Category Archives: writing

Is Your Covid-19 Novel Going to Be THE One?

From firstwriter.com Articles:

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer’s Digest University online and private writing coach

firstwriter.com – Sunday March 29, 2020

“I have no idea what’s awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing.”― Albert Camus, The Plague

One of the best-known and most well-respected written works in the world is Camus’ novel The Plague. Although the story reads as if Camus personally went through a pestilence, he actually had “only” researched the many plagues that had come before to write his book.

I’ve been laboring away per usual, editing this and that and giving student feedback—and one impression struck me hard: We’re all quite immersed in the pandemic of our times, too engrossed perhaps to pay attention to anything else in the literary arena.

But that’s not true entirely, because we become so overwhelmed by all the statistics of the sick and the dead and the rumors about what’s coming next that we turn to old movies and old novels.

I’m watching Downsizing (based on a novel) about a community of people transformed into five-inch humans to save space and resources and for the citizens to live luxuriously on quite small budgets. I think Camus would like the film. I’m also reading an old Margaret Truman mystery that starts with a murder at one of the Smithsonian museums.

So what’s the truth? What can we look forward to in publishing once this deadly outbreak runs its course—presuming (and I do presume), it comes to an end at some not-too-too-distant point in the future?

Will authors be selling what they’re working on now, books about terror in Omaha, stories of ghosts encountered in Thailand, tales of excursions into out-of-body zones? Or will the novels or autobiographies of tomorrow recount the writers’ imagined or real experiences in the covid-19 urban ER hells.

Should I convince you to shift from the destination you’ve (for the last 20 years) imagined would one day wind up in print, to arrive at a landscape of pathogens, tragic lack of medical miracles, and human tear-jerk sacrifice amid much suffering?

I have no intention of doing that, my friends, because like Camus’ protagonist, Dr. Rieux, I don’t know where anything is going to end, including, in this case, in publishing.

You will find a lot of plague books out there—a lot: https://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/plague —and certainly movies: https://www.thewrap.com/virus-outbreak-movies-coronavirus-hackers-seventh-seal-contagion/ . (My very, very favorite pandemic movie is 12 Monkeys.)

So, will more books and movies focusing on the coronavirus need to now emerge?

Well, perhaps. Maybe the work that will grab the reviews has to be about the virus of our own times—such a shocker and unique to us. Definitely sooner or later those books will be published.

Or something else. I just a few months ago edited a science fiction novel in which people from another world destroyed our own with a virulent disease; and I’ve just this week been coaching a writer inspired by her own immune-system dysfunction who’s producing a novel about a future US. In her brave new world, people can’t touch one another because of a circulating virus (imagine that).

Do we want to read any of this fiction featuring pathogens or will we return to depicting the more placid times we yearn for—or the always popular evil of the Nazis rounding up the designated enemies of their day?

I do know that after the end of the Vietnam War, agents and editors shunned novels of that painful conflict, quite unlike the sought-after spate of battle fiction produced immediately after the Second World War. Will a decade or more need to go by following the current destruction of our way of life to write about it? Or will we seek to understand by reading various true as well as fictionalized accounts?

I can’t say. But I will say that we have to consider the question. And probably think about the timing of submissions while agents, editors, and the rest of us are so single-mindedly preoccupied.

I live now in a somewhat eerie Manhattan, home to the publishing industry of the US, and I wonder if authors’ reps are able to read anyone’s novel right this moment or predict (as I cannot) what will sell after this (in our contemporary human view) earthshaking storm.

“Stay safe” as we say for “farewell” nowadays.

 

Link: https://www.firstwriter.com/articles/?Is-Your-Covid-19-Novel-Going-to-Be-THE-One?&GUID=2244

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Filed under non-fiction, writing, Writing blogs

The Naked Writer: Pen Names

Things to consider when choosing a pen name via The Naked Writer: Pen Names

[I’ve always used my own name when writing non-fiction or fiction in different genres, but I have a pen name standing by.]

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April 3, 2019 · 11:11 am

Story settings by Lynne Milford (aka LM Milford)

An author’s background settings suggestions via Lynne Milford’s (aka LM Milford’s) Monthly Guest Post – October 2018 ~ @LMMilford

I like her comparison to Midsomer Murders!

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October 30, 2018 · 1:37 pm

The Naked Writer: I Hear an Echo

Tips for editing via The Naked Writer: I Hear an Echo

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October 14, 2018 · 4:32 pm

The BIG editing lesson …

From author Louise Jensen via The BIG editing lesson I learned writing The Surrogate #WritingTips  

Thanks to Louise Jensen!

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September 20, 2018 · 11:07 am

Useful writing hints

I’m happy to share this writing advice from Linda Maye Adams via The Importance of Critical Thinking in the Digital Age

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Filed under writing, Writing blogs

Local authors opportunity in Melbourne, FL

Authors for Authors has made arrangements to have a Local Authors’ Book Display for the month of June and it’s FREE! It is at the West Melbourne Library, located at 2755 Wingate Blvd., West Melbourne, FL (321) 952-4508. The contacts are the reference librarians, Mauri and Sara.

Just bring your book(s) and a small book easel with your name on it (I tape my business card to it.) You can place your book(s) on the display table.

If you would like to donate your book(s) just let them know. If not, be sure to pick up your books by June 30, 2018.

Join these authors with their books on display:

Valerie Allen

Janet Balletta

Lou Belcher

Mary Dall

Marshall Frank

DL Havlin

Debbie Johnson

Sarah Mamika

Ask McGrath

Holly Fox Vellekoop

JJ White

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Filed under Book marketing, writing