As an author, I’m used to working from home and writing almost daily. Now that we are living through a ‘stay-at-home’ order here in Arizona, I really don’t have any excuse not to write. But sometimes, it’s hard for me to focus on my writing.

Another problem I’m having with the writing, is that some questions have arisen, such as:

Should I include the pandemic in my present-day stories?

Should I pretend the pandemic isn’t happening? I am writing fiction, after all.

Should I wait a year or two before even mentioning the pandemic in a book, to give people a chance to distance themselves from the sorrow?

I’ve heard from some people, including a literary agent, that authors should resist the urge to shoe-horn the pandemic into their stories. That might be best in most instances, and I will likely take that advice when it comes to the sequel to The Handyman.

But Berlin and Betrayal, the next sequel to Breadcrumbs and Barbed Wire and Bloodlines and Barbed Wire, might be an exception. Why? Because it’s a dual-timeline story, with half of it set in Germany at the end of World War II and immediately after, and the other half set in current-day Germany and California. In this book, my protagonist (Lucas Landry) is still researching his ancestry and learning more about their lives. He also hopes to meet up with his relatives who are still alive and living in Germany and Italy and bring them together for a reunion. Time is of the essence, since some of them are in their 70’s to 90’s.

Since I’m trying to present a realistic story about the war, and am researching and trying to keep the details accurate, I sort of feel like it would be a betrayal to not do the same with the current-day story. It’s also an ongoing series, so whatever I do in this book, will affect the rest of the series.

I have about one-third of the book written, and I’m trying to weave in a little bit about what is happening now with the pandemic, but this is in no way a book about the coronavirus. The pandemic may, I hope, give my protagonist a much better understanding of what his ancestors endured.

I’m still waffling about whether to include bits about the pandemic. What do you think? I know we are all inundated with news about it. Looking for some feedback here.