NEWS FLASH: Jen P is our randomly selected winner! Congratulations, Jen, and please check your email.
Edith/Maddie, writing from north of Boston after a weekend of socializing with fully vaccinated friends and family, and I’m giving away an ARC of No Grater Crime to celebrate!
I can barely describe the joy of hugging someone I love deeply – and haven’t been able to even touch for fifteen months – now that we share a COVID-safe status.
Hugh and I had four get-togethers this weekend, starting on Thursday, plus a work party at the Amesbury Friends Meetinghouse to get it ready for in-person worship next week.
These gatherings are important. They fill my heart. They re-establish connection. I even had an outdoor dinner on the Cape with fan Jay a few weeks ago. Feeling safe being close to people is a rusty feeling, but a good one.
But the people I trust to be with while unmasked number maybe two or three dozen, CDC guidance notwithstanding. I’m still not ready to be indoors for very long around people I don’t know. No indoor dining. No airplanes. No mystery conventions. I know many people feel differently.
After the year we’ve all had, when I’m out in public around people not wearing masks, I have no idea if they are fully or even partially vaccinated. I dread getting COVID and, worse, getting it and spreading it to others. I fear the new virulent variants.
So what does the new unmasking in public do for my writing?
Writers – especially crime writers – need to be able to capture feelings of fear, of dread, of distrust. I need my character to think, “Who can I trust? And can I really?” She needs to be afraid of that dark room. He needs to dread finding out what caused that noise or learning that someone he thought was a friend wasn’t really. I can mine the feelings I experience when I’m near an unmasked stranger.
As always with authors, it’s all material – even living in an almost post-pandemic world.
Readers: How are you feeling about being in public these days? I’ll send one of you an advance copy of No Grater Crime!