Today I’m really excited to kick off my author interview series with the brilliant Glenda Young whose debut novel Belle of the Back Streets came out on 1st November. There’s a link to buy it at the end of the post so do please nip over and bag yourself a copy!
Hi Glenda, welcome to the blog, firstly, can you tell me a bit about you and your latest work.
I’ve loved writing stories ever since I was a child. I’ve been commissioned many times by ITV to write official Coronation Street TV Tie-in books and I’ve written Coronation Street fan companion books too. I run Coronation Street fan sites including the Coronation Street Blog.
I also write short stories for women’s magazines and was commissioned to write the first ever weekly soap opera Riverside for ‘The People’s Friend’, the longest running women’s magazine in the world.
Belle of the Back Streets is my debut novel – and I’m at the grand age of 54. The book comes out in hardback and ebook on November 1st with Headline. It’s one of three books I’ve been signed with Headline to write and I couldn’t be happier! It’s out in audiobook on December 15th and in paperback in March next year. It’s set in the northeast coalmining village of Ryhope (where I grew up) in 1919 at the end of WW1. And it’s about the adventures of a young girl called Meg who takes on her dad’s rag and bone round.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Tall. Northern. Daydreamer.
How would you Twitter pitch your novel?
Meg Sutcliffe is the Belle of the Back Streets in a north-east pit village where she takes on her dad’s rag and bone round. Some say it’s no job for a woman. Could Meg prove them all wrong?
What are your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
- Keep writing
- Never give up
- See number two above
Are you a panster or plotter?
Definitely a plotter, but a loose plotter. I plot a framework on which to embroider my story and it’s flexible, always changing, but I do always plot my novels out first, chapter by chapter so I know where I’m going. Or at least, I like to think I do.
What does success look like to you?
Filling in this Q&A.
How do you choose your character names?
They have to be historically correct so no Britney or Kylie! And they have to sound right, to me in my head when I’m writing it and to the reader when they’re seeing the name printed on the page. So instead of Elizabeth, say, which is four syllables I might use Eliza or Lizzy which have bit more pazzaz, immediacy, a bit of the strumpet about them. I like writing strumpets.
Do you ever Google yourself?
Of course! All writers should! It’s important to have a good solid Google ‘CV’ so that when other people Google you, you know what they’re seeing.
What do you do when you get stuck with your writing?
Scream. Put the kettle on. Think. Scream a bit more. Write.
How long does it take you to write a book?
5-6 months. It’s the plotter in me… and I schedule my writing time too.
What’s your main weakness as a writer eg.SPaG, continuity etc?
I’ve learned that I tend to repeat myself. I say, I tend to say the same thing over again when there’s really no need. None at all. No.
What do you find hardest/easiest about writing?
Easiest: Getting lost in the world I’ve created. Really getting under the skin of my characters and the setting.
Hardest: Sitting down to write. See above re screaming.
Describe your writing process in 3 words.
Back-up (is that two words?!)
If your book/one of your books got made into a film, who would play the main roles?
In my head, of course, Belle of the Back Streets is already a BAFTA-winning Sunday night drama where the lead role of Meg is played by Hayley Squires. She was in the fantastic I, Daniel Blake, film – see https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/dec/17/hayley-squires-i-used-to-argue-with-everyone
What’s been your biggest learning curve?
Writing to a deadline. Spreadsheets and schedules are my friend.
Do you prefer pen and paper, or is everything on the computer?
Both. I write on the computer but I’m constantly scribbling notes with pen and paper and never go anywhere without my author’s notepad in case I overhear a delicious snippet of information that I can’t let go.
Who’s your favourite author and why?
Margaret Atwood has always been my favourite author. Her style of writing makes me gasp with its beauty and I have often stopped reading just to put the book down and savour a sentence, a word, the way she phrases and offers up to the reader the most wonderful reading experience.
What’s your favourite book?
Naughty Amelia Jane by Enid Blyton. My parents bought it for me when I was tiny and I’ve still got it, it’s wrapped up in an old plastic bag now as the book is falling to bits.
How do you relax?
I live by the beach so walks on the beach are wonderful. I also cycle at least twice a week and spend weekends away on the Yorkshire coast in Scarborough often with my husband. Oh, and a nice white wine helps too.
And here’s some silly questions just for fun:
Tea or coffee?
Tea – in a teapot with a teacosy.
Beer or wine?
Beer – a good Belgian gueuze.
Chips or curly fries?
Puppies or kittens?
Summer or winter?
Glenda has loved writing stories ever since she was a child. She has been commissioned many times by ITV to write official Coronation Street TV Tie-in books and she has written Coronation Street fan companion books too. She runs two Coronation Street fan sites including the Coronation Street Blog.
Glenda also writes short stories for women’s magazines and was commissioned to write the first ever weekly soap opera Riverside for ‘The People’s Friend’, the longest running women’s magazine in the world.
Her debut novel, ‘Belle of the Back Streets’ will be published in November 2018. It is the first of three books Glenda has been signed up to write for international publisher, Headline.
You can find out more at glendayoungbooks.com
Glenda blogs at https://flamingnora.blogspot.com
Grab your copy of Belle of the Back Streets here: https://amzn.to/2JmiyHd