Happy Easter in the Time of Social Isolation

Happy Easter in the Time of Social Isolation

One month into social distancing and I hope everyone is doing well. It’s also Easter weekend and will be an odd one this year without any family get-togethers. I realized yesterday that I haven’t even bought any hot cross buns or chocolate. I will, however, make a lemon meringue pie to mark Easter Sunday so all is not lost.

I’ve fallen into a daily writing habit and am now through the first 10,000 words of this latest manuscript. My main character is an interesting one with lots of secrets that are slowly being revealed. This one is leaning on the side of a thriller but it also has murder mystery aspects … so far, anyhow. The plot is still forming in my head, and I’m finding that the time spent at the keyboard and otherwise thinking about the storyline is a good way to pass the hours inside the house.

This week, I recorded a one-minute video for the 49th Shelf, a comprehensive site for Canadian books and authors. Bookmark the site and stay updated on the latest releases from new and established Canadian authors in all genres. It’s a terrific resource.

The article I wrote for CrimeReads was also posted Thursday. Other than these digital bits, I haven’t been able to do any publicity for Closing Time. Even my Dundurn publicist is working from home on part-time hours. Everything we had lined up is either cancelled or postponed, including my launch. Even at that, I’ve been hearing from readers who’ve bought the book and word of mouth seems to be working. I got a lovely email from a man a few days ago who bought the entire series and another from a woman who bought the book because of seeing it mentioned on Facebook. I know many of you are helping to spread the word too and thank you for each recommendation and social media post.

The pandemic is having a negative impact on the book industry just as it is on many other businesses. People are being laid off or their hours are cut. Authors are having difficulty getting by as their book releases are pushed back and their advances are held back as well. You can still order books online that will be delivered to your door. Many small independent booksellers like Perfect Books and Books on Beechwood in Ottawa take orders by phone or internet and provide curbside pick up or home delivery. Consider placing an order to keep them in business and to help keep the book industry strong through this time so that they’re still here when the pandemic is over. Reading is a wonderful way to spend time in isolation – it takes your mind to those places we’re not allowed to visit right now!

I just completed reading Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments after reading The Handmaid’s Tale. My bookclub is now meeting through Zoom and these are the books chosen for next month. Atwood is a master storyteller and these two books are well deserving of all the accolades. I’m now reading Denise Minas’s book Bood, Salt, Water, which I’ve had on my laptop for a while, but I’m going to place a delivery order with Perfect Books this week to replenish my reading pile. I’ve tried e-books, and while they do in a pinch, I much prefer holding an actual book in my hands.

Well, enough ramblings for this Saturday morning. Good Easter weekend, everyone. I hope you’re able to FaceTime with family and friends and find ways to enjoy this odd version of the holiday. It’s comforting to know that spring is not far off and warmer days are on the horizon.