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Encore: Authors reflect on writing during the pandemic

Lynette Austin (left) and Brandi George (right) in studio for Gulf Coast Life
Tara Calligan
Lynette Austin (left) and Brandi George (right) in studio for Gulf Coast Life

This episode originally aired on January 12, 2022.

Life has changed for all of us in some ways over the past two years as the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the world. From wearing masks in public and social distancing, to being told to work from home when before the pandemic that might not even have been an option.

And these times have also added additional layers of stress due to concern for our own health, and for the well-being of those around us.

We explore what these times have been like for writers, who generally do their work at home, or in a sort of isolation. Hear from historical fiction author, Marty Ambrose; contemporary romance author,Lynette Austin; and poet Brandi George to get their insights on being a writer during a global pandemic.


  • Marty Ambrose, award-winning author of a historical mystery trilogy: Claire's Last Secret, Forever Past, and A Shadowed Fate, all set around the Byron/Shelley circle in nineteenth-century Italy. Teaches English at Florida Southwestern State College. Her book, A Shadowed Fate, recently won a Royal Palm Literary Award from The Florida Writers Association for published historical fiction.
  • Brandi George, poet. Her first book of poetry, Gog (2015), won the gold medal in the Florida Book Awards, and her second collection, Faun, is a play in verse (Plays Inverse, 2019). Her poems have appeared in such journals as Gulf Coast, Prairie Schooner, Best New Poets 2010, Ninth Letter, Columbia Poetry Review, and The Iowa Review. She has been awarded residencies at Hambidge Center for the Arts and the Hill House ISLAND residency, and the Time & Place Award in France. She teaches writing at FSW in Fort Myers, Florida.
  • Lynette Austin. Her books have finaled in Romance Writers of America’s national Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. Her books written as Lynnette Hallberg include Enchanted Evening from Kensington, Moonlight, Motorcycles, and Bad Boys, Chantilly Lace and A Pretty Face, and Night Shadows from The Wild Rose Press, and Just A Little White Lie from Carina Press.

    Also author of Must Love Babies series: Must Love Babies, I've Got You, Babe, Magnolia Brides Series: The Best Laid Wedding Plans, Every Bride Has Her Day, Picture Perfect Wedding, and Maverick Junction Series: Somebody Like You, Nearest Thing to Heaven, Can't Stop Lovin' You