Writing During a Pandemic by Charlotte Stuart – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Stuart will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Writing During a Pandemic

I feel both fortunate and guilty because I’m happy living in a bubble. I’m not going anywhere, so I have more time to write. I have places nearby to walk without encountering a lot of people. I have a companion I enjoy being with. And I actually “see” more of some friends and participate more regularly in meetings via Zoom than I had time for before isolating myself.

The guilt comes from knowing that many people do not have activities to occupy themselves at home. That parents with children are under a lot of stress to meet their own needs while taking care of their families. That many budgets are stretched to the max. That businesses are going under. That people are experiencing unimaginable hardships on a daily basis. And, most significantly, people are dying.

Under these circumstances, it’s sometimes difficult to get myself in the mood to write, especially since I write lighthearted mysteries that are supposed to be humorous. Still, I rationalize continuing in the pursuit of entertainment by telling myself that people always need distractions from the real world, especially when times are chaotic and potentially depressing.
Here’s what I’m doing to stay productive and retain my sanity:

• Sticking to a schedule helps me keep from being swallowed up by external events. I devote time every day to writing. When I don’t feel creative, I try to find related activities that will engage me. For example, doing research on a topic for current or future use. This has the same effect on me as group brainstorming. One idea triggers another. And even though I haven’t put words on a page, I feel like I’ve been productive.

• Consciously attacking stress with exercise and a bit of self-indulgence finetunes the release of endorphins and gets me to a happy place. I take time out to walk every day, preferably in a woodsy setting. Popcorn and licorice also help. Of course, after eating popcorn and licorice I have to get out and walk some more.

• Since I’m new to the publishing world, I have a lot to learn about marketing. A year and a half ago I wasn’t on any social media sites, didn’t know anything about virtual tours or branding and hadn’t a clue on how to go about asking for reviews. And the more I’ve learned, the larger the marketing mountain becomes. I’m trying to climb the marketing learning curve by tackling topics in short sprints, ascending a little each day.

That’s my life as an author during a pandemic. I hope that you, too, are staying healthy and making progress toward some goal. Or, at the very least, I hope you take the time to read a book that makes you smile. (HINT)

What begins as a prank ends in murder.

The campaign for the U.S. Congressional seat was referred to in the press as “Mr. Smith goes to Washington versus the carpetbagger.” The popular local candidate gets the majority of endorsements, but his opponent’s wealthy, out-of-state family is willing to do whatever it takes for him to win.

Penny-wise Investigations, a discount detective agency located in a mall, is hired to find out who is stealing the local candidate’s political signs. Two of their investigators, Cameron Chandler and Yuri Webster, not only catch the thieves in the act, they find a body next to a pile of stolen signs, proving that Campaigning Can Be Deadly.

Read an Excerpt

The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win
without proving that you are unworthy of winning. – Adlai Stevenson

Billed by the press as “the carpetbagger versus Mr. Smith goes to Washington,” the contest between the two opposing candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives demonstrated the power of money in a campaign. With huge resources behind him, the “carpetbagger” became a household name overnight by bombarding the urban Washington State district with ads and flyers attacking his opponent. “Mr. Smith,” on the other hand, already a well-known local politician who had won most of the endorsements, tried to ignore the smear campaign from his opponent by consistently focusing on policy.

As the election drew near and polls suggested the race was too close to call, the candidate who had tried so hard to remain above the fray came out with an ad aimed at discrediting his opponent for moving into the district to run for office. Immediately the press jumped on the change in tactics. They tarred both candidates with the same brush and labeled the race as one of the most negative ever run in the state. It made good headlines.

About the Author:In a world filled with uncertainty and too little chocolate, Charlotte Stuart has a passion for writing lighthearted mysteries with a pinch of adventure and a dollop of humor. Her first discount detective mystery, Survival Can Be Deadly, was a Foreward INDIES finalist. Why me? Chimeras, Conundrums and Dead Goldfish was a semi-finalist for the Chanticleer Murder and Mayhem contest before it was published. She began her career in academia with a PhD in communications. Then, she and her husband decided to build a commercial boat and go fishing for salmon in Alaska. Currently she is the VP for Puget Sound Sisters in Crime and lives and writes on Vashon Island in Washington State’s Puget Sound. She spends time each day entertained by herons, seals, eagles and other wildlife.

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Buy the book at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, or IndieBound.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Victoria Alexander says

    Great post – I enjoyed reading it!

  3. Thank you Long and Short Reviews for hosting my book and my guest post. I really appreciate it.

  4. Eva Millien says

    I enjoyed reading the post and the excerpt, sounds like a great book and I’m spending most of my time during this trying time reading so you are helping!

  5. James Robert says

    Another great book to discover. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

  6. Caryl Kane says

    New author for me. Thank you for sharing.

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