Literally Lyndsey

March 2024

Welcome to the March instalment of Literally Lyndsey. You might have noticed a slight break in the newsletter - due to various life and writing things - but back now for hopefully semi-regular scheduling (and this one will be slightly longer than usual, sorry)! Anyway, read on for writing news, sub calls, updates, book recommendations, submission calls, folklore facts (Scottish mermaid) and more!

Writing News

Last month, I was delighted to share the news that I have a new book coming! My debut short story collection LIMELIGHT and other stories, will be published with Shortwave Publishing on September 3rd 2024, in e-book, paperback, and hardback (!). You can pre-order direct from Shortwave here, with more order options coming soon (including for other UK options!)

Limelight is a collection of over twenty high-concept dark science fiction tales from near and far futures. The title novelette—about a young woman brought back from near death by experimental tech, only to find her parents had her altered before she woke—anchors the collection which features five new exclusive stories alongside past works. Read the full announcement here.

I’ve sent the latest round of edits last week, so ARCs and blurb requests will be going out soon (and cover is in progress, very exciting!) I’m really delighted to be working with Alan at Shortwave again, who did such a brilliant job with my novelette.

New short fiction!

  • My weird SF tale about a Rift where the souls of those who die in space go to rest, ‘The Rift Between Us’ was published by Uncharted Magazine.

  • ‘A Ring Around’, an SF tale of love and loneliness, won Apex Magazine’s Flash Fiction contest, and has been published on their Patreon, as well as soon in Issue #143 - it’ll be free online on 16th April. Apex have been a dream magazine for so long, and I’ve been entering their micro and flash contests for about 2 years so this felt like an extra special publication!

  • ‘Hunting for Rain’, a tale of a rain-hunting dog in a dystopian world, was published in World Weaver PressSolarpunk Creatures.

  • I am a Mushroom God‘ a 100-word fungus story was published by Hungry Shadow Press for their Deadly Drabble Tuesdays.

Coming Soon!

  • ‘The Walls in This House’, about a haunted girl, and the walls that try to draw her in, will be published in Cursed Morsels Press’s Why Didn’t You Just Leave. The ToC is amazing, and I’m delighted to be part of it! It’ll be published next month - pre-order details coming soon!

  • A Change in the Rain’ a Scottish folklore inspired dystopian tale will be published in Seaside Gothic’s April issue.

  • ‘The Bone Hermit’ will be published in Crab Tales Magazine’s Issue 1, a magazine of entirely crab stories! Mine features a hermit crab that takes up residence in some bones…

What I've Been Reading

  • This year has already been a killer year for reading, and I’ve read some really brilliant books already. Here are some of my favourites so far!

  • In Ascension by Martin MacInnes - absolute mind-bending brilliance, and so well deserving of all the accolades! Think I'll me mulling on the themes for a long time, a definite must read

  • A Haunting in the Arctic by C. J. Cooke - a hauntingly beautiful and moving story that kept me gripped until the very end.

  • Skin Thief: Stories by Suzan Palumbo - I'd read the author's short fiction before, and this collection included some familiar ones but also introduced me to more fantastic stories. Each tale was so well crafted and beautifully written, exploring complex themes, like bodily autonomy, power and who wields it, and identity, through the surreal, weird, and uncanny. My favourite was the novelette Kill Jar, but there were so many standout stories in different genres. One of the best collections I've read!

  • Frontier by Grace Curtis - Amazing worldbuilding, and characters full of charm, warmth, and humour. Loved this sci fi read - the comparison to Becky Chambers (one of my favourite authors) was definitely accurate. It also read at times like a video game, getting to see various side stories and character journeys, which I loved too. A top read so far, and I can imagine adding it to my list of SF favourites!

  • The September House by Carissa Orlando - a fun and twisty take on a haunted house book, absolutely loved the voice in this which made it a very easy and flowing read (I read it in a day!)

  • Luna Novella Series In image below - all I basically read in one sitting each, thought provoking, moving, innovative, haunting, folkloric, loved them all for different reasons! (Short reviews on my GoodReads)

  • The City of Stardust by Georgia Summers - a magical, dark and beautiful book full of intrigue. A good read for fans of Gaiman!

  • Bookshops and Bonedust by Travis Baldree, I loved Legends & Lattes when I read it last year, and loved this as much, but in a different way. It was great getting to look back on Viv pre L&L - she's the same loveable character, with flaws that are relatable, and a big generous heart. An intriguing central adventure too which resolved in such a satisfying way, and all the other quirky characters brought something special throughout (Satchel was a personal fave!)

  • Mother Sea by Lorraine Wilson - as always with Raine’s writing, this book was beautiful and moving, exploring themes of climate change and colonialism against the backdrop of an island facing a fight for its future.

Some short fiction I’ve enjoyed recently!

Other News

  • Coming up to the one-year-versary of Have You Decided on Your Question, so just a monthly wee reminder (if you’ve read it), it would be amazing if you’d consider leaving a rating on Amazon or Goodreads! I was delighted to recently reach 100 reviews on Goodreads for it, and we’re getting closer to the 50 needed on Amazon for the algorithms!

Submission Calls

  • Have an arthropod story published in 2023, submit to Hexagon Magazine’s “The Year’s Best Arthropod Short Fiction” here.

  • Scotland authors with SFF stories published, send reprints to SF Caledonia (part of Shoreline of Infinity magazine). Details here.

  • Again for authors in Scotland/with a connection to Scotland, submit to Cymera Fest’s prize for speculative fiction - open until end of March, details here.

  • Apex Magazine’s flash fiction theme this month is GRIMOIRE. Submit until the end of the month.

  • Flame Tree Press have opened for two new anthologies (originals and reprints, paid for both), Sun Rising and Moon Falling until 7th April. Flame Tree make the most beautiful anthologies so if you’ve got a story it’s worth submitting to!

  • Tenebrous Press are open again for novels and novellas after a break in January.

Scottish Folklore of the Month

As I saw a Scottish mermaid statue on my trip up north last week, I thought I’d write about the Ceasg, one of my favourite nautical Scottish folklore tales…

The Mermaid of the North, Balintore

The Ceasg is a Scottish mermaid half-woman, half-salmon. In some tales, she swallowed men whole, trapping them in her stomach. To rescue them, her soul – often contained in an enchanted egg – had to be destroyed. If caught, she could also grant wishes to her captor. This part inspired a short story which will soon be featured in a thing

In fact, next month’s newsletter will have some very exciting Scottish folklore related news so watch this space!

What I’m working on/what I’ve been up to

I’ve just spent the last week up north with my mum, for a week of reading and (for me) writing. It was the first week I’ve had off since starting a new job in November, so was a very relaxing and a much needed rest! We also got to explore lovely parts of the Dornoch Firth coast on dog walks, visit some places new to me, and generally get some lovely fresh air. (The dogs were very happy too). I also swam in the sea for the first time this year, which was especially invigorating for coming back to work on the deep sea novel!

Deep sea novel is moving along, I’ve spent a long time rejigging order of chapters, working on the two timelines to fit them together, and now I think I’m ready to write the final chapters and will hopefully have a first draft by the end of next month! I’ll then be querying with the novel again, as I parted ways with my lit agent last month (all amicably). I did get some exciting news last month though, as I was contacted by a US film/TV agent looking to represent my work after reading Have You Decided on Your Question - so we’re now working together on pitching my work to film/tv folks. Although still not guaranteed to lead to anything, it’s an exciting step, and I’m definitely getting carried away by thoughts of seeing my work as a film one day…I can only dream!

Otherwise, I finished a creepy coastal novelette in January about a travelling Curator of weird sea treasures, and a girl with barnacles for eyes (more news on that soon, but it’s found the absolutely perfect home and I’m delighted…!) Short story writing has otherwise slowed down a bit as I edit the novel, but hoping that I’ll get back to writing a few shorts once I’ve finished the book as I’ve a few ideas brewing.

Oh, and final exciting news, I’m getting a kitten next week! Very much looking forward to having a new writing muse and company. So I’m sure you can expect some more pics of the new prince of my flat in the next newsletters!

Until next month, happy reading, writing, relaxing, and enjoying the first signs of Spring!