Welcome to today’s edition of the Open Mic’s Creativity and COVID-19 Project. I’m checking in with a slew of writers and creative folks of all kinds to see how they are holding up during this pandemic, and to hopefully glean a few tips on how to stay positive and creative in the face of it all. Today’s guest is the fantastic mystery author R.G. Belsky. Enjoy, stay safe and stay home!
OM: How has this pandemic impacted you?
Belsky: Obviously, the same as everyone else, this has had a tremendous impact on me in many ways. But very much so too on my writing life.
The biggest issue is not being able to go places to promote my upcoming book that comes out in May. My book launch party at Mysterious Bookshop in NYC, conference appearances at Malice Domestic and Deadly Ink, a Mystery Writers of America reading, bookstore appearances around the country – they’re all not going to happen now. Plus, of course bookstores everywhere are closed.
Fortunately, people can still read – and order – books online. So I’ll be focusing on that kind of online social media promotion around the launch rather than signing books in bookstores and making personal appearances like I usually do.
OM: Has it been hard to maintain your creativity during this time? Are you doing anything different to help with this?
Belsky: I still have my creativity, I just have to use it in different ways.
I’m one of those people who like to write in public, surrounded by crowds, I work in coffee shops, libraries, the Writers Room in NYC and even bars and subways. I love that kind of crowd interaction. Which is no longer possible right now in these days of self-isolation and social distancing. So I’m making the difficult adjustment of working on my creative projects at home.
Hopefully, one day soon I’ll be able to get back to my normal creative process.
OM: Do you see yourself using anything from all this in a future storyline?
Belsky: I doubt it. I like to write – as well as read – mystery novels as an escape from reality. This coronavirus crisis – like 9/11 and maybe a few other crises before – is just too real and scary a topic for me to deal with in a mystery novel. Who knows? I might change my mind. But I’ll probably stay with escapist fiction and not do this story as one of the “ripped from the headlines” real life stories I’ve written about in the past.
OM: Anything new you are working on or that is coming out soon?
Belsky: Yes, I have two new books coming out in May and June.
On May 5, THE LAST SCOOP – my third Clare Carlson mystery – from Oceanview. Then, on June 8, a thriller I’ve written under the pen name of Dana Perry called THE GOLDEN GIRL
Here are the details: