I’m Gillian Paschkes-Bell. I started Bryn Glas Books to publish three novels I’d edited: The Seaborne and The Priest’s Wife by A G Rivett and Vu by Kenneth Sinclair. These books had been with Wordcatcher, a Cardiff-based publisher that ceased trading in 2022. I started my own small indie business to make sure these books got into print. I also write the Bryn Glas Blog.

Story-telling is something we all do. Even those of us who donʼt read stories, tell them – at least to ourselves. And we hear them told. For we all have our own stories: of where we have come from, what has made us into who we are, and our view of the world from our own particular vantage point. The stories we tell interweave with those of other people, sometimes clashing, sometimes making a thing of beauty.

A question I learned to ask of my own stories is this: do they serve me well? Or do they hold me back? Or send me off in some unhelpful direction?

This website is dedicated to stories that have served people well. Through the Bryn Glas Blog I offer thoughts that arise through reading, hearing and watching stories. The books published by Pantolwen Press offer tales I hope will feed both heart and mind.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading them.


Pictures clockwise L – R: Gillian Paschkes-Bell, Sail Mhór Scottish Highlands, Gillian with A.G.Rivett after a book reading

Gillian Paschkes-Bell

Gillian’s love of stories began young, listening to her mother, her father and her grandmother recounting their memories. And learning early the luxury of curling up with a good book. She studied English and Drama at Exeter University. Then she worked for RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) addressing societyʼs attitudes to people with disabilities: attitudes that arise from the hidden stories we carry inside.

Training as a counsellor, she learned to sit with people as they reflected on their own inner stories, helping them find new ways of looking at those narratives to empower them to move forward with fresh insight. Later she studied theology, which she sees as the stories people tell to express lifeʼs biggest mysteries.

Gillian has worked as a tutor for One Spirit Interfaith Foundation. (www.interfaithfoundation.org) She has lived for twelve years in the Findhorn community in northern Scotland. (www.findhorn.org) Now she lives on a hillside in West Wales with her husband, Andrew, the author A.G.Rivett. The valley below lends its name to Pantolwen Press.

Since her days in RNIB’s publicity department she has been an editor. Working with literary texts is the cream of such work, and the part of writing Gillian loves best. “It’s a work of alchemy to take a text and polish it, especially when you find gold that’s buried in there, but not yet seen. Sometimes an author’s intuition goes beyond the story they are aware of, and there’s a truth in there waiting to be dug out and revealed.” Gillian is also working on her own novel, The Long Defeat. “I never had an idea for a novel before, but this one came to me, with a lot of detail – some of which changes as I write. The main outline came all in one go one February when I was stuck in bed ill. It’s been on the back burner for a lot of the time since, but now it’s becoming my priority.”

Why Bryn Glas Books?

Bryn Glas translates from the Welsh as ‘Green Hill’ – glas is one of those magical words in Welsh which usually means blue, but poetically has a range of meanings from green to silver-grey. A farmer talking about a lush meadow might well describe it as glas

When we built our home, and the base of Bryn Glas Books, we called it Bryn Glas for two reasons. First, across the valley rises the rounded summit of a very green hill. And secondly, my family comes from near Wrexham, where the hills are red from their iron ore. And one side of my ancestral family lived for several generations in a house called Bryn Coch, Red Hill. We enjoyed the symmetry.

And so our logo shows the green hill above what could be folded fields, or perhaps an opened book. Thank you, Alex Nicholas Designs!

Why Pantolwen Press?

Below Bryn Glas, as in so many steep-sided valleys in this part of Wales, are the remains of a corn mill. Driven by water, perhaps the most distinctive feature of all these mills was the great dripping water-wheel. As ‘Wheel’ in Cornwall became synonymous with a mine, so ‘Olwen’ (Welsh for wheel) became the almost universal name for a mill. Pantolwen literally means the hollow of the wheel, or the hollow of the mill.

The logo that Alex Nicholas has designed for us picks up on this imagery, but takes its quirky form from the summit of the hill opposite, where footpaths and field boundaries intersect the remains of an Iron Age fort. Thus the two ideas, of the mill wheel and the local hilltop, are brought together.