the scraps of cloth through the hessian to form a mat. It's harder than it looks. I knew when I was researching Pearl of Pit Lane that I wanted proggy mat-making central to the story - but I won't tell you why. No spoilers, remember!   I knew that I could use YouTube to watch proggy mats being made, or read books and see pictures online. But I decided there was no experience like the real thing and decided to make my own proggy mat.  I booked onto a day long craft course at Beamish Museum and made my own proggy mat using my grandma's progger. You can read all about it here and see pictures of my finished mat.

As for researching the history of prostitution in Sunderland, I contacted Sunderland Antiquarian Society, of which I'm a member. They are hugely helpful and always keen to help. Two of their members, Norman Kirtlan and Sharon Vincent have written a book called The Dressmakers of Fighting Cock Lane and it's a book I read from cover to cover when planning Pearl of Pit Lane. Be warned, this is a book that'll make your hair curl. It's as scandalous now as it was when the the feral women in the book walked the streets in gangs. You'll not be able to put it down once you start reading!

The Dressmakers of Fighting Cock Lane weren't dressmakers at all. They were women, with no education and absolutely no other means of earning an income, who earned their living selling their bodies. But when they were required to write their occupation on official documentation, they could hardly say they lived off illegal earnings and so recorded their occupations as dressmakers instead. The East End of Sunderland had a lot of dressmakers on the census in Victorian England!


I learned many things from The Dressmakers of Fighting Cock Lane book, not least that the uniform of the "Sunderland tart" - for that is how she was named - to let customers know she was available for work, was by wearing a red feather in a black hat. How could I not include this wonderful snippet in my book?  I went out and bought a red feather and it hung from my writing board all the way through writing the book as a reminder of how hard life was for women at that time.


So there we have it, prostitutes and proggy mats in Pearl of Pit Lane.

Additional research I carried out for the book centred around life in a small grocery shop circa 1919 and you can read more and see pictures of my research on the shop here.


I hope you really enjoy reading the book, it's a cracker. 


Pearl of Pit Lane available now in paperback, hardback, ebook and audiobook from all good bookshops and online.
__

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

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Coronation Street weekly update, June 13 2020

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



And if you'd like to support the Coronation Street weekly updates to keep them going (please), you can donate here
__

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

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Coronation Street weekly update, June 6 2020

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


And if you'd like to support the Coronation Street weekly updates to keep them going (please), you can donate here
__

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

Friday, June 05, 2020

Pineapples, feathers and ribbon - my first author chat on Zoom


My author interview with Tina of the fab TripFiction website.

It's the first author interview I've ever done on Zoom so there are lessons I can learn. Number 1? Stand closer to the camera!

Thank you to Tina and to TripFiction for hosting me.

 I hope you might like to watch the video, it's below and just 15 minutes long.  For more on the books mentioned, click here.

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

Thursday, June 04, 2020

"A teller of tales; A writer who allows you to care"


This morning I woke up a message from a stranger. And, in the parlance of the day, it's giving me all the feels.

It's a message from a reader who enjoyed reading The Tuppenny Child, my second novel set in 1919 in a northeast pit village and published by Headline. 

The C word (Cookson) is mentioned again and, again, I felt nervous. Why? Find out here. 

The comparison to Maeve Binchy sits more easily with me and I can only hope that I write with as much warmth and compassion as she did, she was one of my favourite authors. Although I never claim - or try - to write like anyone else, it's absolutely fantastic that the reader saw a connection.

I'm made up.


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