This week, I’m very happy to showcase and review a new book. Compiled during the Coronavirus lockdown that started in March 2020, its a collaborative effort between a lot of talented authors and bloggers.
The collection has been put together by Marjorie Mallon, I’ll leave it to her to introduce it.
Thank you to Richard, (who is an awesome contributing author,) for hosting me at his lovely blog today to talk about: This Is Lockdown.
This project has grown enormously! It started off as a popular series on my blog, in which writers and authors shared their thoughts about isolation during COVID19. At the time, I was writing my COVID19 personal diaries, flash fiction, poetry, and short stories to take my mind off the sad news reports and escalating deaths. It didn’t occur to me that this coping mechanism would become a published book! As the contributions grew, I realised that this lovely project had the potential to become much more… Not only that, but it could connect a diverse bunch of authors who might never have discovered each other if it weren’t for COVID19.
This is Lockdown is an anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK. This Is Lockdown is written from a writer’s perspective highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse of the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I also discuss the handling of the pandemic and my thoughts on what might happen next. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.
The wonderful contributing authors and creatives are many in number!
Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Author,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction,) Fi Phillips , (Author, Copy Writer) Jeannie Wycherley, (dark stories, suspense, horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (urban fiction, teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/author,) Peter Taylor- Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit romance, poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger and Doctural Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (author name: Katie Hutton,) (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (huge supporter of indie community/blogger/author) Debby Gies (D G Kaye), (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, horror, urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (blogger, poet and writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African Storyteller,) Frank Prem (Poet, Author,) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) and Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks 4 NHS
I arranged the book into two sections. The first half is a compilation of my personal diaries, poems and photography and an anthology of writings about isolation from contribution authors, their poignant poetry and thoughts at this time.
My diaries in This Is Lockdown are expressed from a writer’s perspective, but they are also from a family perspective. They honestly share the manner in which this virus affected my family of four: myself, hubby and our two grown daughters. To date, we have been lucky, and for that I am incredibly grateful. There are anxious moments, sad stories, but there is also a sense of overcoming, hope, and kindness.
This Is Lockdown releases on 20th July, it is on preorder until then.
Amazon US link:
I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my parents Paula and Ronald, only sister to my elder brother Donald. I spent my early childhood in a mountainous court dwelling in the Peak District in Hong Kong.
It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six-foot hunk of a Rock God husband. My two enchanted daughters often return with a cheery smile.
Sometimes when the mood takes me, I adopt an alter ego, M J – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes!
When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practice Tai Chi and Yoga. If the mood takes me, I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.
My favourite genres to write are: YA fantasy, magical realism, and various forms of poetry. I blog about books, writing, photography and inspiration at: https://mjmallon.com
I enjoy writing articles celebrating the spiritual realm, my love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious. One of my greatest pleasures is reading. I’ve written over 150 reviews at my lovely blog home: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/
I’m a member of a professional writing body. SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators.
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon
Collaborative Group: https://www.facebook.com/pg/5SpiritualSisters/
This is Lockdown. My thoughts.
When people look back on the events of 2020, books like this will assume a great importance. They will remind us of all the little things that we took for granted and were suddenly gone.
I’ve known Marjorie Mallon for quite a while, I read and enjoyed The Curse of Time, see my review here, and beta read the sequel – which is excellent!
She approached me in March for my thoughts on Lockdown and I was more than pleased to be able to contribute to what was originally a series of guest posts on her website. The fact that it has grown into this book is fabulous, there is so much here that deserves to be read to put the days of March to June 2020 into context.
We start with Marjorie’s diary, a daily recounting of the familiar things that became the early casualties of Lockdown, interspersed with thoughts and the things that we do to try and keep a sense of normality in a world that has lost the meaning of the word. There are snippets of fact and some great pictures as well. It reminds me of the way my thoughts went as the days passed, hopping from subject to subject as I tried to keep busy.
Then we get on to the guest posts from her website, from as diverse a set of authors and bloggers as you could find, all with a lockdown tale to tell or some wisdom to impart. As authors, we make things up, these pieces reveal life as unexpected as any fiction and reveal how we cope and deal with a new normal.
As well as the stories of everyday life, there’s a lot of quality poetry from a varied selection of people and to finish, flash fiction and poetry from Marjorie herself, which will be familiar to readers of her novels.
It’s hard to pick out a piece and say “that’s the best” because they’re all good. And it would also seem a little unfair, as everyone’s story or contribution was so important.
This is a great record of a society in flux. You need to read this.
Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.
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