I’ve seen quite a few authors talking on social media about whether they should be writing during the current Coronavirus outbreak. Some feel too anxious, because of what’s going on around them; others feel it’s somehow wrong.
Whether I could or should continue writing hadn’t even occurred to me as a choice so these conversations have made me question myself. Am I insensitive? Or do I bury my head in the sand and hope real life will go away?
Maybe one or both, but I don’t think my willingness to plan my summer 2021 novel while I await edits on this year’s winter novel, A Christmas Wish, is due to either of those things.
Writing and reading are my escapes. Owing to external events, I’m actually working harder than usual. My editor and most of her team are working from home to keep producing my books. If I said I couldn’t write I would be letting them down. Missing deadlines would create timetabling issues for us all in the future, as well as endangering a career it has taken decades to build. Writing’s my job. A whole lot of people are working during the Covid-19 crisis. They don’t have other options and I’m not giving myself any either … especially as my editor is an author too and has written 46k in the lockdown alongside her day job. 😊 Some people have been laid off or put on furlough and must think me fortunate to have a job I can continue.
I admit to wondering about how the publishing landscape is changing but I feel that if I write my books then maybe getting them out to readers will fall into place. It would have been much worse if I’d been writing fifty years ago with no ebook or audio to sell, no social media to allow me to talk to the world, no remote ebook or audiobook borrowing from libraries. Also, the paperback supply chain’s still working! Independent booksellers and High Street chains, as well as internet retailers, are selling online for home delivery.
I’m not able to get out to author events but there are virtual substitutes that have the bonus of being free to watch – see my Avon Book Fest event with Fiona Gibson and Lorna Cook HERE or my chat with Cathy Bramley HERE. On Wednesday 15th April at 7pm (London Time) I’ll be on MyVLF with Heidi Swain, Rachel Marks and Hayley Doyle.
Summer on a Sunny Island is available for preorder and will be published in paperback, ebook and audio on the 30th of April 2020. Whatever promo needs to be done, I’ll do it … because? It’s part of my job!
Preorder Summer on a Sunny Island here: