The year of the coronavirus

Hey guys,

I'm sure you realized that things are not the same thing year on the Hotlist. This pandemic has affected us all in myriad ways, most of them negative.

Confinement did me in and I've been battling depression for the last few months with little success. Which is why my review output has dwindled to less than half of what it used to be. Reading doesn't bring as much pleasure as it used to, I'm afraid. I do have three reviews in the pipeline that I must get to, but I find it harder and harder to do so.

On a more positive note, after a 12-year hiatus, I've resumed writing. The amount of ideas swirling around in my head had become such that I simply couldn't help it anymore. I've known what my next story would be for about a decade, but something always forced me to hold back. Confinement gave me an excuse to sit down and work on it, and on March 15th (3 days following the start of the confinement here in Québec) I finally did.

It was as if a part of me came back to life. Seriously, writing is the only thing that kept me sane these last few months. Moreover, the story is progressing at a pace that is a little frightening. I don't know if it's because I've had these ideas and concepts and characters in my mind for years and years, but in a little over 5 months I wrote 431 manuscript pages which amount to more than 120,000 words! It's absolutely crazy!

Working title was Laman's Folly from the get-go, but it's now The Evil That Men Do.

It's Glen Cook's The Black Company meets Steven Erikson's The Bridgeburners meets GRRM's A Game of Thrones.

If all goes well, maybe you'll get to read it at some point in the future. . . =)

Meanwhile, hang in there and try to focus on anything that brings a bit of sunshine into your life. With the second wave coming, we must hang on to any positive things we can lay our hands on.

17 commentaires:

GH said...

Hang in there Pat.
It's a tough time for sure.
Looking forward to reading your book.


Jaltus said...

I totally get it. For me, video games have been my refuge. I still write (academic here, I write for other nerds), but my output has slowed considerably.

I'd love to read your book. Look forward to it.

DontDriveAngry said...

Appreciate the update & glad you're doing well.

Also, hope the writing continues well. Those are some heavy-hitting influences, there. Oh, and I'm glad you changed the title- it may have brought a LOT of questions about whether it was a Wheel of Time-related work, given how close it sounds to a certain inciting incident in there.

Patrick said...

Thanks, guys. =)

About the WoT reference, I only realized it when I was over a hundred pages into the project. Decided to keep it as some sort of homage, given how much I loved Robert Jordan and since my own version of Laman's Folly has nothing to do with RJ's.

And then the Iron Maiden song showed up in my shuffle as I was taking a walk to get the creative juices flowing and I knew I had my title!

Ash said...

It's funny how going through this seems to change where your interest is. For myself, since Covid hit I have zero interest in a lot of things I enjoyed before, but have developed new passions. Still enjoy reading though :)

For myself I struggled the first couple of weeks, I found the way to avoid depression was to keep a routine/schedule and to keep my mind occupied, as well as not spending much time reading about Covid. But not everyone will find the same things help. Keep strong Pat, I enjoy your posts (and your novel sounds intriguing).

Unknown said...

We don't know each other but through some weird coincidence of the internet, I ran into your blog some years ago and have been following it ever since, and I'm not a blog person....
Hope you feel better, looking forward to your posts, and reading something of your own making.

Cheers from a total stranger :-)

Anonymous said...


I can't wait to read your novel!

Hang in there and mask up!

Take care,

S.Kapriniotis said...

You are not a lone Pat. Also struggling with how the world turned upside down. Even seeing familiar things happen (from all the SF books I have read) can not prepare you for the real thing.

Hope you get better soon and I would love to read your book at some point!

Jon R. said...

Thanks for sharing, I had a difficult time with quarantine and lost quite a bit of weight dealing with the stress. Glad to hear you were able to produce something. Look forward to reading it!

Shouting Into The Void said...

Hi Pat, best of luck with your project and battling your depression. It's good to have a creative outlet for your writing even if we won't see the dividends for a while :). Take care.

Peter B said...

You should give GRRM lessons on work ethic and writing...geez.
Hope things continue to improve and look up for you! Be strong, but at the same time, reach out to those you know and love for support! Do not let pride or isolation prevent you from getting help...please!

Shroud said...

Hey Pat, do whatever brings you joy. Stay safe, old Malazan Empire comrade!

Fred said...

Hang in there Pat, I know it can be difficult but there's always hope. I'll be at your book launch in Montreal next year.

machinery said...

"after a 12-year hiatus" ... i thought at first we are talking about fat pig g.r.r.martin.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there and stay sane. I love your work!

Patrick said...

Thanks, guys! =)

Unknown said...

Hi Pat
Longtime reader here. Sorry to hear about the blues striking you but glad to hear you've found enjoyment in writing. I was in Quebec with my son this past February for the big hockey tournament and completely forgot that you lived in the province or to drop you a line! Will you be sneaking in any Hab references or characters in your book?