Saturday 21 August 2021

A snippet from Jim Bates, another Aftermath contributor


Tell me about your story in Aftermath - but don't give any spoilers! 

I had three stories in the collection: “Paradise” and “Walking and Talking” and “Social Distancing”. They were submitted in May and June of 2020. They are all written from a first person point of view and all dealt with coming to grips with living with the pandemic in those first early months.

What inspired you to write?

These stories were my way of putting into words what I saw happening all around me in those early months of the pandemic. It’s interesting to look at them now. I’m sure most people, myself included, thought the pandemic would be winding down by the end of 2020. But, over a year after the stories were written, we are dealing with it. Even with vaccines! Now we have the new variant to deal with and lots of other social and political issues as well. I certainly didn’t expect that kind situation back when the stories were written.

Why did you think it important to contribute to this collection?

At the time I wrote the stories, the pandemic was a relatively new experience. Writing the stories was my way of trying to put into words how I and my loved ones were being affected by it. It’s interesting to look back on how life is so dramatically changed since I wrote them.

How have you coped with the pandemic?  

Personally, I have coped well. I have not lost any loved ones, which is a blessing. I’m a normally quiet and introverted person, so I didn’t miss going out in public too much. I had a nice ‘bubble’ going with a small group of family members so I could still see my grandchildren every week for their tutoring sessions. I missed browsing in bookstores, but, all in all, I’m very thankful I wasn’t affected all that much.

Can you tell us about your other publications?

One bright spot for me this year, in the midst of the pandemic, is that I been extremely fortunate to have had five books published. Four collections: “Resilience” by Bridge House Publishing, “Periodic Stories” by Impspired”, “Periodic Stories Volume 2” by Impspired, “Short Stuff” by Chapeltown Books and a novella, “Something Better” by Dark Myth Publications. 

A continuing response by writers to the Covid19 pandemic in 2020 and during the ongoing aftershocks in 2021, this collection is of work by writers we have published before and whom we trust, and their trusted colleagues. When disasters strike writers respond and react in words. They share with us their hopes and fears. They describe and rationalise.


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