Creating in a Time of Uncertainty and Chaos + News ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
Creating in a Time of Uncertainty and Chaos + News




THE CITY WE BECAME by N.K. Jemisin made #4 on the Washington Post bestseller list and #9 on the New York Times hardcover fiction list. It also received a fantastic review from Slate. Finally, it made BookBub’s list of 11 New Magical Books to Read When You Need an Escape.

N.K. Jemisin’s “Emergency Skin” is a Hugo finalist for Best Novelette.

ALPHA NIGHT by Nalini Singh, CONVENTIONALLY YOURS by Annabeth Albert, and HOW TO CATCH A QUEEN by Alyssa Cole were included in Orpah Magazine’s 38 Romance Novels That Are Set to Be the Best of 2020 list.

Buzzfeed’s 27 Immersive Audiobooks That'll Take Your Mind Off Things For A While included THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA by T.J. Klune. T.J.’s book also made BookBub’s 11 New Magical Books to Read When You Need an Escape list and was mentioned in The News Herald’s article about books that can be a good distraction from the pandemic. It also received a great review from Shelf Awareness.

Nalini Singh’s A MADNESS OF SUNSHINE received a great review from Mystery Scene.

SOMEBODY TOLD ME by Mia Siegert and TWEET CUTE by Emma Lord were listed as 50+ YA contemporaries to read during lockdown by United By Pop. SOMEBODY TOLD ME also received a great review from Teen Library Toolbox.

Kirkus gave CONVENTIONALLY YOURS by Annabeth Albert a fantastic review.

ALPHA NIGHT by Nalini Singh received an amazing review from Publishers Weekly.

Australian national ABC radio recommended THE AUSTEN PLAYBOOK by Lucy Parker.

The release date of THE EXTRAORDINARIES by T.J. Klune has been changed due to COVID-19, as discussed in this Publisher’s Weekly article.

Milla Vane’s novella, THE BEAST OF BLACKMOOR, a prequel to her Gathering of Dragons series and previously only available in the NIGHT SHIFT anthology, is being released as a stand-alone e-book and is now available for preorder.

I LOVE YOU, MICHAEL COLLINS by Lauren Baratz-Logsted was nominated for the 2021 Colorado Children's Book Award, Junior Division and the 2021 New Mexico Land of Enchantment Book Award List (grades 6-8).

Heatherly Bell’s THE RIGHT MOMENT made the “What We’re Watching, Reading and Listening To This Week” list on Australia’s

Peter Vronsky did a Spanish interview with BBC News Mundo to coincide with the Spanish edition of SONS OF CAIN

Eve Persak was featured on Martha Stewart’s website, discussing foods that can help boost energy levels.


Loriel Ryon lives in the beautiful New Mexico desert with her husband and two daughters. INTO THE TALL, TALL GRASS is her debut novel. Learn more about her at


Creating in a Time of Uncertainty and Chaos

My debut middle grade novel, INTO THE TALL, TALL GRASS, came out on April 7th. I have two small kids, and my partner is out of the house, an essential worker. I myself am an RN and work as needed. How the heck am I supposed to get anything done? Well, to be honest…it’s been rough. All I want to do is write. I want to get lost in my world and my characters and escape from this insane world we are living in right now. I want to feel that rush of drafting and excitement at solving plot issues and holes. But I move between the spaces of “I just can’t create today” and “I really need to create today”.

So, the question is…how do we create art during a time like this? Should we? Must we? What if we just can’t?

On the days I simply cannot focus enough to create, I don’t. I release myself from the pressure to do so. I try to figure out what makes me feel better right now. Baking? A new hobby? An old hobby? Comfort reading, television or movies? Many times, I just sit with my kids outside and do nothing at all.

For the days that I really want to create, but am finding it hard to focus, here’s what I’m doing to give myself the best chance:

*Put my phone on silent or Do Not Disturb and put it in another room. Seriously. I put it in the living room and leave it there. For a one-hour minimum. This is THE biggest time suck to my productivity.

*Feed whoever needs feeding. Kids, pets, partners.

*If I can, I turn off the WIFI on my computer. If you need WIFI for streaming music, fine, but get off Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. GET OUTTA THERE!! It’s not doing you any good and you know you need a break from it all anyway. Make it intentional.

*Set a goal. 200 words? 1000 words? I measure what I would call success, be it one scene, or one page, but I give myself something to work toward. Even if I don’t make it, I have the goal in front of me.

*I plan what I am going to write about ahead of time. I know exactly what I am going to be working on when I sit down.

*Headphones. It’ll get you in the zone and at a minimum block out background noises. Some people like music. Personally, I cannot listen to music with words without getting distracted. I have a friend that likes to listen to soundtracks for movies that convey the mood of the WIP. Right now, I like nature sounds with water.

Most importantly if you just can’t get into the zone, don’t force it. Stop. Be gracious with yourself and say you’ll try again later. I’ve had periods of productivity and periods where I cannot get a single thing down, and that’s okay.


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Bob Batchelor
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Bob Batchelor is a cultural historian and biographer. He has published books on Stan Lee, Bob Dylan, The Great Gatsby, Mad Men, Kobe Bryant, and John Updike. Batchelor’s books have been translated into a dozen languages. He has appeared as an on-air commentator for The National Geographic Channel, PBS NewsHour, and NPR.


Jase Peeples
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Jase Peeples is an award-winning journalist and author of fiction for children and young adults. He was born and raised in northern California. He lives in San Francisco with his partner who continues to let him believe his love of comics, collectibles, and 80s cartoons is an endearing quirk, not an obsession.


- Heatherly Bell's next three untitled books that kick off the Charming, Texas, series, featuring two newly returned former sweethearts who go head-to-head in the Mr. Charming contest to win the cash prize they both desperately need, to Megan Broderick at Harlequin Special Edition in a three-book deal, by Elaine Spencer

- Beth Cornelison's COLTON 911 book 11, to Patience Bloom at Harlequin Romantic Suspense in a nice deal, by Lucienne Diver

- Author of CONVENTIONALLY YOURS Annabeth Albert's NEVER HAVE I EVER, an LGBTQIA+ romantic comedy in which former friends turned enemies have to work together, in cosplay and out, to Mary Altman at Sourcebooks Casablanca, by Deidre Knight

- M.A. Grant's WHITEHORN series, a male/male romance about a human bodyguard who discovers his charge is actually a vampire when they are both endangered by a territorial dispute, to Stephanie Doig at Carina Press in a three-book deal, by Deidre Knight

- Kelley Armstrong's books six and seven in the Rockton series, to Kelley Ragland at Minotaur in a good two-book deal for publication in winter 2021 and 2022, by Lucienne Diver

- Karen Chance's QUEEN'S GAMBIT, a new Dorina Basarab novel, to Daniel Totten at Tantor Media in a nice deal, by Lucienne Diver

- TJ Klune's THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA, to Karisto Oy (Finland), by Elin Rydner at Lennart Sane Agency, on behalf of Elaine Spencer

- Kelley Armstrong's books six and seven in the Rockton series, to Kelley Ragland at Minotaur, in a good deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in winter 2021 and 2022, by Lucienne Diver

- Karen Chance's QUEEN'S GAMBIT, a new Dorina Basarab novel, to Daniel Totten at Tantor Media, in a nice deal, by Lucienne Diver