Authors in Quarantine – Kari Maaren

With this this series, I am hoping to capture how this cultural moment is affecting our speculative fiction authors and how our authors are surviving during the COVID-19 outbreak

Spec Can: What have you been up to during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Kari Maaren: I’ve been working from home as a university instructor. All the courses are online now, and my workload has effectively doubled, as grading online takes more time (and causes more headaches), and there are a lot more student e-mails to answer.

Spec Can: How are you adapting to social distancing?

Kari Maaren: I’m an introvert anyway, so being alone a lot doesn’t bother me. However, I haven’t had an in-person conversation that has lasted longer than twenty seconds for five weeks now, and it’s beginning to get to me.

Spec Can: How is the outbreak affecting your writing?

Kari Maaren: I generally don’t write much at this point in the term, as there’s too much marking, but I do have a novel I’m working on in my head, and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate on it. I usually think out stories on my daily walks. I still try to do that, but I’ll puzzle over the story for five seconds and then be distracted by thoughts about the virus or the future or my family or even just what I’m going to cook for dinner. I want to escape into the story, but I can’t.


Interviewed by Derek Newman-Stille, MA, PhD ABD