Books by Glenda Young

Saturday, July 22, 2017

My big fat novel-writing diary - week 1


I'm writing my first proper novel.

And now here I am writing a blog post about writing a novel. There may be more blog posts on this subject. There may be none.  I'll see how it goes.

Week 1 has been research, research, research.

It has also been the week in which my email address I've used for almost 20 years finally gave up the ghost and died. Stressful? Oh, yes.

And it's been the week in which I discovered a novel set in the place I want to set mine has already been written. 'So what?' you may say. Well, the similarities were too great, including the lead character's name and the area where the story was set.  Uncanny, I know. But no idea is original. At least it shows I'm on the right lines with place, plot and what-not. However, my idea has an extra bit to it that I've not been able to find in any research, so I do believe it has a USP. We'll see.

This week has been spent locked away in a library sweating over old tomes. And what a joy that was - books! libraries! research centres! people!

I now need to delve further into the different area my novel will now be set. Fortunately it's an area that not only do I know well, I love with all my heart.

5 things I take away from week 1:

1. People are lovely, helpful, amazing. I've been overwhelmed by the help people have given me, from volunteers at Beamish museum through to local writers, historians and museum staff and curators.

2. Losing my email address after almost 20 years is something I never want to go through again. Tears were shed.

3. Be flexible. When advised to change what I thought was my own idea, and finding out it wasn't, I listened and took advice from a professional. They know what they're doing, I don't.

4. Be focused. I'm going to have to leave social media alone, as well as the biscuit jar and indeed the world for the next few months while I focus every ounce of attention and energy on writing my book.

5. Be organised. Notes are swamping me. Research is addictive and fascinating and all I want to do right now is find out more and more and more, and well, that leads me back to number 4 above. Focus. Organise. Make a plan and a list then think, and dream and prepare to write soon.

Next week is another week of research before writing begins in August.

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Corrie Weekly Update - End of an Era at The Rovers Return

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


This week in Corrie, The Rovers Return said goodbye to the legend that is Liz.

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Friday, July 21, 2017

My new email address


After almost 20 years using one email address, I'm having to change it over.

It's a painful process but I have no choice.

My new email address is glenda (dot) sunderland (at) gmail (dot) com

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Short Story: Whatever the Weather


I've a short story in this week's The People's Friend magazine, in the shops today. The story is called Whatever The Weather and it's about a weather girl called Diane whose new fella is hot for her but she's giving him the cold shoulder. Also in the mag is another gripping instalment of my weekly soap Riverside which is an absolute joy to write.

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Corrie Weekly Update - In it to Win it

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


This week in Corrie, there's a cut price Bodie and Doyle on the loose.

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Short Story: The Cup that Cheers


I've a short story in today's The People's Friend magazine. It's set in my favourite seaside village in Southern Spain and it's about a woman who goes out to live there but misses a few things from home...

It's in the shops today.

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Corrie Weekly Update - Problem with a wobbly knob

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


This week in Corrie, Brian and Cathy were undone by a wobbly knob.

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

An overnight success - after 52 years #amwriting


I hate banging on and blowing my own trumpet. It's something that doesn't come naturally or easily to me. But I have to do it this time, I want to.

Today, Wednesday June 21 2017 was the UK's first National Writing Day and I have news to share. It's news that's been under embargo and I've been busting to share for weeks.

Tonight I'm in Nottingham at the beautiful Bromley House Library to read a story and collect an award. I've come 2nd place in the Writing East Midlands Aurora Writing Prize.

They received over 400 entries to this competition, so I feel honoured and bursting with pride at winning this amazing prize. The judges were acclaimed authors Penelope Shuttle and Jacob Ross.

My story - All the Young Dudes is a dark schoolgirl tale from the 1970s. I wrote it after my musical hero David Bowie died last year. All of the empty emotion I felt at that time poured into my work. All of the winning stories will be going live on the Writing East Midlands website in an e-anthology soon.

And secondly, I've also won the True Stories writing competition organised by The Word at South Shields.

Telly writer and competition judge Michael Chaplin
All 11 shortlisted short stories were read tonight in a special evening hosted by competition judge, Michael Chaplin, the TV writer. I couldn't be there as I was in Nottingham at the prize-giving, as outlined above.

I am 52 years old and have been writing for as long as I can remember. Finally I've become an overnight success... and I couldn't be happier.

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Father and Daughter


I've a poignant short story called Father and Daughter in this week's People's Friend magazine, which is out today in the shops.

The story is about a widower and his daughter who go on holiday with his late wife's parents. The holiday is a chance for the older couple to finally accept their son-in-law and grand-daughter need to move on with their lives.


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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Corrie Weekly Update - High Dudgeon and a Beautiful Finger


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

This week in Corrie, Bridezilla Bradley lost her thunder to Eva's beautiful finger.

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Corrie Weekly Update: A Golden Week of Opportunity

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


This week in Corrie, Nick proved just how wet he really was.

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Close Knit


I've a short story today in The People's Friend Special No. 141 which is out in the shops today.
It's a story about knitting and how the skill is passed down through the generations of one family - much like my own.



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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Queen Bee



I've a short story in My Weekly magazine, which is out today in the shops.  The story is called queen bee! and it's a tale of social media and bees. That's all I'm going to tease.

It's a quirky little story and I hope you like reading it.


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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Sunday, May 28, 2017

My Perfect Sunny Sunday in Sunderland


Today has been just about perfect.  A sunny Sunday in Sunderland.

It started with a 10 mile bike ride with my husband in the sunshine. We cycled into town, through town, down to the river and back home along the beach.  Then we started working in the garden. Well, I call it 'working' in the garden but it's a joy to potter about with trowel in hand. I pottered, I weeded, I watered, I dug, I looked and smiled. I even took some photos.

Then I made some bread. Focaccia, if you're asking. I picked rhubarb from the garden and stewed it for dessert after dinner tonight.  Then when the sun went in, we came into the house, tired, happy, ready for our second can of cider after the first didn't even touch the sides as we sat outside and drunk it in the sunshine. Well, us gardeners have to have our rewards.

And while my husband cooked dinner in the kitchen, the soundtrack to the cooking is one of my favourites, perfect for sunny Sunday afternoons, DJ Derek with a strong reggae beat.

It's been a sunny Sunday in Sunderland and I couldn't be happier.

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Corrie weekly update: Barlow Bad Blood

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


This week in Corrie, Daniel the devil appeared.

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: Half a Sixpence in London


Let me make it plain that I am not a theatre reviewer. I am however, a huge fan of musical theatre and my absolute favourite, all-time musical has always been Half a Sixpence. I fell in love with the Tommy Steele film as a little girl and have loved it ever since.  And so when it was announced that the musical was being staged in London, I had to go and see it, of course.

Now then. When I go to the theatre I never buy a programme. Never. Programmes are expensive and tell you little about what you really want to know. But I made an exception for Half a Sixpence, because I love the show so much. And while I sat waiting for the show to begin, in those excited few moments before the lights dim and the overture begins, I read the programme (£4 if you're interested) and my heart sank.

Here's why.

This new version of Half a Sixpence isn't based on the Tommy Steele film. It's not even based on the stage play, and yes, I've got that soundtrack on CD.


This new version of Half a Sixpence, is, the programme told me, based on Julian Fellowes' own adaptation of Kipps. Worse was to come.  Julian Fellowes admits that "he had never seen the stage version of Sixpence and hadn't liked the film."

So, we have a different story to the one we know and love.  Could it get any worse?  Yes, I'm afraid that it could, and it did.

The programme went on, in one horrific word after another, to say that the songs had been remastered. "There's hardly a bar we haven't interfered with in some way."

And so, with my heart in my shoes, I sank back into my seat as the show began. It was similar, but different, to the version of Sixpence I knew and I loved. But I wanted my Sixpence. I wanted my show. However, Cameron Mackintosh and Julian Fellowes had robbed me of it.  I almost left at half time, but I'd been so looking forward to seeing the show for so long, that I knew I had to sit it out, however painful it was.

There was also another reason (well, two reasons) that I didn't walk out.

The first reason is Charlie Stemp as Arthur Kipps  and the second is Devon Elise-Johnson as Anne. Both of them are perfect in their roles, and bring a vigour and life which was reminiscent enough of the film that it brought a smile to my face. Charlie Stemp was magnificent and I gave him a standing ovation at the end.

But never mind the end, back to the songs.

Many songs are not included from the film or original stage play, which is just about excusable.

There are new songs too, including the fantastic Pick Out A Simple Tune which is the one I was humming as I floated out of the exit at the end of the show.  And new songs are understandable.

But what is unforgivable is that the original songs they did use had their lyrics changed. Yes, all of them. I almost cried. In We'll Build a Place / I Only Want a Little House it's as if they tore the song in half, threw it up in the air to see which characters it landed on before handing round the song sheets. Awful stuff. I truly wish they'd kept the original lyrics. Can't imagine that happening in The Sound of Music, can you?

So, if you're a fan of Half a Sixpence and you're going to see the show in London - think on. It's not what you'll expect, or want.

But there is a great deal of charm to it, and with Stemp and Johnson in the lead roles, there's a great deal of magic too.


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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Corrie weekly update: Moroccan Kidney and a Cow Pat

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


This week in Corrie, mess with the Battersby girls at your peril.

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Short Story: Afternoon Tea


I've a short story in this week's People's Friend magazine. It's called Afternoon Tea, and it's illustrated with cupcakes and teapots. It's a story of two women of very different ages, working for themselves and helping each other out. And it's set in Scarborough! 

Plus my weekly soap Riverside is also in the mag. This week there's some nasty, threatening behaviour going on.


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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Poem: Gash

A gash of cherry lipstick
The tightest, shortest skirt
Heels, blouse
Hair teased and tangled into unnatural curls
Blood oozes out
Scarlet drops fall
Pink flesh rips
The blade travels down his arm
Unaware, unknowing of who he really wants to be

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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

My Local History Month in Sunderland

May is Local History Month and I've been out and about this afternoon on a vintage bus. And I know I'm getting old when a 'vintage' bus is one that I remember from my youth.

Off we went - and yes, I sat on the top deck at the front.  The bus tour was to Sunderland's Places of Worship.  As someone who only ever goes to church for hatches, matches and dispatches, having a neb inside some of Sunderland's churches and finding out more about them was intriguing indeed.

Our first stop was St. George's United Reform Church on Stockton Road.  It was big, as churches usually are. It had an organ, as many do. There were pews, stained glass. So far, so usual, so churchy.  But then we were told about its Sunderland roots. The shipyard owners who bought the land and built the church. The stained glass windows dedicated to those owners with names like Steels and Bartrams.

And the contempory glass art work dedicated to the life of Sunderland woman Margaret Drybrugh, who died as a POW in Singapore after her missionary work in China.

Back on the bus and off to stop number two in the leafy, affluent Ashbrooke part of town.  St. John's church was built as "The cathedral to Methodism".  At the end of each pew there was a numbered brass plaque.


These were to hold the prices which the gentry had to pay to sit in that pew. The closer to the front, to God, you wanted to be, the more it was going to cost you. The further back you sat, the less you paid. And if you were servants to the gentry, you could sit down for free. Heavens above.  But you had to leave early, in order to saddle up the horses and get the carriages ready for your masters at the end of the service.

The stained glass windows were dedicated to the men (they're always men, aren't they?) who founded the church.


Back on the bus and off to venue number three - the Sunderland Sikh temple.  This was a real eye-opener for me as I'd never been inside anywhere like this before.  We were asked to remove our shoes when we went in, and to wash our hands and cover our heads.  Then we entered the prayer room. No barriers, no pew prices, no stained glass windows, no pomp or circumstance, no powerful men. Just three very friendly and welcoming women - one of whom I knew and hadn't seen for years, so it was a lovely reunion .

After an introduction to the Sikh religion, we were led to their kitchen where we were treated to the most amazing vegetarian samasos, washed down with spiced tea. It was fantastic, the best samosas I've ever eaten! 

And then, it was back to the bus for the end of our trip.

Two years ago during Local History Month I took a guided walk around Sunderland's East End.

You can download the brochure for Local History Month here.


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

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora
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