INTRODUCTION - updated January 2021

Welcome to my first try at writing an adult novel. I'm learning as I go along by doing the Author Learning Centre Book in a Year course as I did for my memoir. The process for writing a work of fiction is very different but very fascinating. You map out the storyline by first having an inkling of an idea and then carrying out a 'What if?' excercise. I knew I wanted to write a historical novel set in post WW2 England. It had to be centred in a small but straggling village where there had been no bombing, and all its soldiers returned safely. I found a village in Cumberland that fit this description. I wanted it to be about the life of a little girl born to a soldier and his girlfriend. After 2 hours of 'What iffing' I had the whole story mapped out. Magic!

Since then, I've learned about the fundamentals of writing fiction, how to create captivating characters; how to write dialogue that deepens characters; how to show, not tell; and the techniques of how to tell a story from different points of view. I've learned and am still learning so much, and trying to put it into practice as I write.

I've written 33 chapters to date (January 2021) and I've formed an editorial group of 10 people who are willing to read my work and provide constructive and honest feedback, which is invaluable. I'll include some of this feedback as I go along. If anyone out there would like to join this group, then please contact me on

My latest working title is 'Shattered Pieces can still Shine'. However, this is bound to change before the book is completed. I'll let you know when it does.


From now on I'm going to list general feedback and reviews from my editorial groups - updating them from time to time. So far, I have reviews for all chapters up to and including Chapter 23. So here goes:

" I know it’s a personal preference of mine, but for me, your best writing is when you pause to explain thought processes, motivations, links, options, etc. This is so helpful for the reader in understanding and gradually coming to ‘know’ the characters. They become three dimensional and we can relate to what they are thinking and feeling much better. " (John Wood)

"Have loved reading the chapters - they definitely draw you in and you want to know more about the characters... I like the style of writing." (Lisa Johnson)

"It’s not really my sort of book. However, I found myself wanting to read on from page to page and chapter to chapter." (Tony Johnson)

"I always think the essence of a good novel is wanting to know what happens next, and this has it. At this point, I am hating Alfie and wondering about Gerald’s past, which we haven’t really learned about yet (apart from Alfie’s lies). Loving the Braithwaites!" (Joanie Wood)

"Another good read. Thank you." (Lynn Hornsby)

"Very well written and the switching between interviews works without being at all confusing. This was an appropriate use of the switching technique, giving it an almost filmic quality, like the reader could see it all." (John Wood)

"I’m intrigued to find out what’s going to happen next – especially to Georgie. I can see what the characters look like in my mind’s eye. The story has really got me, and I can’t wait for the next bit." (Sandra Johnson)

"I have really enjoyed it. I got into the story really quickly ... Well done. Such an engaging story." (Janet Hooper)

"Thoroughly enjoyed and couldn’t put it down. It’s lovely and also easy to read, and I always want to turn to the next chapter to see what will happen keeps me interested so that I want to read further. I can see the characters in my mind. Florrie is lovely; Georgie is an endearing little girl with a kind soul, she has been very vulnerable ... Pattie comes over as very soft but at the same time very organized like in the shop. The balance between the dialogue and the descriptions is good, even though I personally, find the dialogue quite difficult to read because of my dyslexia." (Sandra Johnson)

"You’ve done well with these Chapters Glo, they build nicely on the preceding Chapters and add a lot to the story. Refreshing to read a positive account of a children’s home too, as many did do good work. The Reverend character seemed a nice chap too, I was worried for a moment there!" (John Wood)

"Moving along a pace here Glo and enjoying it, key thing is, as with any good book, you want to know what happens next!!! In addition, you want to know what happens about the people you care about and those who care for them, ie Georgie and Daisy." (Joanie Wood)

"When will the next episode be …? It feels like when you watch a drama on TV and have to wait until the following week to find out what happens next …" (Janet Hooper)

"Really enjoying reading these chapters - you write beautifully and I can’t put them down!!" (Lisa Johnson)