Friday, March 29, 2024

March Round Up

It finally feels like spring is here. Daffodils in bloom, rooftops swarming with starlings, pigeons and doves, and most writers are now getting stuck into their latest projects.

I’ve recently had an acceptance for a short story inspired by St Bartholomew’s church in Brisley, which will probably appear in a few months. I’m also waiting to hear on a larger submission, so fingers crossed for that one.

My main goal for spring is complete or at least it will be when the 2nd of April arrives 😊

Writing News ?

My highlander romance novella, previously titled The Rogue Redcoat when it was published by The People’s Friend, is available for pre-order on Amazon. This is my original version as the People's Friend pocket novel is now out of print and the large print Linford Romance edition is only available via UK libraries.

The Redcoat’s Honour is set during the Highland Clearances in 1816, the Year Without Summer. The beautiful cover art is by Marcia Dye. Pricing is £2.50/$2.99.

Five brothers went to war, only one returned.

When Hamish MacLeod is injured in the Battle of Waterloo, all he hopes for is somewhere to rest and bury his nightmares, but his laird has been tearing down the crofts and has his eye on his home. Hamish’s fight remains unfinished.

Southerner Tabitha Wynmere knows little of the Highlands, only that her younger brother was stationed there and has since gone missing. She steals his spare redcoat uniform and rides to Scotland, praying he still lives. On the road she encounters the Highlander.

Can she trust Hamish or will she become embroiled with her own brother’s abductor? 

My next kindle release, date unspecified for now, will be another anthology collection of my spookier historical stories alongside 2022 serial Danger At Smuggler’s Rest.

Preview !

It’s International Mermaid Day today, so here’s a scene from my anthology, The Wherryman's Daughter.


“My grandfather, Josiah Young…” he began, coughing as he always did. I once heard Grandmother say to Mum that she always knew the old boy was lying when he coughed, but I didn’t believe that. “…once saw a mermaid.”

One of my cousins quietly scoffed, but I leaned forward, eyes widening. This was the story I had hoped for.

“Josiah hadn’t been a fisherman, like my father, myself and your fathers were. He had been a rippier, one of the men who took the net’s catch and sold it further inland. In fact, Josiah was afeared of water, yet he loved to walk the beach each day’s end to see the fall of the sun. That was where he saw it.”

Grandfather blew away the smoke cloud and we realised his eyes were shut. After a few minutes, we thought he’d fallen asleep. We all called for him to continue, asking what Josiah had seen.

His bushy eyebrow lifted as he opened a single eye.

“Why, the mermaid of course! I can’t be telling you everything. As the sky darkened to the colour of fire, he noticed a thousand sparkles, like light upon the water, but this was nowhere near the sea. It was back by the rocks, just barely peeking out. Josiah followed and there was the merwoman. The poor creature was trapped, with only a puddle of water to sustain her. She’d come in the hightide and got her tail caught.”

I could picture everything: the panicked mermaid tugging desperately at her glistening tail while my great-great-grandfather stared down, his face agape with shock.

“The mermaid begged my grandfather for help. He freed her but, when he was about to gather her up, he realised what else helping her meant. He would have to step into the sea! But could he truly leave her to suffer?”

We all shook our heads. Grandfather smiled.

“Not Josiah. With a great heave –” And Grandfather stood and lifted my sister, who was the smallest. He pretended she was heavier than she was, struggling to carry her and pulling strained faces. Susanna kept on giggling. “– he pulled her into his arms and carried her to sea. His fear had not been completely swept away, though. He dipped his toe into that frigid water, felt the cold seep into his boot, and darted back out again. I’ll drown! I’ll drown! he cried, a coward once more.”

He sat back down, placing Susanna on his lap.

“The mermaid, seeing how close she was to home yet having it out of reach, began to weep. Now, I don’t know if any of you know this.” Grandfather leaned in conspiratorially. “And most humans don’t, but mermaids cry pearls. There was Josiah, with pearls rolling down his shirt and plinking down on the sands. So, he braved a single step into the sea and then another, and another. More and more, until he was waist high. The mermaid wriggled free and was soon happily swimming. To thank him for his kindness, she gave him a special stone. Apparently, it would lead him to whatever his heart desired.”

- The Sea Stone


This is more of a housekeeping tool for writing, especially when the storm abates from the frenzied word count hitting days of NaNoWriMo.

I tend to write the action-packed scenes/atmospheric descriptions for my stories first. Currently I’m a quarter of a way through cutting/editing my timeslip novel, I’ve written about 90,000 words… and most of it is cluttering twenty Word docs with no chronological order. A lot of my writing time is being wasted tracking down each scene and putting it to the right chapter file.

So, if you’re the same as me and are now struggling to remember where such and such scene went, here’s what I’m trying to do to make sense of the chaos:

I’ve been going through each file and giving them keywords for specific plot threads. For example, an ally of the antagonist torments the heroine with dreams of a nightmarish eel. The scenes building up to this, local gossip, the dreams, and the reveal of the culprit, are now all linked with the keywords. 

When I reach this part of the story, the chapters will be a lot easier to put together will a simple CTRL+F.


See you all next month!

About the Author

Kitty-Lydia Dye wanders the beaches for inspiration with her dog Bramble. Her historical fiction has been influenced by the local myths roaming the haunting landscape of the Norfolk marshes. Many of her short stories have appeared in The People's Friend magazine. She has also released a collection inspired by Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera. She enjoys knitting dog jumpers, gazing at the waves at night, exploring church ruins as well as taking part in amateur dramatics (and played the part of an evil flying monkey!)

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