It began with Mary Elizabeth Marsdensen. That was a name the whole world would come to know, but only after she was dead.
I set my novel Hollywood Lied in a pandemic.
The title refers to a line in the book, that Hollywood movies had told us what to expect, but they lied to us. It turns out, I lied too.
When I wrote it, I thought, naively, that people would act in the best interests of their own and public health.
If I were writing it again now, I would include toilet paper shortages, people refusing to believe Zedflu was real, people refusing to wear PPE, and even some getting themselves deliberately infected.
Actually, the story isn’t just about the pandemic, but mostly about the narrator of the story. She’s lived, comfortably, an isolated lifestyle for many years before the pandemic began, doing everything possible online, and living as off grid as possible for environmental and personal reasons. She doesn’t feel the need for regular social interaction with other people.
The pandemic brings another person into her world, someone who encourages her to take risks and move outside her comfort zone. Eventually, she will find a cause she’s willing to risk her life for.