Viral Times image

Viral Times

A reporter must find and erase the first networked bio virus that will kill millions in a pandemic.

Ron Seybold image

rĀthe release date: August 21, 2019

A reporter must discover and erase the first networked bio virus. Mighty Hand, created by an evangelical scientist, will sweep through a network of VR SimSuits in seven days, killing millions who suit up for sex in a world overrun by STD pandemics.

Making a book is a childbirth of creation, but this one has had an epic gestation. Its embryo goes back to 1996, the first year that any writing teacher or leader said to me “I look forward to reading your first novel.” Patricia Lee Lewis jotted that note at her writing and yoga retreat, which led years later to my own Amherst Writers & Artists workshop training. I thank workshop readers Tracy Staton, Lorie Fiola, and especially Laurie Cosbey and Larisa Zlatic; those last two stalwarts have known this book and its growth longer than anyone. I found help for some of the earliest chapters from the late Karen Stolz, who brought her Iowa Writer’s Workshop magic to the Writers League of Texas and introduced us workshop authors. In time I’d travel to Iowa City for Iowa Summer Writing Festival training, where a class taught by Gordon Mennenga showed us how to write a sex scene where a reader could find love among the lines. On some nights only Mike Austin and I would write together, sharing the solitude at a Borders coffee shop. I found writing workshop-leader training from Patricia that gave me the foundation for my own Writer’s Workshop practice in Austin. Many of the scenes and passages of Viral Times grew up on our workshop table.Professional editing and a fresh outlook on this book came through a three-line ad in The Writer magazine, where I found the skills of Jill Dearman. The Agents & Editors conference of the Texas Writer’s League delivered several summers of hope and publishing knowledge, as well as the Alpine Summer Writer’s Conference that delivered the storytelling skills of romance bestseller Jodi Thomas. Agents Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomoda of the San Francisco Writer’s Conference gave the book a good lift when it was flagging. My good friend and life coach Jim Hoadley helped keep my dream alive.Finally, just before my proofreader Leslie Nail and my printer Terry Sherrill helped make these words ready for press and ebook, my beloved bride Abby read through these people, the places and all the dreams that she has inspired and nurtured. She has been patient with the long solitude that storytelling can demand from a relationship. Making a book can feel like making a movie once you write down all the names who have helped to produce it. It’s been my joy to deliver this story at long last—the first book in my life as a novelist.

For Abby, whose bravery and beauty nurtures dreams and desires

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