October 30, 2020
I hope this note finds you well and navigating these very odd and unsettling times. I think the toughest part of all this for me is not seeing friends and loved ones. I've been isolating pretty much of the time because I have the underlying kidney situation, so, like so many of you, I've tried to limit my time with others. Instead -- again like so many of you -- I've resorted to Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, BlueJeans, and old-fashioned phone calls to keep in touch with everyone. Still, that just isn't the same. There is a real "lonely factor" here that I think sometimes gets forgotten during this age of Covid.
In terms of my writing, I *am* continuing to research and write my next book, but there is a great irony (weirdness?) that I think about all the time: the book I'm working on now will probably be out before I can do any book events for my last book! My latest book, Lt. Elsie Ott's Top Secret Mission, came out March 15, one day before most bookstores and similar venues started shutting down because of the virus. So, my 12-city book tour for the book was immediately called off. At the same time, I was scheduled to go to the United Kingdom this past summer to do more book events (for reasons I'm not completely sure of, my books are very popular over there), and all that was shut down as well. I was able to do a couple of NPR programs about the book, and I appeared on the Armed Services Radio Network twice, but other than those, I really haven't had a chance to do any book readings/events because of the current situation here and around the world. I'm NOT complaining. Problems with a book are absolutely nothing compared to the suffering that has fallen on so many because of Covid and related issues. Still, for an author, this is a living example of "If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it -- does it make a sound?" Well, the book came out, but because of the situation, it didn't make a sound at all. My publisher tells me we will try to do a book tour once the circumstances change, but who knows when that will be. Plus, as most authors will confirm, if events are not done when a book is released, LATER events just won't create the same publicity and readership. Again, I'm not complaining. This is just an observation that this may be a book that never finds a readership because of the current circumstances. If that happens, it happens. All I care out, honestly, right now is that everyone stays safe. Like my Grandma Dunavant always used to say, "If you don't have your health, you don't have anything." The older I get, the more I see just how much she was right.
So, I'll sign off by again saying, please stay well.