To Include or Not to Include by Linda O. Johnston

September 6, 2020 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , with 9 and 0
Home > Columns > Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston > To Include or Not to Include by Linda O. Johnston

To Include . . .

We’re still in the midst of the pandemic that has affected us for more than six months now.  People get sick, and fortunately many heal . . . though not everyone does.  And it’s affected us in ways beyond illness–economically, for example.  

Even when things seem to improve some, they don’t always stay that way. Sometimes they get worse again. We still don’t know when things will settle down and start resembling normal once more.

And as a writer, I’m wondering when to use all of this.

Right now I’m still working on my third book in the long-running Colton series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, featuring characters in one of the many branches of the Colton family spread all over the country. I’ve known what has to happen in this one, and that’s what I’ve done.

Or Not to Include . . .

But I’m also plotting some other ideas.  Stories that will take place at least a little in the future.

Should I mention the pandemic? The social unrest? What it’s all done to our economy?

Or should I assume that readers will prefer that I don’t go there, that I ignore all that nasty stuff and just create my own issues in my stories, the way I used to?

I’m pondering all of that even as I plot. But like everything else these days, who knows what the future will bring–and if things will ever return to what had been deemed normal before?

Of course, as a writer, I want to satisfy my readers. It’s okay to scare them in romantic suspense and mysteries, but we need satisfying endings in which all gets resolved in a reasonable, acceptable, perhaps optimistic way.  Never mind what happens in real life.  I write fiction!

Well, I’ll figure it out and decide which direction to go in each story I write.

And hope that reality gets better even as my stories continue.

~Linda


The First Two of Linda’s Colton Family Series


Author Details
Author Details
Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published 52 books so far, including mysteries and romantic novels. More than twenty-five of them are romances for Harlequin, including Harlequin Romantic Suspense and Harlequin Nocturne. Her latest release is Colton 911: Caught in the Crossfire, for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. She has also written several mystery series including the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries and Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries and Pet Rescue Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Nearly all Linda’s current stories involve dogs! Linda enjoys hearing from readers.
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Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published 52 books so far, including mysteries and romantic novels. More than twenty-five of them are romances for Harlequin, including Harlequin Romantic Suspense and Harlequin Nocturne. Her latest release is Colton 911: Caught in the Crossfire, for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. She has also written several mystery series including the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries and Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries and Pet Rescue Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Nearly all Linda’s current stories involve dogs! Linda enjoys hearing from readers.
  • Jann says:

    I totally understand what you’re saying Linda. I’ve been wondering the same thing.

  • Veronica Jorge says:

    Hi Linda, If you include the pandemic, your story will be rooted in that time period and event. If you exclude reference to the pandemic, then the story would unfold more as a timeless tale. So you would have to decide if you want to write a Covid related piece, or more of a timeless tale. I’m sure whatever choice you make, your story will still be great. Good luck.

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