Tuesday, 3 October 2017

A Time to Reap – again

I told in this blog post last year how I wrote a poem called Cousin Hugh, turned the poem into a short story called Jack’s Lad (of which more here), and then turned the short story into a People’s Friend serial called A Time to Reap

What could be next, I asked myself? A musical? A cinema blockbuster??

Well, as to those possibilities, watch this space (but don’t hold your breath).

In the meantime, I’ve put the serial on Kindle:

It’s April 1963 in the Scottish Highlands. Elizabeth Duncan, widowed with two small daughters, is the farm manager on the Rosland estate, the job previously held by her husband, Matthew. Following a hard, snowy winter, her working life is made more difficult by the unpleasant estate factor.  

Elizabeth enjoys support in the small community from family and friends, including her cousin Peggy and local vet Andy Kerr. The arrival of an American visitor at Rosland House unsettles her in a way she hadn’t expected but, after Matthew’s mysterious death, a new relationship has been the last thing on her mind. However, as she dances at the annual estate ball in September, that may be about to change …

And there’s a large-print version for libraries published by Ulverscroft:

In another blog post last year I confessed that I was ignorant about many aspects of farming (despite having been brought up on a farm) and that I'd consulted a cousin (wearing the hat) for advice. He kindly wrote a lovely article for me (and you) on how to make a haystack – now, sadly, a lost art.

 Here’s the illustration The People’s Friend gave the first instalment of the serial: 

And if a musical or a film are ever on the cards you’ll be the first to know.


  1. I remember the short story from your reading of it at Edinburgh Writers' club, Kate. I thought it was a beautifully observed piece of social history then and it has turned into a great serial. anne

  2. Thank you, Anne. It's nice when a piece of writing has 'legs' - wish it would happen more often!