These are difficult times, and not a little scary, as I’m sure you’re finding. I find that every time I try to think about all this madness too hard, my head hurts from the enormity of it. On the one hand, me and mine are healthy, I’m working from home (and getting a fair chunk of writing done) and we have at least two rolls of toilet paper. But it’s hard to look at the world outside and not feel a fair chunk of despair.

As someone who’s spent the last ten years or so writing about the end of the world, I wish I could say that I’m taking the current coronavirus panic in my stride, but like everyone else, I’m not. I’ve been alternating between trying to be as productive as possible with this suddenly confined time and staring at the screen permanently attached to my hand as it spews blue light and bad news directly into my brain. One of these activities is definitely healthier than the other.

I’ve been thinking a bit about how I can help with all this. Obviously, it’s staying indoors, socially distancing, not panic buying, keeping up payments to local businesses, all that kind of thing. But what else can I do? Well, I guess it’s words. We all need a distraction right now. And we all need hope. And, if there’s one thing my books are about, it’s hope. About people pulling together in the face of adversity, staring that motherfudger down and saying… No.

I can’t follow the suit of a lot of other writers out there at the moment and offer my books for free to everyone. I just can’t. I suspect that before too long I’m going to really need to have this writing business not just as a side-gig but as my full-time income, and that’s pretty terrifying. But at the same time, I want to give back and help in whatever tiny way I can.

So, here’s the deal. If you’re someone for who doesn’t know where the next cheque is coming from right now, who’s finding this all a bit much and just wants a world that isn’t this one to fall into for a while, please email paul (at) paulstephensonbooks dot com and I’ll send you as many books as you want, for free. No questions asked.

But if you can manage a few quid and you’re looking for something to distract from *flails wildly* all of this, now would be a really good time to pick up a book of mine from your favourite digital retailer or order a paperback from Amazon.

What should you buy? Well, here are your options:

Blood on the Motorway Trilogy

My apocalyptic thriller trilogy set across a Britain ravaged by apocalyptic storms. Oh, and there’s a killer on the loose, too.

Buckle up for an apocalyptic thrill ride to find out who will survive this epic trilogy of murder at the world’s end. Readers have called it a ‘totally compelling story.

Lots of twists, turns, and cliff-hangers, with a mixture of likable characters and some you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.’

You can pick up the whole trilogy for only £/$6.99 in ebook, which means for the price of a bottle of wine you can have three complete novels, and you’ll be getting them for roughly 20% off the normal asking price. Can’t say much fairer than that!

Welcome to Discovery Park

If you want something as far removed from the current news climate as you can, this is the book for you. Chronicling my increasingly frustrated attempt to listen to every album on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of all-time list, it looks at why we feel the need to quantify and rank our art, revels in the complex musical world we live in, and wonders why anyone would voluntarily listen to Bono.

It’s even had a thumbs up from Michael Legge, the Sony Award-winning presenter of the funniest podcast in the whole world, Do The Right Thing: ‘Even though Paul likes Pearl Jam, he’s really, really funny.’

Which you can imagine brightened my day somewhat.

If that’s not enough for you, why not sign up to my mailing list and get three exclusive short stories completely free?

These are scary times, my friends, but we will get through them. As my favourite radio doctor is fond of saying; ‘It’ll all be alright in the end. And if it isn’t alright, it isn’t the end.’

Stay safe, stay indoors, stay healthy.

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