Q & A with D.G. Kaye Featuring Marjorie Mallon – This is Lockdown #Anthology

Welcome to a special edition of Q & A this week as I feature Marjorie Mallon, my Fey sister and friend with her hot new release – This is Lockdown: Covid19 Diaries. Marje and I also run the ABRSC blogger group on Facbook, and the Spiritual Sisters page, links at the bottom of this post. This book has been a labor of love for Marje who has written this book with a collaboration of several author’s entries, including mine, and her documented diaries of her experiences living through the Covid19, along with heartfelt testaments from others, poetry and short stories told in Flash/Nonfiction forms in this beautiful anthology that will serve to document the times in our lives. I just finished reading this book and I will have a review up for this Sunday Book Review.       About Marje: 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.     Universal Link:  mybook.to/Thisislockdown   Blurb: 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 full list of authors are: 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 .   So let us get into some Q & A with Marje and learn more about her inspiration for this book and more about her writing.   Thank you so much to my lovely friend Debby, a contributing author, for inviting me over to talk about This Is Lockdown.       Do events in your daily life inspire your writing ideas? Yes, absolutely, Debby. This Is Lockdown was inspired by Coronavirus and the situation we are in. Events in my daily life inspire my writing ideas. Normally, I am a visual writer inspired by the unusual, or the beautiful. In this case, my writing muse came from a deeper, more internal place. I looked within, but also observed what I could on my frequent walks in our Cambridgeshire village in the UK. I’m lucky to have a river nearby and a beautiful country park with lakes, swans, geese and ducks. The pace of life slowed down, and I noticed curious stone frogs and the like, which I probably wouldn’t have noticed before. D.G. – Our senses are heightened when we stop and take a pause, so no doubts Marje. I’m sure every single person on this planet has been affected in different ways. This is a beautiful book for documenting history. <3   What’s your opinion on self-publishing? I’m becoming more and more fond of it! I appreciate the freedom it gives. I can publish what I like, when I like. I can choose my title, cover, (even create it myself if I wish,) and format it in the way that I want. All those decisions are mine. For me, self-publishing is also a great confidence booster. You develop the tools to become a writer/publisher/marketing expert. There are so many new skills: formatting, creating a cover (I created the cover for This Is Lockdown myself,) designing promotional graphics (I use Canva ,) for blog tour headers, review memes. With self publishing, I am the boss! I love that. D.G. – I agree with all you said. And wow, you did a fab job with the cover!     Is there something you wish you were better at with the self-publishing process? It is a never ending learning process. I’ve always wanted to be a perpetual student! I am getting there. I’ve learnt so much during Lockdown. I’ve been lucky to have the time during my furlough from work to dedicate to writing, and to blogging. Normally, I work long hours in an international school in Cambridge, leaving me little time to do anything. There are many new skills I’d love to add to my tool box –  I’d love to learn how to design a paperback cover.  And, I’d love to become more skilled at increasing readership to my blog newsletters. I just started my newsletters during Lockdown. It has been on my to do list for forever! I feared this more than anything. So, when I created my first newsletter, it made me feel like cracking open the champagne. To date, it was the hardest blog admin I’ve ever done.  Oh, and I’d love to do more videos. This is the first one I’ve done, (my daughter created it for me, for our local village, Online Fayre.) It isn’t perfect (we were on a tight time frame,) but it’s our first attempt and I’m proud of that. She did a wonderful job. D.G. – Fabulous Marje! There is just so much that comes with the self-pub business. If we learned all the dynamics, we’d never have time to write! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tt08n0wZ_OOo0U6DhpBIzVvbxgFlncb2/view?usp=shari   How has writing changed your life? Massively, I am not the same person I was. I have changed so much. I’d describe myself as a much more contented person. It is as if I have been waiting for this moment all my life! Sometimes, I wonder why have I wasted so many years being that ‘other’ person. But then I let it go. Life is too short for regrets. It is enough that I have found myself NOW. D.G. – You’ve got that right girl!   Do you agree with the general consensus that writers are loners? Ah, yes and no Debby. I enjoy my own company, but I wouldn’t say I’m a loner. I am quite sociable; I love going out with friends and family for meals and entertainment. I miss engaging with a wide circle of friends: old friends that I’ve had since the children were young, old school friends, blogging pals, writer friends, (in person at blogger bash, and SCBWI events,) you name it! And yet I’d say that writers are happy to be alone – that’s the difference. We have our writing, our books, our muse… Isolation for writers and creatives isn’t easy, but we cope better than most. So, I discovered a way to connect during COVID19. This Is Lockdown was my way of coping. I reached out to the writing and creative community. I’m so glad that I did! This project has been such an enormous boost to my morale at a time when I needed it most. Coronavirus continues to be the most frightening time of my life. I hope it helps others to connect in this way. This Is Lockdown is a true account of diaries, poems, writings, short pieces and thoughts on isolation. It is a touch of positivity amongst all the sadness. Also, it highlights a wonderful initiative by Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val. They share their story of the fundraising masks for the NHS. To date, they have raised £30,000 for the National Health Service. Here I am wearing one of their colourful masks: D.G. – I concur. I too am both and extrovert and introvert. I need my social outings, but also my quiet time to work.   The fabulous authors/bloggers and creatives together, the contributors are: 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.   First Review: Adele Park 5.0 out of 5 stars What we did in the Lockdown Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 July 2020 Verified Purchase This is lockdown is a collection of diary entries, poems and photos from a collection of authors under the umbrella of M J Mallon. This is a definitive look at what the real people did during the lockdown, which is still in place in certain parts of the country. The writings and musings offer a real look at how people felt, what they did or couldn’t do and all delivered from different voices. From the day to day struggles, worries, and laughter to poems which will make you laugh, think and cry. This is a wonderful book I thoroughly enjoyed and I will keep going back to read again and again. Excerpts:   Behind The Mask by Sherri Matthews Based in the UK © Sherri Matthews   Covid-19 struck and with it lockdown. I didn’t … Continue reading Q & A with D.G. Kaye Featuring Marjorie Mallon – This is Lockdown #Anthology