For Day 20 of the Open Mic Creativity and COVID-19 Special Project, I briefly check in with Chicago-based thriller/mystery author Libby Fischer Hellman, who is definitely taking advantage of the ongoing lockdown to get some work done. Because when you have two books in the works, neither rain nor snow nor pandemic stays a writer from their appointed page count.


OM: How has this pandemic impacted you? 

Hellman: It hasn’t affected me all that much. I work from home anyway, and I love to be home. I have to confess that I’m enjoying NOT having to go to the exercise studio, NOT having to go to Starbucks for lattes, and NOT having to meet friends for lunch, dinner or dates. I’m fine.

OM: Has it been hard to maintain your creativity during this time?

Hellman: I’m on deadline for a book coming out in late June, so I can’t afford to be. It’s three-pages-a-day whether I like it or not.

OM: Do you see yourself using anything from all this in a future storyline?

Hellman: Maybe. Who knows?

OM: Anything new you are working on or that is coming out soon?

Hellman: Two things:


— Virtually Undetectable, a short novel in a new series of linked books called High-Tech Crime Solvers, will be out June 26.


— The novel I’ve spent over a year on, “A Bend In The River,” is about two Vietnamese sisters who deal with the Vietnam war in polar opposite ways. This one captured my heart. I’ll bring it out this fall.

Rich Ehisen

Rich Ehisen has been a reporter and editor for almost 30 years, and is currently the editor in chief at Capitol Weekly, which covers the California State Capitol in Sacramento. For two decades previous he was the managing editor of the State Net Capitol Journal, a LexisNexis publication that covers state public policy issues and trends nationwide. In that role he was also the producer and host of the SNCJ Deep Dive podcast and the SNCJ Hot Issues webinar series. He is also the producer and moderator of The Open Mic: Writers in Their Own Words, a podcast and YouTube show that features his discussions on writing with crime fiction, mystery and thriller authors.


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