How a Pandemic-Written Adventure Can Model the Future, a guest post by Diane Magras

Cover art: Vivienne To

The other day, I was musing about my pre- and post-pandemic writing styles. As a middle grade author, my books and brand are all about action, adventure, and fun—and that hasn’t changed. But there’s a new layer of seriousness behind the veil of my upcoming book, Secret of the Shadow Beasts. The adventure, mystery, and vivid characters form the fabric of the story, but it was a pandemic book, and that shows.

I came up with the basic primese a couple of months before the pandemic. Yet as I revised during the spring and summer of 2020, I saw clearly how I was now living in a world that strangely paralleled that premise. In my story, people need to follow rules and stay inside (at night), or risk death (by venomous monsters). Some people go outdoors, flaunting the government’s recommendations, determining that their “freedom” is more important—and, in doing so, draw the deadly, near-invincible shadow beasts to their towns.