Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Strange New World We Live In

We're in the strangest time many of us have ever known right now. How do you decide how much of the outside world to include in your work?

Brenda Chapman here.

The times they certainly are a’changing. As I write this post, it’s Mothers Day Sunday and we’re trying to figure out how to visit with our daughters and their partners without getting closer than six feet. My husband Ted and I have spent the last two months social isolating with Zoom check-ins now the norm with friends, and younger people doing our grocery shopping up until two weeks ago. It’s an odd shift to go from being the ones looking after our children to our children feeling they have to be the ones looking after us!

Regarding this week’s question, I haven’t yet incorporated any of this year’s pandemic madness into the manuscript I’m currently working on, nor do I plan to do so. Perhaps in a different book down the road, but the social distancing with all the stores, restaurants and bars closed would really cramp the story that I’m telling now. Also, crime fiction and fiction for the most are escapist, and I’m personally not keen to read about our current reality. I see it playing out every night in all its grimness on the news. Maybe it’s just too soon.

The outside world has had a huge impact on the business side of my writing, however. I've been writing the Stonechild and Rouleau police procedural series for most of the past decade and the seventh and final book Closing Time came out at the end of March, just as the pandemic was taking hold across the world. All of the events I had lined up were cancelled or postponed for who knows how long, including an interview on a local television station as all of the media coverage turned to corona-virus related stories. 

This past Saturday would have been my Ottawa book launch. I'd lined up my curling club as the venue and even had a rock and roll band ready to entertain us - a crowd favourite that played for the last two launches. My daughter Julia was going to introduce me, and while she couldn't say her remarks in person, she recorded it and uploaded it on YouTube. You can listen to her quite moving and lovely speech here. The day turned out to be special after all.

With Julia and Jamie at the 2019 launch of Turning Secrets, books 6 in the series.

And to finish off this week, this past Tuesday, my co-Criminal Minds blogger Frank Zafiro posted an interview that we recorded a month ago on his podcast Wrong Place, Write Crime. In addition to being a terrific writer, Frank is a warm and generous interviewer and I hope that you enjoy listening to our conversation as much as I enjoyed being part of it.

Until next time, take good care and don't forget to support your local bookstores. We need them now more than ever.


Twitter: brendaAchapman

Facebook; BrendaChapmanAuthor


Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks for sharing, Brenda, and in spite of not being able to promote the new book, all the best of luck with it. Now I'm off to check out your interview with Frank.

Paul D. Marks said...

Good luck with the new book, Brenda! And I know what you mean about how to promote with everything canceled. I'm in the same boat with a new book coming out on June 1st. Crazy times. Stay well.

7 Criminal Minds said...

Thanks Dietrich and Paul - this new reality is a challenge, particularly with promotion, but we writers are creative thinkers and will figure it out! We have a very supportive community and our readers are the best.

Susan C Shea said...

Sounds as though you've found some good promotional avenues - best of luck with the launch!

Brenda Chapman said...

Thanks Susan! Necessity is the mother of invention they say.