There isn’t a soul on this earth that hasn’t been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another. Be it isolation for themselves and or loved ones, personal reflection, fear, finances, grief, dodgy mental health… the list goes on and on. Its safe to say that 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic will go down in history as a very tough time to survive not only because of the illness but because of its direct effects on society in literally every other way imaginable. I’ve seen M.J. Mallon’s name has been floating around for quite some time now. I follow her blog, but I’ve also seen her mentioned in several other places and the reviews of her books are impressive. I struggled to decide on which one of her books to read first. She’s usually a fiction writer, and her line up of titles look absolutely intriguing!!
The reason that I chose This is Lockdown as my first Mallon read is because I was yet to dive into any of the COVID related books that seem to be releasing left and right. I’ve been curious to pick one up, so I thought why not choose one by an author that’s received so much praise all around. I’m glad that I picked this book up. It’s personal and I feel like I’ve been given the beautiful gift of insight into Mallon’s heart, soul, and day to day life during a time that has been trying to everyone. I love her attitude to the whole global situation that we’ve been faced with. She’s positive, and although clearly fearful at first – like the rest of us, and rightfully so – she was able to prioritize her time and appreciate the people who matter most to her.
It starts out as mostly journal entries with lots of helpful links sprinkled inside to guide the reader to informative and helpful places to research and enjoy. There’s also an account of COVID cases and deaths in certain places that are dated so it puts things in perspective as you read through. There are also several instalments of short reads, poetry, and mentions of and from several other authors.
Writers around the globe have either had way more time on their hands than usual, or quite the opposite. Their workloads have increased immensely and fitting in the time to pursue their passion has been dampened and directly impacted. I love that M.J. covered this angle during the pandemic, especially as I’ve read this book and am writing this review in the fall of 2020 – right as another wave is just beginning to strike. Sick season settles in and COVID has yet to be tamed properly by healthcare professionals. It’s nice to see other writers like myself pushing through the tough times.
I highly recommend this book as a personal account of the early stages of our 2020 pandemic, as a reference for TONS of informative links, and as inspiration to everyone. We’re in this together as the popular ‘alonetogether’ hashtag states – and Mallon did a phenomenal job of inspiring survivors, uplifting/including fellow writers, and drawing up an account of what global tragedy can do to the everyday family.
5 stars for me, and I look forward to reading one of M.J.’s fictional books!
“A Piece of Living History!”
This anthology and compilation is for everyone, wherever you live in the world. We are all experiencing the impact of COVID19 and lockdown. As writers, bloggers and creatives we express our thoughts and opinions in writing: in heartfelt poetry, pieces on isolation and the impact of COVID19 and the ‘new normal.’ There are twenty eight talented contributors, including the creative NHS Mask Making Fundraising Team of Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago Val. The contributors come from as far afield as Australia, Canada, USA and Zimbabwe, or closer to my current home in England – in Ireland, Scotland and Italy.
It is as Willow Willers, a contributor said, ‘A piece of living history.’
This extraordinary and unexpected time period will be shared with future generations one day.
Compiling and editing this anthology has given me a purpose over the period of Lockdown and for that I am grateful.
It is an anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, poetry and flash fiction set during extraordinary times. This Is Lockdown is written from many perspectives, including a writer’s perspective highlighting the day-to-day life and struggles experienced during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse into the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I discuss the handling of the pandemic and my opinion about what might happen next. In the final part of the book I share my latest short story: a YA romance set post lockdown along with poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.
“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.”
“MJ Mallon begins this heartening book with a stunning foreword to mark the times that are sure to become part of a testament of our times in history on the 2020 global pandemic Covid19 that has rocked our collective world.”
“I was fortunate to have an opportunity to read an early copy of this book and was delighted to see the author putting this collection out into the world. A highly recommended read that I imagine readers of the future looking to”’
“’It’s a privilege to be a small part of this book as one of the ‘isolation writers.’ It feels like contributing to a little piece of history for the future. Fascinating to read all the thoughts and musings and feel that none of us were ever really alone.”
The full list of contributors: 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 author,) Fi Phillips ,(Author, Copy Editor,) 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, Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (Huge supporter of indie community/Blogger/Author) 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,) Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks for The NHS .