Queen Victoria’s 200th Birthday – H.G.Well’s in the Potteries
(Spring 2019 )
Along with Fellow author Angela Marie James, Glenn is working in partnership with Newcastle under Lyme Bid to stage celebrations for the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s 200th Birthday – and Glenn is working on something in particular really special, and concerning an author he has always admired..
The Potteries, and Newcastle, in particular, have a particular link with none other than the father of science fiction, H. G Wells. The great Victorian author came to stay in Basford in Newcastle in 1888, with a friend who lived on Victoria Street, while under the impression that an illness from which he was suffering was fatal. While living in the area Well’s not only recovered his will to live, but he was inspired by the fires of Shelton Bar Steelworks (which lit up the Staffordshire skies) and the flamboyant electrical experiments of the pioneering scientist Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge (which filled the skies of May Bank and Wolstanton with artificial lightning and thunder at night) to write “War of the Worlds” and “The Time Machine”.
To love the work of a world-famous author is one thing. It’s quite another to move to a place and find out they started their famous works right on your doorstep is quite another, and Glenn is planning to celebrate this amazing Victorian link as part of the festivities. He is working on designs for Martian Tripod War machines ass part of a display for the day, and has based them around ancient Roman armor, for the Roman god of War. There will be a lot to report on this story going forward, but check out the images below – including Glenn’s initial rough small scale model design for the war machine and the drawing for the design, a copy of his Famous Victorians poster on Well’s for the trail on the day, and pictures of the house where the author stayed in Basford.
Brilliant Book Babes in Stoke!
(Saturday 4th of May 2019 )
Book Babes published this cracking photo of all the collective writers, models and dealers taking part in the event on the 4th of May, and it’s wonderful to share the picture with you. Our own Glenn Martin James is kneeling to the right at the front, and fellow author Angela Marie James is standing just behind him to the left.
The Launch of “Norseman on the Threshold” at the Authors Event “Book Babes in Stoke
(Saturday 4th of May 2019 )
“Norseman on the Threshold” was launched at a truly remarkable event, Book Babes in Stoke, (held at the Best Western Plus Stoke-on-Trent City Centre Moat House hotel) and a bustling gathering it was too.
Held in the ballroom of the hotel, a very well appointed spacious room, a full complement of 60 authors, models and dealers gathered for the day, all laying out stalls with their books and merchandise, and a very fun event it was. (A copy of the flyer of attending authors is included in this article lower down, and please feel use it to look up and find out about our fellow writers – they are a fantastic congregation!) To mention but a few – Glenn’s fellow author Angela Marie James, (with her debut poetry collection, “Conflict”) and authors Elizabeth Morgan, Laura Morgan, Megs Pritchard, Scarlet Flame, Darren Walker and AJ Love, they were wonderful company and some formidable writing talent gathered in one room: here is the list of everyone in attendance:
There was a wonderful comradery amongst the attendees and the atmosphere was terrific. Organised by Jenny Thompson, with the help of author Lindsey Jayne, this was an extremely well-attended event with a very good reading compliment of the public coming along on the day, many from VERY far afield, and the whole thing was a terrific success. So much so that the event raised £300 in aid of the DougieMac Charity (a charity close to the hearts of Glenn and Angela James) and the next author’s event is already being planned for 2021. We say bring it on – everyone had a wonderful time and both Glenn and Angela have come away with a terrific affection for Book Babes. This is where both launched their books for the first time and it has a deep place in their affections.
The atmosphere across the day was warm-hearted, cheerful and with no end of engrossing conversations with attendees and the public alike. It was a great time for catching up with friends and making new ones, doing some networking and really stretching one’s legs as a writer. And it was fun, too, with free tea and coffee available for the thirsty scribes (always essential for authors) and an excellent lunch laid on courtesy of the organisers.
Norseman had a warm and interesting reception from readers and fellow authors alike, and is now well and truly launched – Glenn cannot have asked for a better event to lay his work out to the public for the first time, or for such a great day while doing so. There was terrific feedback, and many copies of the book sold, as well as the prints of his artwork and postcards. All in all, it was a first-rate experience – and in closing, we just want to say that we hope all the other attendees enjoyed it as much as Glenn did, and to say a very big thank you to Jenny and Lindsey for organising such a high-class event and for it being such a fantastic success.
There follows a selection of photos of the weekend and we hope the following will give you a flavour, of Glenn’s work on display, Angela Marie James Stall, and the event and venue itself:
For everyone reading this who was not able to attend, we hope to see you at a future authors event, and please accept a virtual Jelly Baby, in honour of the fourth Doctor Who, (in whose name they were purveyed on Glenn’s stall!)
Glenn Martin James first Novella “Norseman on the Threshold” Published in Paperback – Launched at the Authors Event “Book Babes in Stoke
(4th May 2019)
This is a proud day for any writer, and now it’s the turn of Glenn Martin James – to hold a book in his hand which he has written and bought into existence, after that unusual journey to bring an idea into print.
“Norseman” is the first of Glenn’s books to be published under his “Midland Gothic” banner, and this is the first in a whole series of novel’s novellas and short stories, all part of the same world by the author, and developing the themes.
Set in contemporary Worcestershire, it centres on events which unfold at the much loved and beautiful Cathedral of the city, on the sleepy banks of the River Severn. A very audacious robbery of the ancient church, late at night, goes wrong in a rather nasty way and sets off a whole series of chilling and unexpected haunting events.
Although there are many stories about hauntings in the city, Worcester Cathedral is said to be haunted by two ghosts in particular: One is none other than the Phantom of King John, said to roam the place in the form of a werewolf, and the other is the unquiet ghost of a Viking, who died there in a particularly nasty way. We won’t reveal more about these spirits, but their legends inspired Glenn to write Norseman when he was living in the city, and it’s written for and about a place for which he has enormous affection.
Glenn will be attending the “Book Babes in Stoke” authors event on 4th May 2019, at the Moat House, Stoke on Trent, and this is where the book will have its official launch. This is an exciting time for all concerned, as fellow writer Angela Marie James is also at the event with her first poetry collection, “Conflict” having its launch on the same day. We think it’s going to be brilliant fun and will tell you more after the day itself. Watch this space!
The book is for sale on Amazon at the following link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Norseman-Threshold-Glenn-Martin-James/dp/1095699741/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?crid=1WAON2DHGJAPJ&keywords=norseman+on+the+threshold&qid=1556910982&s=gateway&sprefix=Norseman+on+the+Thr%2Caps%2C158&sr=8-1-fkmrnull
NEWCASTLE UNDER LYME CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH-ON
(NOVEMBER 17th 2018)
(With thanks to Peter Herbert of Kings Street Studios for the use of his photos)
Returning for a third year to this event, Glenn and fellow writer Angela Marie James took part in the festivities leading up to the big seasonal switch on of the Christmas Lights in Newcastle under Lyme. Run and organised by Amy Williams and the team at Newcastle under Lyme Bid, this is one of the seasonal events of the year looked forward to with huge anticipation by people of the region, and visitors come from far and wide to enjoy the festivities, the music, the shopping, and (we venture to hope in this instance), the storytelling!
The authors were to be seen throughout the day out and about in the town centre, in full Victorian dress, adding a little Dickensian seasonal charm to the occasion, and performing poetry, stories, and generally meeting everyone and exploring the history of the town.
It’s a time of particular celebration for Glenn himself, as a writer of ghostly stories, as he can pay tribute to a great hero of his own on the occasion: the great Victorian writer of supernatural fiction, M. R. James. Every year, while Provost of Kings College, Cambridge, the great writer would call a gathering of his students and colleagues on Christmas Eve, and tell them all a ghost story….. These are some of the finest chilling tales written by an English author, and the stories in anthology collections, and in their renowned BBC adaptions in the 1970’s, have been a huge influence on Glenn as a writer. This year, Glenn donned his top hat and opera cloak, picked up his wolfs head cane, and told his ghost story “The Pocket Watch” to visitors to the town who were interested in a seasonal chill… whilst on the same day telling his light-hearted Mr Columbine stories to children and little ones, and showing them his colourful illustrations.
“The Pocket Watch” is inspired by the town, a tale of Christmas long ago set in the year 1870, and a story informed by the colourful and rich history of Newcastle during that period, when it was a thriving stopping point on the route of mail coaches travelling North to South, and vicea-versa: travelling south from Manchester and Liverpool, and North from Birmingham and London. It concerns a gifted watchmaker being called out on a job unexpectedly on Christmas Eve, and it’s a story which is steadily evolving even as we speak! It certainly elicits a delicious shiver from audiences when Glenn produces the watch in question!
Angela Marie James likewise had a diverse and fascinating collection of work at her fingertips on the day, and moved effortlessly between talking to the little ones and entertaining them with her work for younger children, and letting them meet her loveable farm animal puppets, to giving adults a selection of her work from her forthcoming collection of poetry “Conflict”: A a dynamic and thought-provoking catalogue of poems which examine a whole raft of issues, and does not pull any punches!
As ever, a big part of the day was meeting people and chatting and welcoming them to the town, and this is a hugely enjoyable part of the day which both of the authors relish enormously, and in this respect, it has been one of the most enjoyable years yet. They spoke to little toddlers, teenagers, visitors from all over the country, locals and strangers alike!
The entertainment was stellar, the Bid arranging a cracking programme of events which unrolled throughout the day: A notable inclusion being the internationally renowned and very much loved Van Buren magic show, presented by Andrew Van Buren and Allyson Ford, a dynamic pair of busy sorcerors in constant demand professionally. They have a particularly elegant stage show with great Victorian style, which was set up near the Cenotaph and close to ancient St. Giles. They entertained the crowd throughout the day, with illusions and fun for all the family, and were greeted with huge affection. As major participants of the Philip Astley Project, they are drawing to a close of a year of important celebrations marking the 250th anniversary of the birth of Philip Astley, the great Victorian showman, and world famous father of the modern circus (who was a son of Newcastle under Lyme.) They have had a really triumphant year.
A major participant on the day was the team from The Hitmix 107.5 FM working with the team from the bid, and there were bands, the presenters of BBC Stoke in pantomime costume on stage, and school choirs, to mention just a selection of entertainments on the bill. The Guild Hall threw open its doors and was host to a craft fair for the day, filled with a gorgeous variety of stalls and homemade produce and items, and nestled up against the building itself was Santa’s Grotto! What more could you ask for! Except, of course, Spiderman and characters from Star Wars on stage when the Lights were switched on! It was a barnstorming occasion, and a good time was had by all.
Glenn and Angela would like to extend their thanks to the organisers for being involved in such a cracking event, and a hearty well done to everyone at the Bid, all the performers, stall holders, participants, and all who were involved.
Heres to Christmas 2019!
DRACULA: A TALK BY GLENN MARTIN JAMES
(BRAMPTON MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY, NEWCASTLE UNDER LYME)
On Halloween 2018 Glenn Martin James will be giving a Talk on Dracula at the Brampton Museum and Art Gallery in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Titled “The Public Face of Dracula”, Glenn’s investigation will look into how much Dracula’s portrayal has changed on film since he made his debut in 1921, in the incarnation of Count Orlock, in “Nosferatu”, and going right up to Jonathan Reece Mayers TV incarnation of recent years.
This is a subject close to the author’s heart as he has been a fan of Dracula all his life, and vampires are a strong subject and theme in his mature horror fiction.
The talk will be taking place between 2-4 pm and refreshments will be available on the day. Tickets are £4.00.
You can book tickets for the talk by following the link below to the museums Facebook page, and find out more by clicking on the link for the Press Release. Happy Halloween!