Friday, April 3, 2020

Love in the Time of Cholera

OR choose your pandemic.

It's true. Crisis really does bring out the best--and worst--in people. Which is why it's good to watch the news, but you have to guard against overload. California has now been locked down since March 19th, and glued-to-the-television is kind of a default.

At first I was watching the presidential briefings, but my screaming and cursing was terrifying the dogs, so I now skip them entirely. I know I'll be watching the recap all evening long as news commentators try to make sense of things like...the government shipping PPE to warehouses WHERE VENDORS WILL THEN SELL THOSE ITEMS FOR PROFIT TO THE VARIOUS STATES--OR EVEN OVERSEAS. 

Yeah, you got that right. That much-needed PPE might not even stay in the States if overseas bidders can pay more.

Jesus Christ.

Nothing like making a profit on pandemic.


Not to politicize things, but politics are kind of why we're in the fix, we're in.

I'm writing, but it's slow going. It's much easier to tackle stuff like audio compilations and sorting through old manuscripts and reformatting books.

That said, Secret at Skull House will come out at the end of this month. Haunted Heart: Spring will come out probably mid-June. And Bell, Book and Scandal is being moved to the fall, likely Halloween.

According to Amazon--whose preorder policy was apparently designed by a disgruntled schoolmarm (IN MY DAY WE DID OUR HOMEWORK ON TIME OR WE GOT A PITCHFORK IN OUR BACKSIDE!!!)--all my preorders have now been canceled. I can't tell if that's accurate or not. I can still see the pre-order numbers, but that could just be a record of what was there. Maybe if you pre-ordered Secret at Skull House, you can check to see if your order is still live.

They did sort of make allowances for COVID19, but not really. They'll waive the losing-preorders-for-a-year penalty ONE TIME ONLY, but if you've got a number of pre-orders stacked (as I do) it doesn't actually help. Once you miss a deadline, it's the domino effect. Whatever. Amazon wants authors to do pre-orders, but they're so inflexible and impractical in their set up, that I'm actually okay losing them. I compared numbers year to year, and it turns out the years I had pre-orders were no higher in earnings than the years I didn't.

HOWEVER, that cancellation does create a huge inconvenience for readers who think they've ordered the books, think they're coming any minute, and then find out their order was deleted. I'm truly sorry--I did speak on three separate occasions with Amazon, and they just won't budge.

On the bright side, if you pre-ordered elsewhere--or you're in my Patreon group--you're covered.

OH. On the OTHER bright side, Bank of America finally figured out the mysteries of my personal checking account. OH. BUT NOW THEIR WEBSITE WON'T ALLOW ME TO UPDATE MY BUSINESS ACCOUNT INFO. hahahahahahaahaha. I mean... Honest to God. You have to laugh or you'll start hitting your head against the wall.

But I mean, the good thing about a pandemic is it really puts all this other nonsense into perspective. So far my family is still healthy. So far we have a roof over our heads. So far we have enough to eat. So far I have a job. (A job I love.) So far we can pay our bills. It's one day at a time.

In fact, in some ways, it's weirdly relaxing to know you CAN'T go anywhere, can't do anything but stay home and deal with all the things there are to deal with in your own backyard. 


  1. You say a lot of truth, wise one. Hubby is not a supporter of our national leadership but I am no longer allowed to mention "he who should NEVER have been named," or corruption or bloated road face or idiots or 'liar, liar, pants on fire'. Apparently, my screaming upsets the dogs, the cats, the husband. So thank you for giving my rage an outlet with good thoughts and fine reading. Good luck with your woes and thank you for caring about your fans. There really is kind of a relief to not having as many choices as usual! Hang in and be safe, everyone. ❤

  2. I got “pre-order date changed” emails from Amazon for Haunted Heart and Bell, Book & Scandal today - not “pre-order cancelled” - and they’re still listed in my Open Orders, so that seems okay? I can’t speak to Ellery #2, unfortunately, since I’m getting that one through Patreon.

  3. Just got informed by Amazon that Bell, Book and Scandal is rescheduled to be released on May 12, and The Haunted Heart: Spring is rescheduled to May 30, so I rushed here to make sure everything is fine. You know, I don't mind waiting, as long as it's business as usual with you. Do take care, and don't be stressed out. Everything will be fine soon.

    (We Hong Kong people were in the epicentre of SARS in 2003. This one is not nearly as terrifying as that one, let me tell you. Just stay safe and let the storm pass. Life will resume normal and next time if unfortunately storm passes again, you will know what to expect.)


  4. Thank you for all you do. Your books have been my go-to during the quarantine (so far...). Sorry the technical stuff has you down. I hope it will get resolved for you.

  5. I look forward to your pre-orders but I am still four Lanyon's behind. I took a long reading break and suddenly a whole crop of books appeared. I forgot how much I love them until today. I've been trapped at home for ages. Michigan is swarming with disease. I'm blessed to work at home but this morning my laptop died and to cope I read Murder at Pirate's Cove. It made a challenging day a pleasant day. I had to monitor a chat room and inbox from my phone while I did that and it kept me sane. It really did. I think I might be getting my itch for reading back. Thank you. May saner days prevail for all

  6. Don't know if it's important, but my Pre-order is still listed, so hopefully it's all okay. Annoying when they cancel it, but I'd just buy it as soon as it is. It's always worth the wait.