To say that we’re living through a crazy, unprecedented time in history is probably the understatement of the century. The world is changing daily, and sometimes it’s almost impossible to keep up with everything that’s happening. In the midst of all this chaos, the concerns of a writer about how to handle this time might seem pretty insignificant — and I agree, they are…on some level. However, the pandemic is something I know I need to address, and I figured I’d hash it out here so you’d all know what I’m thinking and planning.
I started writing my new Witches of Wheeler Park series before covid-19 was rearing its head in Wuhan, China. By the time I finished writing the third book just last week, everything had changed. As I was editing — and as I was processing the comments of fellow writers on the subject, who were in the same boat with me — I had to wrestle with how to handle this changed world of ours. Did I mention the pandemic and the lockdowns? Ignore them? Find some middle ground?
I honestly wasn’t sure.
In the end, though, I’ve decided to continue the series without bringing up covid-19 and all of its ramifications. My justification boils down to the basic fact that, by their very nature, paranormal romances are set in a fantasy sort of world anyway, a kind of alternate reality where witches and magic are real. With pretty much all of my books set in the modern world, I’ve down my best to keep things “current event agnostic,” meaning I try not to mention anything too topical, whether it’s current events or popular music or even movies — I might reference “the latest Marvel movie,” but I don’t specify which one. I might say that someone has an iPhone, but I don’t tell you that it’s an iPhone X. So, while it’s obvious that these stories are taking place sometime in the first decades of the 21st century, I try to avoiding mentioning anything that can get nailed down to an exact year. Because of this, I feel comfortable with proceeding as though everything is taking place in an alternate world where the harshest aspects of modern life can be avoided.
Romance novels by their very nature are a sort of escape, and paranormal romance doubly so. I know I’ve been using writing as an escape…and I hope you can escape with me.
Take care, and be safe.