posted on July 29, 2021 by Julie Hammerle

How to write about the pandemic without writing about the pandemic.

Hi! Thank you, Writerspace, for giving me the chance to say a few words about my new book from Entangled Publishing, IT’S RAINING MEN. It’s the story of a doctor who, after a night of too much tequila, texts a bunch of men in her address book, asking them to marry her…and she’s shocked to discover a few of them are on board.

I wrote the original draft of this book way back in the halcyon days of 2018. My, we were so innocent then! The premise came to me in an undeveloped flash: I’d write a story about a woman approaching forty, who decides to cash in on one of her (multiple) backup husband agreements.

I knew I wanted her to be a strong, independent, professionally successful woman, and…that was it. I had a very tough time rationalizing why a woman who possessed all those characteristics would feel the need to latch on to a dude. She’d been fine all this time, so why…now?

Enter the pandemic.

In March 2020, we all found ourselves confined to one space—with our spouses and kids, our roommates, the guy we just met a few months ago, our parents, our dogs, or…no one.

While many people weathered their solo situation with aplomb, I could imagine a scenario where—please, no—someone might find herself back in a long-term quarantine situation and feel the need to couple up quick. Or she might preemptively avoid the shutdown shuffle by trying to find a mate now, while restaurants and bars are still open.

In IT’S RAINING MEN, Annie’s best friend and long-term roommate has to leave town for a few months to take care of an ailing parent. Annie suddenly finds herself alone in her big, old house. She has other friends and her mom in her life, but they’re busy with their own families, friends, and responsibilities. She has work and TV and that’s it. She learns to dread the isolation.

So when her best friend comes home after three months and announces that she’s getting married and moving out to the country, Annie panics. She fears loneliness, and she knows she can’t count on her other friends to be there for her at a moment’s notice. She needs a person who is all hers, and she his. She needs a mature, single man, who’s in the same position she is, someone who’s ready to escape the dating rat race and dive headfirst into pure, unadulterated commitment.

Of course, it’s not that easy, and Annie starts to question what she wants and who she wants to do it with, but her decision to settle down is born out of the fear of what happens if she finds herself alone again.

We’re all older and wiser now, so I’m wondering: What was something you learned about yourself during the pandemic? What would you do differently—please, again, no—if you’re forced into lockdown once more?

Leave a comment for the chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card. And, in the meantime, pick up a copy of IT’S RAINING MEN. We all could use a lighthearted, sexy romp right about now!

Julie Hammerle

Julie Hammerle

USA Today bestselling author Julie Hammerle writes young adult novels that focus on nerds, geeks, and basket cases falling in love. On the YA side, she is the author of The Sound of Us (Entangled TEEN, 2016) and the North Pole romance series (Entangled Crush, 2017). For adult romances, check out Knocked-Up Cinderella. A graduate of Butler University with degrees in secondary education and Latin with a minor in music, Julie lives in Chicago with her family and enjoys reading, cooking, and watching all the television.

18 thoughts on “How to write about the pandemic without writing about the pandemic.”

  1. Patricia Lieberman says:

    I don’t think I would do anything differently if we had to lock down again. Cannot really say I learned anything about myself.

  2. Rachel Flesher (aka Raonaid Luckwell) says:

    I worked (at DG) through the last lockdown. We were considered essential. Thankfully, I am no longer there. People, especially those that came into that store, was ridiculous. We were in a lockdown, and I saw the usual people five to six times a day. So, if we had a lockdown, I would stay home, only going out when we really need to. I’m fine with that.

    1. Julie Hammerle says:

      I’m glad you’re out of a bad work situation! All the best to you!

  3. bn100 says:

    not do anything differently

  4. Colleen C. says:

    I had some hits and misses baking, but it was fun.

    1. Julie Hammerle says:

      What was the best thing you baked? I made a few things I really liked–and Portuguese sweet bread, election cake come to mind.

      1. Colleen C. says:

        A chocolate mousse cake, cheesecake ( was a fail, LOL ), pretzels, pizza dough, etc.

  5. Vicki says:

    Sounds like a fun concept for a book! Our house is essentially still on lockdown as I am high-risk and my husband is immune-compromised and even though he got the vaccine they are not sure it worked for him so advised him to still be very careful. We also started our lockdown as soon as the news came about what was going on in China because we knew it was already here at that point so we have been in our home for 18 months now, with only a handful of trips out for necessary medical appointments. We are blessed to live in an area where almost anything can be delivered, and I worked remotely before the pandemic already. I think what we learned is how resilient we really are, and continue to be. We have adapted as best we can, and though we miss family and going out, sometimes quite a lot, we are beyond grateful to be in the situation we are, as many had it much worse.

    1. Julie Hammerle says:

      Wow! Hugs to you! You certainly are resilient!

  6. TJ says:

    Sounds like a fantastic book. I’m going to have to get a copy. I think having no one to talk to would be the worst. Yes, I talk to my dog a lot but to have a soul mate in the same frame of mind I am would be a great comfort. And watch out post-quarantine.

    1. Julie Hammerle says:

      I have a dog, too, and he has been living his best life during quarantine 🙂

      1. Julie Hammerle says:

        Hi, TJ! You’re the gift card winner! Email me at julie.a.hammerle @ gmail. com, so I can send it to you.

  7. GB says:

    I learned that I am more innovative than I imagined under the right (desperate) circumstances. And I would hope to have more in perennial food plants in my garden for any future lockdown. Next time I will likely keep some sunchoke plants and a larger selection of herbs in my garden.

    1. Julie Hammerle says:

      Kudos to you for gardening! I wish I had the patience. It probably would’ve been much better for my overall health to focus on growing herbs instead of baking cakes and bread 🙂

  8. Lisa says:

    The lockdown was extremely hard on us as my husband was advised by his doctors to stop working due to his recent and dangerous lung abscess caused by an odd bacterial infection. He had been hospitalized foe that. So he was jobless and over the year we had to sell our truck and our home after our savings dwindled and unemployment didn’t come. I took an extra online job to help with my retirement income. We also could not see my father who was 98 and still had all memory functions was in a nursing home. He was so lonely. What would I do differently? I would have probably moved in with my daughter or son and helped them with home schooling and we would have had my dad move in too. I would have made a bigger bubble of all of us in one place. Family is so much more important than the things we had and I still believe that. We didn’t lose anyone to COVID, just stuff, and for that we are lucky.

    1. Julie Hammerle says:

      I’m so sorry that you had to deal with so much during the pandemic! And, yes, family is so important, if you can manage having them around.

  9. Rachel Kennedy says:

    That I should not be allowed to work in such close proximity to the fridge and snacks! I am now trying to run off all the extra food I ate!
    We started doing family Zoom meetings and is really nice to see everyone on screen as the same time rather than separate phone calls, so we will keep these scheduled in.

    1. Julie Hammerle says:

      Amen to that food comment! We also did family Zoom trivia on Friday nights early on in the pandemic, which I loved, but that didn’t last long. I think we need to bring it back 🙂

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