A friend of mine I will call “Sam,” who is an avid reader, confessed to me the other day that she hadn’t read a book in quite some time. In fact, she’d completely lost interest in reading. What??? She’d always have novels lined up, reading one after the other. She’d read Persona Non Grata and loved it and was waiting to read its sequel, Day of Reckoning when it became available on Kindle, her preferred mode.
But this year seemed different. I wasn’t sure if her recent medical issues—including a partial knee replacement—played a part in her malaise or if she was just going through a general funk (like the rest of us). Then, after much thought, she admitted it had to do with the virus.
“In the beginning, I was wanting to know everything I could about Covid,” Sam said. “It consumed my mind. Fear of this unknown virus and this new way of life, was everywhere.”
In the past, I’d keep her abreast of what I was writing and told her two years ago I’d competed the third and final book in the Persona Non Grata trilogy titled Eve of Destruction. I told her I’d let her know when that one would be available, but then I got distracted with writing another, unrelated book I titled AI, (Artificial Intelligence). A real stretch from the thrillers I normally write but a fun genre in which to indulge my fantasies.
Something to Sink My Teeth Into
When I checked in with “Sam” this week to see how she was feeling following surgery, she thanked me and remarked, “Not too terribly bad. Nice of you to ask.” After some more small talk, she came right out with it: “Write me something I can sink my teeth into…I’ve lost interest in reading. I can’t believe it!”
Feeling sad for her, I then realized that I, too, had lost my interest in reading. All last year as a matter of fact. I actually couldn’t remember the last book I read. How sad for me as well. I couldn’t put my finger on why I had stopped reading other than the fact that I write every day; I am constantly working on finishing a novel or starting a new one. But that’s really no excuse. I’m always inspired by reading some of my favorite fiction writers, most notably Michael Crichton, Patricia Cornwell and Dean Koontz.
Back in the Groove
Last month when I was perusing my local thrift store for novelty items, I stumbled upon their small used book section in a far corner behind some appliances. My eyes lit up! It took me less than a minute to nab two books: A Kay Scarpetta novel by Patricia Cornwell and one by everyone’s favorite vacation author, James Patterson.
I was back on track. No matter how little or much I ended up liking these books, or how long it took me to read them, I was back in the reading groove. I was proud of myself.
Turning Negativity into Productivity
Of course, I am also proud of myself for being focused nearly every day for the past six-plus years writing novels, if not blogs to promote them. I’m on my sixth novel now, a book I’ve titled Plague, which was “inspired” by the pandemic. Seems Covid has a way of imbedding in my psyche, too, and never leaving. But I opted to reverse the negativity of the virus and turn my energies into something positive…and readable.