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Blogging By the Sea
Saturday, January 22 2022

For our January Blog Hop, the question is:  

How are you dealing with the COVID pandemic in your contemporary novels/short stories? Not as a political statement or polarizing pro/con mask stance, but the way the COVD virus effects the day-to-day lives of your characters and appears within the story’s plot line?


Since I haven’t missed a Round Robin Blog Hop post to date and didn’t want to start now, I’m here, but it’ll be short. Because I haven’t included Covid-19 in my stories. Partly this is due to the fact I’d already begun work on book two in my mystery series and the plot didn’t lend itself to including this monkey wrench in life. Partly because I was also plotting book 7 in my romance series and I think it would add a tremendous challenge to create a love story with all the isolation, masks and standing 6 feet apart going on.


But there’s another reason I chose not to include this in my newest effort. One of my best stories ever, a book that eventually won the Silver award in the Royal Palm Literary Awards a few years ago, was set in the early 1970s and a good portion of the conflict involved a Marine returning from Vietnam. I pitched it to an editor some years earlier and she loved the story and the characters but thought the Vietnam era would be a non-starter and she wanted me to move it up to the current wars in the Middle East. (I picture the woman wearing beads, flowers in her hair, protesting the war back in the day.) Anyway, as I pointed out to her, today we don’t treat our returning soldiers as disgracefully as we did in the 70s. I couldn’t just change the war without changing much of the book or the hero’s conflicts. Another editor who liked the book, the premise and the characters, felt that focusing on that war would date the book.


I have a feeling including Covid-19 with all the restrictions and fallout from the pandemic would meet a similar stone wall. Has anyone read and enjoyed a book set during the Flu pandemic of 1918-1919 that ended up killing over 50 million people world-wide? I certainly haven’t even though I do enjoy books set in historical times and even during earlier wartimes. Living with this pandemic as a part of our every-day life is troubling enough, and don’t we, in part, read to escape the same old, same old of daily life? So, I have chosen to ignore Covid-19 in my stories. Some of my books have had to fit into a timeline, but the ones I am currently writing do not so I’ve chosen not to anchor them to the troubling years of this pandemic.


But other authors probably have very different feelings about this so, why not drop in and see how they have dealt with the issue?


Connie Vines 

Anne Stenhouse 

Marci Baun 

Diane Bator 

Dr. Bob Rich   

Judith Copek 

Robin Courtright

Helena Fairfax

Posted by: Skye Taylor AT 12:02 am   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Hi Skye, yep! The virus has sent so much off kilter it would be sad to have it destroy the WIP. Good point about the Flu of the early 20th century, Anne
Posted by anne stenhouse on 01/22/2022 - 03:43 AM
I have written about the pandemic either. My latest story is about one the members of a shifter rock band. I suppose it could be interesting to see how this affected their lives, but it doesn‘ t really fit the story, and, you're right, it would date the books. (It's a series.) So far, it's three for three, but each author has had a different take on why they haven't included Covid. It's fun to see all the different viewpoints. Marci
Posted by Marci on 01/22/2022 - 11:28 AM
I agree. There are so many issues with the Pandemic outside of its terrible effect on health issues. That would make it difficult to build as part of the plot, plus I think many readers want to escape the pandemic through reading.
Posted by Robin Courtright on 01/22/2022 - 01:32 PM
Skye, what a wonderful idea, to set a story or three in the period 1918-1920 and feature the flu pandemic! I'll need to think about this... Only I already have 5 writing projects going.
Posted by Bob Rich on 01/22/2022 - 08:56 PM
Hi Skye, I totally agree that there's already so much going on in life that's troubling enough. I thought exactly the same as you about fiction in the 1918 pandemic (or the lack of it). Stories - especially romance - are all about human connections, and I find it just too hard to write that type of story in a time of social distancing. I really enjoyed your post.
Posted by Helena Fairfax on 01/24/2022 - 11:42 AM

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    Skye Taylor
    St Augustine, Florida

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