Writing in the Time of COVID

On the Big Table

I don’t get extra time to write in. I save maybe 20 minutes of commute per day, but I’m desperate to get up and stretch after a 9 hour shift telecommuting. I work for local government, and the work I do keeps the money for vital services flowing. I’m glad I can do this– it feels like I’m helping the community get through this and having something to do keeps my anxiety under control.

But I am anxious. I have severe asthma, as does my husband. Some other conditions that bump our risk, too, but since inability to breathe is the main killer with this disease, that’s where my mind goes. This isn’t the first time my health has forced me to be bound up indoors for over a month, but it is the first time I felt so endangered. A bad asthma run usually just leaves me feeling half-dead… which is part of how write the inside view of a vampire’s physical existence as being uncomfortable.

Beyond time management and distraction, editing my most recent manuscript, Forever in Deep, pushed me to reveal something sooner than I’d planned about Nicola Durante’s family. The 1918 flu pandemic and aftermath had not been something I expected to be so relevant to today when I was working on his background.

Allan’s been unable to work from home, but he is working hard. Currently, he’s working on the cover for Forever in Deep. (The painting above wasn’t done by him, but me. I thought it just seemed seasonal, and it has a book in it.) And he’s recording Forever Haunted. 

I hope you are all staying well and safe. This is one strange virus and we still don’t know the long term effects on the survivors. Flattening the curve is buying society time to deal with it.

Happy Easter if you celebrate it. Try and enjoy the spring whatever what you can, even if it’s just opening some windows and hearing the birds sing.

writer pillow

One of the common questions a writer gets is: why do you write?

It’s not just a valid question– it’s one every writer has to work out. The fact is, writing is time consuming. If you write short, nonfiction pieces, you can probably make a decent living off of doing that. “For the money” is definitely a good answer for someone doing that.

But a novelist? Unless you are famous already, your chances of making good money from it is very low. It doesn’t matter if you’re good at writing. What really matters is being good at marketing. In fact, if you’re doing it for money, people will tell you to research the markets before you even start writing, because you have to decide not what story to tell but what story will sell. Fame is at least as long a shot as money. If you want fame, you might do better creating a YouTube show because it asks people to invest less time to consume your product.

Other people will tell you it’s a compulsion. They need to put down the words to get it out of their system. It sounds good. It suggests the story is semi-autobiographical, something that has deep meaning to them and may reveal their soul. But a lot of people say it. I don’t know how common a real sense of compulsion is, and it sounds pretty awful to experience. While I am regularly drawn to write, I can easily opt to keep my ideas to myself, and, in fact, it takes discipline for me to keep up the daily effort. I can daydream in my head without anything like the time cost  of putting it into words.

So what motivates me? I want to make readers happy. Yes, they may experience some fear or have their heartstrings pulled, but overall, my novels will make you laugh, have a vicarious experience of friendship, the satisfaction of resolutions… I want people to feel good and have a chance to recover from a world that is plenty stressful.

That’s all. I’m donating books to libraries. I’m willing to give free copies to get reviews. But it’s frustrating because it is very, very hard to reach a larger audience. What would you recommend for getting the word out about my books?

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Amazon Link: Forever Haunted Amazon

Ultimate Final Cover Forevers Too Long GIMP

Amazon Link: Forevers Too Long Amazon

****NOW AVAILABLE FOR KOBO AND NOOK****

“FOREVER HAUNTED” 

By Helen Krummenacker is now available for NOOK and KOBO as well as KINDLE and SMASHWORDS for just $3.99

NewCoverForeverHauntedFinal28129

 

Life isn’t easy, but it’s easier than adjusting to being dead. Rafael Jones is still learning about his new diet, powers, and limitations when he’s asked to certify that a house isn’t haunted. But when it turns out to have the ghost of a murdered flapper, his new mission is to locate the missing gangster who killed her, the magic mirror that helped the killer disappear, protect his client, and stop a new string of murders. Magic and mystery collide in the summer of 1947, and our detective is digging up answers to questions going back as far as the end of WWI.

*And remember, you can ‘gift’ a copy to your family and friendsand have it delivered to their e-reader on Christmas*

“FOREVER HAUNTED” Is Now “LIVE” on Amazon…

Just in time for the Christmas season, a good old fashion ghost story is the theme of the second installment of the Forever Detective Series.

The year is 1947 and private investigator Rafael Jones has already learned the hard way that the supernatural is all too real. Having been turned into a vampire, he’s trying to continue his work as a detective, while attempting to adapt to and understand his condition. 

Now he has a new case to deal with. A friend has asked him to prove a mansion he’s inherited is NOT haunted. Unfortunately, it is… and the ghost needs Rafael for help and justice.

Can our hero find answers and evidence a 20 year old cold case no one knew about? Can he find the Prohibition gangster who murdered the young flapper? These things are harder than you’d expect them to be with a view of the murder on replay. As Rafael finds out, the secrets of the supernatural are not known only to the good guys, and gangsters with access to magic are all the more dangerous. 

Find out in “Forever Haunted” available NOW in Trade Paperback and Kindle:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0821Z6RMY

AmazonUK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0821Z6RMY

AmazonCA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0821Z6RMY

AmazonAU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0821Z6RMY

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/993061

*LINKS for Nook, Kobo, and other outlets coming soon*

Two More 5 Star Reviews for “Forever’s Too Long” and a Release Date

The first new review comes from here in the United States:

An excellent post-war detective story with a fantasy twist. I would highly
recommendthis book to anyone who either likes fantasy novels or detective
novels.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RSGKTDF

And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, a 2nd review appeared over on Amazon Canada site:

5.0 out of 5 starsWell-crafted and hard to put down

November 12, 2019
Format: Paperback
Relatable characters, evocative scenery, and engaging dialogue make this
 book a lot of fun to read. I especially appreciated the way that the female
 characters (both heroes and villains) were fully formed, intelligent, and
autonomous – delightfully atypical of the genre. I am eagerly anticipating
 the sequel.

Link: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF

All this wonderful feedback is so exciting and I’m very grateful to all who are helping spread the word about this series.

And to top it all off, the 2nd book in the series is just weeks away from being released:

Life isn’t easy, but it’s easier than adjusting to being dead. Rafael Jones is still learning about  his new diet, powers, and limitations when he’s asked to certify that a house isn’t haunted. But when it turns out to have the ghost of a murdered flapper, his new mission is to locate the missing gangster who killed her, the magic mirror that helped the killer disappear, protect his client, and stop a new string of murders. 

Magic and mystery collide in the summer of 1947, and our detective is digging up answers to questions going back as far as the end of WWI.

“FOREVER HAUNTED” WILL BE AVAILABLE DECEMBER 1ST, 2019 FOR KINDLE, NOOK, KOBO, SMASHWORDS, SONY AND IN TRADE PAPERBACK TO ALL AMAZON AND BARNES AND NOBLE WEBSITES

A Question For The Audience Regarding An Audiobook Version of “Forever’s Too Long”

Hello everyone. Today, I’m looking for feedback from all of you. Below are 3 audio versions of the same intro to “Forever’s Too Long”. The goal here is to find what style you the audience find most appealing, so Allan and I can proceed with turning the novel into a full-scale audiobook. My hope is to have it ready in time for the holidays so it can be released along with the print and e-book version of “Forever Haunted” the second installment of this series.

Each of us did a recording of the prologue separately, and then we did one together. 

Please give a listen to each and let us know which style you like best. Mind you, listening to all three from start to finish would take about 10-11 minutes. But if you don’t have that kind of time, please listen to the 1st minute of each and give us your feedback.

We sincerely thank you in advance for your help with this because I sincerely wish to bring you only the best when it comes to my work.