Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sorts of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.

Cafelit is an online magazine which posts a new story every day. To find out more click here CafeLit books are published by Chapel Town Books to find out more about the publisher click here. Today in the tearoom, I’m chatting to Cafelit writer, Gill James about her entry Arnie’s List in The Best of CafeLit 10. Welcome Gill.

Thank you for the invite, Paula.

Let’s start by asking you, what made you write the story you decided to submit to Cafelit? Was it as seasonal call-out .i.e. Christmas, summer holidays, autumn, Halloween etc. or just something you needed to get off your chest?

This particular story was something that sort of happened to me . Like Arnie, I collect books and have ambitions about owning and or reading many more. 

Did you use a writing prompt for your story?

I often do. I find a prompt helps  to force an idea where there was no idea.  It’s also a bit of a challenge. I’ve actually found that when I’ve entered a themed competition or call for submission I’ve been more successful than when I’ve written a random story then tried to get it published.  But this one was a random story.    

Gill James

Did you write an outline first, or follow where the characters led you?

Usually I outline first. For a very short piece this the outline may be mainly in my head but I’d still make a few bullet points. Then the characters take on a life of their own.  My current WIP, a YA SF, which will probably be about 95,000 words, is careering out of control but doing quite well because of it. Maybe I’m changing.     

How do you create your characters? Do you start with a name first?

My characters generally turn up with names attached.

Was your story told in your normal genre or did you try something different?

This conforms to one of the many types of story I write.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Cafelit community?

Choosing the daily story and watching writers grow.

How long have you been writing and what got you started?
Since I was six! Seriously and aiming to get published since 1998, with half-hearted efforts for ten years before that. I was first published in 2001. 

What’s the one thing you would give up to become a better writer?
Retail therapy? 

To find out more about Gill James check out the links below:

http://bridgehousepublishing.co.uk/ http://www.chapeltownpublishing.uk/

 http://cafelit.co.uk/ http://trtpublishing.co.uk
Girl in a Smart Uniform, the third book in Schellberg Cycle (Stories of Holocaust survival) Available on Amazon/

If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Members’ Books, don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.


  1. Great interview! It was so nice to learn a little bit more about you, Gill, rspecially your writing process. Many thanks for all you have done to support my writing. I’d be nowhere without you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How wonderful that Ms. James’ characters come with names already attached! I’m envious. I think giving up retail therapy is a good choice . . . we should probably all give it up! Good interview.


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