Tuesday, 21 July 2020

The Write Stuff with... M. J. Mallon

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about This Is Lockdown on your blog, Sharon.

This Is Lockdown is a compilation/anthology of twenty-nine authors, bloggers and creatives from the UK, US, Australia, Zimbabwe and Italy.

How did it come about?

I’d started writing my COVID diaries and asked fellow authors to answer this question:

How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.

I featured many authors on my blog, and these ‘isolation writers,’ contributed their pieces to the anthology.

So, encouraged by this, I kept on writing short stories, flash fiction and poetry. I compiled these pieces of writing and photographs from my walks in This Is Lockdown and included the ‘isolation writers’ and several other pieces and poetry from authors and bloggers.

Here’s one of the excerpts:

It’s a poem from author Adele Marie Park:

World End

Rain falls on parched empty streets,

A child’s face framed by a window, eyes watch,
No school today no chance of play either,
A frown creases an unlined brow,
Not understanding, but sensing echoes of adult fear,
Something is very wrong in this new world,
The grown ups cry and they shout,
She turns away from the grey wet streets,
And wishes and wishes for the old world again.

© Adele Marie Park

I doubt I would have attempted to compile an anthology/compilation if it wasn’t for my recent experiences being part of two anthology groups: Ghostly Rites and more recently Dan Alatorre's horror anthology Nightmareland.

Claire of Plaisted Publishing House runs Ghostly Writers, a group for budding anthology writers. I’ve enjoyed being a part of this group and have contributed a poem and two short stories to Claire’s anthologies. I’d recommend it as a good opportunity to learn the process of anthology writing and the marketing behind it. 

I was touched when USA Today Best Selling Author Dan Alatorre invited me to contribute to his anthology Nightmareland. It was somewhat unexpected as I’d never written horror before! I write dark YA fantasy… I’m so glad that I did. Writing works best when you push your boundaries and try new things. It’s perhaps one of the best decisions I’ve made.-

The success of Nightmareland gave me the confidence to compile This Is Lockdown.
Lockdown gave me the time, (I’m on furlough from work) and the material (the impact of COVID19.) I wanted to keep the tone of the collection fairly light but also to make my diaries and pieces an authentic account of my experiences during this time.

All writers find their tribe, those special authors who give their time and energy to the writing community. Writing can be a lonely business, so it is important to find that community, either online or in person.

The fabulous authors, bloggers and creatives who’ve contributed their isolation pieces, poetry and writings to This Is Lockdown - I’d like to give a shout out to them all.  

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 Doctoral 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.

And here is This Is Lockdown:

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.

This Is Lockdown buying Link:
Universal linkmybook.to/Thisislockdown
Amazon UK linkhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08CD1MCFB
Amazon US linkhttps://www.amazon.com/This-Lockdown-COVID19-Diaries-Fiction-ebook

Author Bio

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.

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Instagram: @mjmallonauthor
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreads: M_J_Mallon
BookBub: M. J. Mallon
Collaborative Group: https://www.facebook.com/pg/5SpiritualSisters


  1. Thank you so much for the feature Sharon. Appreciate it. <3

  2. Fantastic, Marjorie, my fingers and toes are crossed for This is Lockdown to be successful. It deserves to be. xxx

    1. Thank you so much Adele. Thanks for contributing your wonderful poem. xx

  3. Great post on a slice of living history.

    1. Thanks so much Willow. Thanks for coining such a wonderful phrase. <3 x

  4. Thanks for the feature Sharon and support for the anthology.. a wonderful project and thanks to Marje for bringing us all together.