One of the many things I love about being a writer – in particular about being part of a community of writers – is that (unlike some other industries I’ve worked in) we’re generally all a pretty nice, decent, supportive bunch. In other parts of my professional life, where jealousy, rivalry and bitter resentment abound, in my writing circles I’ve experienced nothing but support, encouragement, and genuine pride and happiness at others successes.
Nowhere have I seen this more evident than within the writing group I am a part of – Holmeside Writers in Sunderland – where one of our members, Glenda Young, recently landed a three book deal with Hodder Headline, to produce period sagas which are set in and around Sunderland. The first of these, Belle Of The Back Streets, was published last month, with the paperback due out in March 2019.
I have been proud to witness the journey of the book from conception to publication. Glenda very generously assigns me some credit for the whole thing happening. When we met in Holmeside Cafe for a coffee and a general chat about writing about two years ago, it was our conversation and the encouragement I offered, she says, that spurred her on to approach agents and pitch ideas, which eventually led to her current success. I’m not taking credit for her achievement, I hasten to add. Glenda is a wonderful writer and there’s no doubt this would have happened sooner or later, but I’m proud to have been just one small part of this journey of hers, and I couldn’t be happier for her.
Fast forward to now, December 2018. The hardback is out, sales are very healthy indeed, and Glenda has lived one of many dreams a writer holds dear: a book signing in the Waterstones of her home town!
This was just the other day and, of course, I went along to see her – taking my copy with me so that she could sign it. Seeing her there at her table, copies of her traditionally published first novel piled high in front of her (and a significant number of people queuing up to buy one) gave me a wonderful injection of motivation (something that does us writers no harm to experience every now and then). One day, I resolved, I too will be sat behind a similar table in that very shop!
In the meantime, I’m chuffed to bits to see my good friend Glenda enjoying that whole experience – and I can’t wait to see it happen all over again next year when her second novel, The Tuppenny Child, is released!
You can find out more about Glenda on her website here
She also runs and writes for the independent Coronation Street blog