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Pandemic Ideas by Linda O. Johnston

December 6, 2020 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , , ,
the title "Pandemic Ideas" with picture of a small dog looking at the viewer

I’m a writer.  A fiction writer. And right now my world, and everyone else’s, has been highly modified nonfictionally by a situation I never imagined would happen: The Covid 19 pandemic.

Because I’m a fiction writer, my mind is always spiraling with ideas for new stories. At the moment I think I’ll have three new books published next year: two Harlequin Romantic Suspense novels plus a potentially stand-alone mystery that I’m currently writing.

All that keeps my mind and my fingers busy. But that mind of mine–well, when I’m not focused on what I’m writing, I’m always considering potential new ideas. They kind of just slip into my thoughts based on things I see or do, or don’t see or do but still tiptoe in and become creative plots or people or pets.

Or unusual backgrounds…

Yes, I’ve already done a blog here not too long ago about what to include, and what not to include, in stories. I focused more there on whether or not to include references in what I’m already writing to the pandemic and other current issues it has been causing.

Now, I’m wondering whether I ought to write something new that features the pandemic and how it involves a protagonist, probably in a mystery. At least my mind keeps telling me to consider it.

If I did, would people want to read it, or would they rather stay away from awful things like that which are affecting their real lives–even fictionalized versions of it?

Don’t know yet–but I’m kind of leaving my mind loose to consider it.

What do you think–would you want to read about it?

Because it’s me, the story would also most likely involve dogs, who are now being recognized as wonderful companions as we all stay far from others outside our households a whole lot more than we used to.

But of course no dogs would be harmed.

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Dear Extra Squeeze Team, I Have a Pandemic Story . . . Too Soon?

November 30, 2020 by in category The Extra Squeeze by The Extra Squeeze Team tagged as , , ,

Dear Extra Squeeze Team, I think I have a best-selling pandemic story on my hands! Is it ever too late or too soon to write about something like that?

Robin Blakely | The Extra Squeeze Team | A Slice of Orange

Robin Blakely

PR/Business Development coach for writers and artists; CEO, Creative Center of America; member, Forbes Coaches Council.

If you have a best-selling story about any period of time, write it. The very best stories have a timeless essence that touches hearts and ignites imaginations, no matter when or where the stories are set. It is never too soon or too late to write a story that jars the soul. But, by the same token, don’t imagine that the pandemic theme is the thing that will cause readers to pick up the book.


A million pandemic-themed stories are being created right now; many not very good. The market always faces trends that cause certain subjects, themes, or genres to spike in popularity at certain times. If that is the wave you want to ride, get there early. But that wave may not be the one for you—you may not be done fast enough to be part of that perceived market interest.


If in doubt, go good. Good work weathers mass upticks in interest. Focus on the good work.

H. O. Charles | A Slice of Orange

H.O. Charles

Cover designer and author of the fantasy series, The Fireblade Array

No! Think of all the war novels that are still being written, and all those written during the wars. Different, developing situations give rise to different and interesting outlooks.


Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange

Jenny Jensen

Developmental editor who has worked for twenty plus years with new and established authors of both fiction and non-fiction, traditional and indie.

Yea! I’ve been waiting for this. I think now is the perfect time to offer a good fictional Corvid plot. I see no reason why such a story would be “too soon” or “too late”.  If the tale is well written, soundly plotted, has a great cast of characters and a riveting dramatic arc it will always be timely as a good book.


The pandemic is top of everyone’s mind right now. (How often has a single event held that much sway at once with the entire human species?) There is so much crazy mis-information blitzing around that a large number of us just ignore it all, take precautions and wait to hear about a vaccine. I’d welcome a good pandemic story. Fiction has always been the media where we can talk about anything. Go for it.

Rebecca Forster | Extra Squeeze

Rebecca Forster 

USA Today Bestselling author of 35 books, including the Witness series and the new Finn O’Brien series.

I was recently interviewed and asked if I was going to address the pandemic. My answer was, ‘Yes if it works organically into my story’.


Will I make the pandemic the focus of a book? The answer is no. I very seldom write a ripped-from-the-headlines book because headlines change faster than you can blink these days.


I do write ripped-from-the-inside-pages books because that’s where I find small stories, about real people and personal tragedy and triumph. For me, it’s always about the characters.


Every writer is different, though. If this book is eating at you, write it, own it, and market it. It might be just be the blockbuster you feel it is.

Good luck.

The Extra Squeeze | A Slice of Orange

Ever wonder what industry professionals think about the issues that can really impact our careers? Each month The Extra Squeeze features a fresh topic related to books and publishing.

Amazon mover and shaker Rebecca Forster and her handpicked team of book professionals offer frank responses from the POV of each of their specialties — Writing, Editing, PR/Biz Development, and Cover Design.

If you have a question for The Extra Squeeze Team, use our handy dandy contact form.

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