What will be different about my writing after going through a pandemic? Will I be able to schedule my writing and my family and other responsibilities and keep them balanced? With my new book do I feel I spent more time developing the story, characters, plots, and dialogue? With this new book, what if anything do I want the reader to know about me as an author?
Like with most people, the pandemic brought a lot of changes for me and my family. I was back home in southern Africa when the pandemic hit. By mid-March, my husband and I had decided that I needed to return to the US. I was able to fly out just hours before South Africa shut its borders. (Sounds a bit like a suspense novel!) With three college-age kids and my mother in assisted living, we had no idea just how much change the following months would bring. My kids lost their jobs in the service industry, and with my mother in isolation, we decided to move her in with us. All of a sudden we were a three-generational home, juggling online college classes, new part time jobs, and the reality of a pandemic. My writing continued, but with so many distractions, it was harder to concentrate. I struggled to focus and to meet deadlines, though I never lost my love for writing or my stories. And as tough as it was, I found it therapeutic to pour my feelings into my writing.
Things have changed again for our family. My daughter got married—after having to change the location three times—and was able to go back to school. Both my boys are moving out of the house (again) in the next few weeks. I’ve realized what a special time it was to have them all back under my roof. I’ve soaked up my time with them playing board games, watching cooking shows, making smores, and cooking out over a fire pit in the back yard.
I think the last year will change my writing. It’s helped to show me more layers of emotion, giving me plot ideas, and a desire to dig deeper into my characters to see how they will react to a situation out of their control. My latest book—The Chase—definitely pushes both my hero and heroine to a place where they can’t control the situation. And they quickly realize that they will have to rely on each other if they hope to survive.
Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the
winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel from Romantic
Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. The author of more
than forty books, including The Nikki Boyd Files and the Southern
Crimes series, as well as Vanishing Point, A Secret to Die
For, and Deadly Intentions, Harris and her family have spent over
seventeen years living as missionaries in southern Africa. She is
currently stateside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.