Romantic Novelists' Association

Linda Tyler: The Laird’s Secret

21 January 2021

We are delighted to have Linda Tyler on the blog today to talk to us about her new release. Linda, could you tell us more about it?

Pleased to be here! The Laird’s Secret is a moving and emotional romance about loss, love and redemption. It’s set in Scotland in 1953. My heroine, photographer Christina Camble, loses her trust in men when she discovers her fiancé has a wife and child. She gives up her job and flat in London and moves to Aberdeenshire, where her old school friend Vanessa lives with her young family. Christina meets handsome but reserved Alex MacDonald, the Laird of Craiglogie, a man physically scarred and emotionally wracked by his experiences in World War Two. As they cautiously get to know one another, she finds herself living in his house and involved in his life. Christina becomes friends with Alex’s sister, Fiona, but discovers she has made an enemy of Helen, who wants Alex for herself. The glamorous Helen sets out to drive a wedge between Christina and Alex, with dramatic consequences.

What was the inspiration behind your book? What prompted you to tell this story?

When my family and I moved from London to the north-east of Scotland, I fell in love with the empty beaches and the farming way of life. I began writing the novel then, but soon family and work took precedence. By the time I was able to get back to the story, I had decided to set it in the 1950s as that felt right. My heroine soon feels the same way I did about life here – while also gradually falling in love with the mysterious laird.

How long did the book take to write? How much re-writing do you normally do?

I could say years, given I started it in 1984! But in 2019 I used the National Novel Writing Month challenge to work seriously on the novel. I’m very lucky to have an excellent writing buddy and at the end of that November we exchanged our NaNoWriMo novels and commented on them. I took on board her critique, polished the book and sent it to Bloodhound.

What kind of research did you do before beginning the book?

Very little beforehand, because I like to write a story and, as I work, use online searches or books to ensure I have the correct period details. If I can’t find the answer almost immediately, I note in this first draft comments such as check this and what is the procedure here?  and continue writing. The two areas where I needed professional help were in the photography and WW2 sections. I was fortunate to have met a photographer at a party (when such things were permitted) and he allowed me to contact him when I was ready.  I was also fortunate that my visit to the Gordon Highlanders Museum took place the week before we went into the first lockdown.

What was your journey to publication?

I read a wide variety of books, but historical novels have always been my favourite. When I first decided to write my own novel, it had to be in this I knew I wanted a strong heroine and, as I’m fascinated by ships and water, the idea came to me of a female privateer who was as brave as man but still essentially feminine. Although this swashbuckling novel won a Romance Writers of America competition in 2018, I found it hard to interest a publisher – repeatedly being told that I wrote well but there wasn’t a big enough market in the UK for historical romances. I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association in 2019 and at the summer conference met Maggie Swinburne, Editor at DC Thomson’s My Weekly Pocket Novels, who subsequently published Revenge of the Spanish Princess.  I then wrote The Laird’s Secret, which was commended in a Scottish Association of Writers’ annual competition in 2020, and was published this January by Bloodhound Books.  A further My Weekly Pocket Novel, Summer Intrigue, a Regency romance in which the hero and heroine set out to unmask a spy for Napoleon Bonaparte at a country house party, will be published in March.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

It’s what everyone says: don’t give up. Read widely, learn from others – and persevere.

Can you tell us what you are working on now?

I’ve recently finished writing a medieval Highlander romance, which was fun to write. Now I’m working on a time-slip novel, set in Scotland in the present day and in the 1950s.

About the Author:

Born in London, Linda moved progressively north until settling with her husband in a village on the edge of the Scottish Highlands. She has a PhD and is a former legal academic and practitioner specialising in child law. She has kept chickens, bred dogs and raised children. Linda now runs holiday accommodation, sings in a local choir and is walked daily by the family

She is the author of Revenge of the Spanish Princess (My Weekly Pocket Novel, April 2020), The Laird’s Secret (Bloodhound Books, 2021) and Summer Intrigue (My Weekly Pocket Novel, March 2021).

Author page:

Twitter: @LindaTyler100

Where to find The Laird’s Secret:

Purchase Link:

Linda was talking to Ruby Moone

Ruby Moone lives in the wilds of Lancashire with her husband and writes historical and contemporary romance. At school, her teachers said that she lived with her head in the clouds and if she didn’t stop daydreaming she would never get anywhere. She never did stop daydreaming, and after years of happily living in the clouds, decided to write the stories down.