An epistolary novel set in the time of COVID isn’t what I imagined for my debut. But when COVID hit, it was all I could think about. Then, when I read Nick Farriella’s parody of F. Scott Fitzgerald writing about quarantine during the Spanish influenza, I too wanted to fictionalize this damn pandemic. Sometimes real life calls for fiction.
At the best of times, writers are a bemused lot. I can spend entire afternoons sketching my characters’ lives, strewing bits of dialogue and plot, seeing what sticks, transforming them with hats and lovers, a game of paper dolls. But the story is set in 2020. My characters are six feet apart, wearing masks and smelling of hand sani; so a story set in a pandemic becomes a memoir. Sometimes fiction calls for real life.
Dear Rosemary is a letter to myself, the person I am in 2020. It’s a story about how we’re coping in a crazy time; and it’s a love story, in a time when relationships are at the front of our mind. It wasn’t what I thought I’d be writing this year, but it was a joy to write, and I hope you enjoy reading it.
At the moment, I live a masked life in Canada.
Oh, and one last thing: Gloria Hathaway is my pen name.