Happy Holidays to All! - December 15, 2020
Well, it’s been an interesting and challenging year, hasn’t it? With the daily bombardment of COVID updates and the election news, we feel like we’ve been hit in the head with a rock. We have to admit, we’re looking forward to seeing 2020 in the rearview mirror.
The past two years have been a little overwhelming for us, so please forgive us for not writing more. Mike’s mother was ill with heart problems for several years, then she passed away in June of 2019. Three weeks later we sold the ranch. Five weeks later we sold Mom’s house. Five months later we sold our office in Thermopolis. A month after that, we started moving to Cody, Wyoming. All of that means that it’s been a whirlwind of painting, doing repairs to properties, settling Mom’s estate, packing and moving 30,000 books to our new home in Cody, plus all of the other small things that must be done to create a new life in a different place. And in the midst of all that, we wrote four books.
In March of 2020 Kathy’s Young Adult fantasy novel, CRIES FROM THE LOST ISLAND came out. In May, Mike’s science fiction book, UNRECONCILED was released (to rave reviews, we might add). In June, our co-authored novel, PEOPLE OF THE CANYONS hit the shelves. Finally, last month, Mike’s book ALPHA ENIGMA was released.
It’s been a strange year on another front. The Freedom of Speech has never been more important in America than it is today, yet authors are experiencing stricter and stricter rules for what they can and cannot say in their work. It’s disheartening. Michael’s ALPHA ENIGMA was censored by Penguin Random House’s “sensitivity” readers, which caused a huge amount of stress and anguish during this summer. Nevertheless, but for a few small changes, the novel came out as originally written. It was a sobering ordeal, one that has changed our lives as writers forever.
In fact, we just sold a book to a new small publisher in Las Vegas because we are so exhausted with fighting the insane censors in New York. The new book, coming out from Wolfpack Publishing in June of 2021, is called DISSOLUTION and is about the disintegration of America. We are not the first, and won’t be the last, to posit that our country is dividing into distinct regional units based upon culture and values.The possible consequences are both intriguing and scary. Hence, DISSOLUTION.
Despite the unique challenges of the last two years, there have been moments of great kindness that we sincerely appreciated. After the death of Mike’s mother, we were so exhausted, trying to juggle obligations, and suddenly we had friends from all over Thermopolis who just showed up to help us pack and move and share the burdens. People who came out to the ranch to help us fix fences and take care of the buffalo. People who carried hundreds of boxes of books to our new house. We will never be able to thank them enough. They are friends to ride the river with.
There are so many things to be grateful for this year, even the little things that make our lives better. A hot cup of tea on a cold morning. Watching the snow fall. Smiling with someone we love. Each is a blessing not to be forgotten.
Happiest of Holidays to you. We hope 2021 sees the end of the pandemic and brings you hope for a bright future.
Michael and Kathy