Extraordinary Times

I suspect this author is only half-kidding here:

[From Twitter.]

He writes books currently built around a British fictional officer in the Napoleonic era. It is intriguing historical fiction. The general timeframe overlaps with my own recent books as well.

Recently I read the free sample of his latest… but his style is just not my reading taste; that is why I did not buy it. So his public assertion that he will stop trying to “sell” his books is a downer. If people are not purchasing as many of his books as he thinks they should be, I feel as an author also we must be aware as well of where we are and that this is not a great time.

[Photo by me, October 2020.]

Three (I believe) important realities:

1) Many are short of money and/or unemployed and in some cases worried about how they will even put food on a table or keep a roof over their heads. Buying books is in many respects a luxury – especially expensive fiction paperbacks or hardcovers. There are priorities in life and spending money on reading for pleasure is low on the list.

[An 1800 France Kindle excerpt from Tomorrow The Grace. Photo by my, October 2020.]

2) Purchases of my relatively inexpensive Kindle editions – which were most of the purchases of my novels – have fallen off in 2020 (and I admit that discouraging for me has been that the Kindle-excerpted-novel above, which was released late in 2019, has not done as well as its predecessors). But I think I know a possible reason for that: for people who are working, many have now to spend a lot more time than previously in front of PC screens for Zoom or Teams meetings, etc. The last thing they may want to do after 8 hours or more in front of a PC like that is to read a Kindle. Kindles are just more screen usage for already tired eyes.

3) Some out there now are also simply REALLY stressed out sometimes in ways we cannot readily begin even to fathom…

[From Instagram, October 18, 2020. Underlining is mine.]

and they are NOT reading as much, much less buying new books.

Like many of you, I have had a bad year. Recently I have been having trouble sleeping, so on Saturday night I was forbidden by my wife from looking at a screen pre-bedtime: no Phone, no PC, no iPad reading. If I wanted to read, it had to be paper:

[From my Instagram Stories. My bedside table, October 17, 2020.]

After that 12 hour break from screens, I did sleep a bit better Saturday night into Sunday. But it did not last. I have been WIDE awake again this morning since about 3:30.

Given my relatively low author profile, when I think about it I am awestruck at how many of my books have been bought over the years. But this 2020 is not just any year; these are extraordinary times. If you are one of those suffering, I wish you all the best and pray your situation improves soon.


  1. So sorry about your sleeping troubles. My dad and my husband are both troubled sleepers, and of late, I’m struggling as well. My husband takes prescription meds—not the healthiest option. My dad simply gets out of bed, turns on the TV in the living room and promptly falls back to sleep within the half hour, albeit on the couch. I’ve been hyper sensitive to noise lately. I’ve been waking up at the slightest sound, anxiety kicks in, and I am unable to fall back to sleep. Yet one more gift from 2020 I am thinking. 😦

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    • I have always been an early riser (my wife, in comparison, loves to sleep in), but with everything going on and worries I am having trouble getting more than four or five hours a night, so I am often wandering around the house at about 4. I did better last night – I actually managed 7 straight hours! Yippeee! Naturally, we will see what tonight brings.

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