Going into 2020, I was a lot more positive than I’d been for a while about both my writing and my ability to promote it. I was already due to participate in a number of events – two Read Datings, a bloggers/authors gathering, and the Indie Fest, and other events were in the pipeline. That was aside from going to the Writing East Midlands Conference (WEM), Harrogate Crime Festival, and a probable drop in at Swanwick Writers Summer School. In the last couple of months, I’ve also attended events put on by a local bookshop and been asked to give a talk at a library.

Then there’s the progress I’ve made with Carrion. I’ll say more about that in a few days, but a year ago it was a great idea with a slow first half, and now it’s a non-stop roller-coaster ride that I can’t wait to get out there – so I’ve been looking forward to arranging the book launch.

A couple of years ago, I organised a small get-together of authors and bloggers in Birmingham. Afterwards, I thought it’d be good to reach out and arrange more of these in different places around the country. Not exactly a tour, more an intention to hold one every three or four months, but trying to involve people all over. I hadn’t got around to organising anything, though a possible meet in London was mooted to start things. Three weeks ago, I pencilled a date and venue in for June, and jotted down a list of possible towns and cities for future gatherings, with the aim of putting the word out once I’d finished the final read-through of Carrion.

To me, all this activity is much more exciting than social media. I do like the fact that I can reach out with Facebook and Twitter and the like, and I’ve made so many great connections with people that way. But there’s still nothing like meeting someone face to face.

With all this happening, I decided to set up an ‘Events’ page on my website. It would be an easy reference point for me and anyone who wanted to join in. So I spoke to my web designer, who came up with a brilliant layout for the page and set it up ready to go live when I’d inserted all the events.

Can you see where this is going?

WEM has been cancelled or, more accurately, postponed – though when to is very much up in the air. The first read dating event went ahead, but the second has also been postponed, and I’ve had confirmation today that the Indie Fest won’t take place until next year. The other events will almost certainly follow suit – and rightly so.

Any options I’d been considering for the book launch seem unlikely to be feasible now with the closure of so many public gathering spots. Which also means there’s little point in trying to organise the author and blogger meets I’d like to start up.

So, does this mean all my positive thoughts have evaporated and been replaced with negative ones? Not exactly. Of course, I’m disappointed. As a planner, I like to get things lined up neatly and ready to happen. But I also know that, aside from death and taxes, the only certainty in life is that nothing ever goes exactly to plan. Besides, there are other, more important things to worry about. Like keeping the people around me healthy. In the meantime, like everyone else, I’ll adapt to the circumstances and get on with things. The launch for Carrion will have to be much more low-key and the Events page will have to wait. But I’m looking forward to cracking on with my next novel in the coming weeks.

In short, life goes on. The excitement is still there. It’s just different.

Take care of yourselves.