As I type this, things are slowly opening up in Ohio. I went to the post office yesterday to mail a book and discovered a new normal. Everyone in line practiced social distancing. Everyone in the customer line wore masks. A sheet of plexiglass hung from the ceiling, creating a barrier between the customer and the postal worker. It’s a very different world than when I was last there in March.
There’s a lot I’ve thought about during this season, and one question I’ve pondered is what impact, if any, will the Coronavirus have on romance books, specifically, inspy romance? After 9/11, it took me time to want to read anything that used that day and NYC as a plot and setting. It was too real, too close, too soon. I still haven’t watched any movies about it. However, in time, I started reading titles that featured the tragedy in some ways. Karen Kingsbury’s work comes to mind.
What about now? Are you ready to read about anything that comes close to what the past few months have been like for you?
I tried to think of plots we might see in the near future.
–A nurse treating a patient suspected of having the virus when little is known.
-A former couple reuniting when one is a doctor and the other is a family member of a critically ill patient.
-A news reporter and a health official assigned to give daily briefings clash and fall in love.
-College BFF’s together to celebrate an engagement when stay-at-home is enforcecd and one BFF has to live with the other and her family, including the brother who seems to always be in the way.
-An Army Reserves officer meets a food pantry worker who wants to help everyone to the point of endangering herself.
-Sparks fly online when a student needs tech support during isolation.
-Celebrity musician crashes a Zoom gathering and falls for one of the viewers.
That’s just rough thinking off the top of my head. I’d love to read the plot ideas you think might become books. IR authors, maybe you’re already outlining that book!
The question is, are you ready to read them? I mentioned to my husband the last thing I’d want to pick up right now is Dystopian, that feels too real right now. It wouldn’t be relaxing or entertaining to me. Yet I’ve read where some readers aren’t interested in romance right now. That seems to be the one genre I really want to read more than ever. I like the escape. But am I ready to see Covid-19 mentioned in these books? I’m not sure.
Share your thoughts. Are you ready to see anything related to the pandemic in romance yet? I’d love for you to take the poll and leave your comments.