Saturday, 12 January 2019

Why I chose to write historical fiction

In a recent interview I was asked why I chose to write historical novels, and more specifically why I like to write novels set in the Victorian and Edwardian era. This was my answer, which I kept rather short, otherwise I'd gone on for hours!

I love history. I love the idea of writing about what might have happened in those times.
There was so much happening – new inventions, new discoveries and events that shattered and shaped the world such as wars.
It was a time when people were desperately poor and death rates high, and it was a time of opulence and making fortunes. Self-made industrious men could be fortunate enough to become rich through hard work or invention and change the way their families lived. Cities expanded and the population grew creating hardship for the poor and opportunities for those who grabbed it.
I enjoy the Edwardian era because of all the changes that happened during that time. Before WWI generally women were at home raising children. They had no voice in the world, little or no power. During WWI women had to step into the roles previously held only by men. They had to go to work and leave the home to help with the war effort. With the men away, woman were faced with a freedom they’d never had before. Then, after WWI, the world changed again and women couldn’t be silent anymore. They became more prominent in history and started taking control of their lives by getting the vote, and working outside of the home, etc.  It’s all so fascinating.
I like exploring the idea of families, how they lived and worked, from the rich to the poor. I’ve written characters living in slums and others living in grand country estates. Each aspect has its own fascination and writing how those characters coped and survived is a great source of inspiration for my plots.
I think the women’s fashion of both Victorian and Edwardian is just so beautiful and feminine. The changing shapes of the dress from the Victorian period to the Edwardian era is vast, from hooped crinolines to hobble skirts.  
Women were often the hidden power behind the successful men and that is interesting and worth exploring.  I read a lot of diaries written by women of those times and try to explore as many historical sites of interest as I can. 
Visiting country houses helps my imagination to set the scene for my characters who would have lived on those types of estates, just as I like visiting the mean narrow streets of cities, which would have houses the desperately poor. 
My ancestry is Yorkshire and so I set many of my books in Yorkshire. York is a favourite place of mine. The history there is amazing. I enjoy researching the town and surrounding countryside for inspiration.
History is diverse and ever-evolving. It gives writers such a scope to draw from in which we create our worlds.

A selection of my books

Friday, 4 January 2019

Belle of the Back Streets - Waterstones book signing

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

The hardback, audio and ebook are already published. You can buy them on Amazon if you'd like to.

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

Kindle e-book just £1.99 


Poor House Lane Series

Editions of Poor House Lane Series have been published by Canelo, provided with beautiful covers.

1 -The Girl from Poor House Lane What lengths will a mother go to in order to protect her son? The first in the historical Poor House Lane sagas The slums of Poor House Lane are no place to bring up a child, and Kate O'Connor struggles to make ends meet when her beloved husband is killed, leaving her a single mother with a baby to support on the meagre hand-outs she gleans from charity. So when the childless Tysons, owners of Kendal's shoe factory, offer to adopt her son, Callum, and employ Kate as his nanny, she seizes the chance to ensure he has a better life. To be so close to her son, yet no longer be his mother, is bittersweet. But Kate is not prepared for the jealousy the new arrangement provokes in Eliot Tyson's brother, Charles, who sees Callum as a direct threat to his inheritance…


2 -The Child from Nowhere Kate finds herself back in Poor House Lane with some heartrending decisions to be made, not least how to find her missing son. Somehow she must also make a living for herself and help the women being abused by the hated Swainson. But nothing is straightforward, and her sister-in-law Lucy isn't done with her yet…


3 - The Woman from Heartbreak House The Great War is over and Kate is ready to welcome back Eliot with open arms. But her husband is a changed man. Kate has become used to her independence, and Eliot's return creates tensions both at work and at home, particularly with Kate's son, Callum. It tears Kate apart to see such strife between the two men she loves most. And her sister-in-law seems determined to stir up the animosity in order to benefit her own son. But when tragedy strikes, Kate cannot imagine just how much trouble Lucy's ambition can cause…


Thursday, 13 December 2018

Nicola's Virtue FREE!

Nicola’s Virtue – ebook FREE until Dec 16th.
She crossed the world to start again, only it was harder than she expected.

#Australia #historical #governess #Sydney #19thcentury #saga

Friday, 7 December 2018

Belle of the Back Streets - the audio book

My debut novel BELLE OF THE BACK STREETS is out as an audio book this month.

My fun Q&A interview with them is below where you can can also listen to a sample read by esteemed film, TV and stage actress Janine Birkett.

The interview and audio sample are here.

And if you'd like to, you can also read my blog post about the day I sat in on the recording of the audio book. It really was an amazing experience and one I will never forget.

Behind the scenes at an audio book recording.

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

Kindle e-book just 99p until January 1st 2019 


Thursday, 6 December 2018

A very happy Christmas!

It’s lovely to be able to wish you all a very happy Christmas, here on this awesome blog. I know readers and writers alike spend time in browsing the posts and learn so much about our plots, characters, production process and the history that is so very much an integral part of our research. Sometimes, the most fascinating personal family issues are given fictional life between the pages of our works. We know we all feel the same about making our books the very best they can be. And it’s here that we find the the little hints and signposts to our adventures through writing and reading. You really feel as though you are there, in the moment with the author. So thank you one and all for sharing and especially AnneMarie who along with her fabulous books, gives us space to chat and promote. May all your Christmas dreams come true! Love Carol xx 

Friday, 30 November 2018

Best cover competition!

My cover for The Promise of Tomorrow is in a contest for best cover at InD'tale Magazine. 
I would love some votes if you think it's worthy! 
Thank you.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

100 Years Anniversary of WWI Ending - a battlefield visit.

Last month I achieve one of my bucket list goals. I visited Flander's Fields in Belgium on a battlefield tour.
Those of you who know my books, know that I have a deep interest in World War One and have written in that era on three occasions (The Promise of Tomorrow, Southern Sons and Where Dragonflies Hover)

I have researched the era a great deal and to visit actual battlefield sites was an amazing experience I'll remember forever.
I'm sharing with you some photos of the day, not all as there are too many, but enough to give you a feel of what I saw.

 This is just some of the shells and hand grenades still collected on farmer's fields in and around Passchendaele and Ypres.
Live shells are still being found and our tour guide told us that only the month before a farmer had been ploughing his field and was blown up by an unexploded shell. 100 years later!! It's so hard to believe isn't it? We saw this shell just by the side of the road. Farmers put them out for the army to collect every Friday and dispose of them. 

The photo of the trench is from the Passchendaele Museum. It is a great museum to visit and learn even more about the battle sin that area. Walking through the trenches give you a feel of what the men must have gone through. Though the day we went the weather was lovely, but I could imagine the trenches in the wet and cold and the mud of winter.

 The serene looking little lake is actually a bomb crater on the outskirts of Ypres. The site has not been touched and allowed to fill with water. It's very beautiful to look at but the grim story is men fought and died in this spot and it's a sobering thought that we were walking on ground churned up by heavy gunfire and bombs and at one time dead bodies of brave men.

 The cemeteries we visited were numerous in the area, naturally, as it was a hot bed of fighting for over 4 years. As an Australian it was very touching to see the Australian War memorials and graves, but as someone who has British ancestors who fought and died in battles it was doubling moving. Knowing that an ancestor of mine (Ellis) sent five sons to war and only three came back.
To my great+ uncles Arthur and Alfred Ellis and all the brave men and women who fought and died for our freedom, we owe you a debt that can never be repaid.

Lest We Forget

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

New saga - Belle of the Back Streets - Kindle for just 99p

My debut novel Belle of the Back Streets is now out in hardback and eBook.

The EBook is on special offer at just 99p until January 1st.

You can download it here.

Glenda Young

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Belle of the Back Streets - publication day!

Today - November 1st 2018 - is the day that my first novel Belle of the Back Streets is published.

It's out in hardback and as an ebook today and comes out in audio on December 15. The paperback is released in March next year.

Belle of the Back Streets is about a young girl who takes on her dad's rag and bone round in the northeast pit village of Ryhope, Sunderland. Ryhope is where I grew up and I know the village well.

You can find out more about me and about the book which is one of three to be published by Headline.

Thank you for all your support, saga fans!

Glenda Young

Friday, 26 October 2018

Grace's Courage.

Grace Woodruff fights for her sisters' rights to happiness while sacrificing any chance for her own. The eldest of seven daughters, Grace is the core of strength around which the unhappy members of the Woodruff family revolve. As her disenchanted mother withdraws to her rooms, Grace must act as a buffer between her violent, ambitious father and the sisters who depend upon her. Rejected by her first love and facing a spinster's future, she struggles to hold the broken family together through her father's infidelity, one sister's alcoholism, and another's out-of-wedlock pregnancy by an unsuitable match. Caring for an illegitimate half-brother affords Grace an escape, though short-lived. 
Forced home by illness and burdened with dwindling finances, Grace faces fresh anguish --and murder-- when her first love returns to wreck havoc in her life. All is not lost, however. In the midst of tragedy, the fires of her heart are rekindled by another. Will the possibility of true love lead Grace to relinquish her responsibilities in the house of women and embrace her own right to happiness?

Grace’s Courage - ebook/pbk
Can she protect her sisters from their evil father?
#Victorian  #Yorkshire #saga #Leeds #historical