The Girl With All The Gifts: A Book Review

Hi guys! 

With just under a week to go until the movie hits UK cinemas what better time to talk about the book. 

The Girl With All The Gifts is about a 10-year old girl called Melanie who is kept in a cell and doesn’t think she’s any different than other kids her age. 

She’s not. 

She sits in a classroom and is taught by a different range of teachers, her favourite being Miss Justineau who treats her like a human being instead of a threat. 

Like her classmates she is a zombie, but she can think and has feelings. 

Some of the staff disagree, however. 

One of those is Dr. Caldwell whose job is to remove the brains of the children to find a cure for humanity. Her particular interest is in Melanie. 

The story is full of twists and turns as the base is infiltrated with hungries. They are forced to exist outside where it is dangerous and their only option is to head for Beacon. Question is do they make it out alive and will Dr. Caldwell get Melanie as her prize? 

I’m not going to reveal the ending. That would just be cruel. I personally love this. The relationship between Melanie and Miss Justineau is just heartwarming and adds a tenderness to the story. The mention of Pandora and Greek Myths was also a quick pathway to my interests. 

I cannot wait to see this although I have my doubts that it will live up to the book, but I’ll remain optimistic. 

If you haven’t read it I highly recommend you pick it up right now and read it. 

If you have read it what did you think? 

Let me know in the comments below! 

Until next week, 



Thinking It Over – Receiving Feedback


Hi guys!

Let’s imagine this situation.

You’ve sent your work in progress to a beta reader or editor. You’ve put it to the back of your mind until you get the dreaded notification. Your work’s back.


Instead of opening it right away you avoid it like the plague, imagining all sorts of hideous things. You distract yourself as best you can when a voice starts to nag you to look at it.

‘It might not be so bad.’

‘It could be really positive.’

With a cup of coffee (or tea, whichever you prefer) you sit down to open the email.

I still do this now, even though I’ve been asking for feedback for years. I’ve only had a couple of really bad critiques of which I’m thankful for.

But how do you handle receiving feedback?

Here are a few tips:

1. Say Thanks.

Whether the outcome is positive or negative say thank you. This person has taken the time to read your work. That’s what I always remember. Even if I disagree I find it’s common courtesy.

2. Don’t Argue.

This can make you come across as unapproachable. You don’t need to defend your work to said person because you know where you’re coming from. Explain if there’s confusion, but don’t tell them that their wrong or stupid for not seeing what you see.

3. Take Time To Evaluate Each Point.

There’s no denying that feedback can make a book better. However, it’s important to remember that a person’s feedback is just an opinion. You can agree or disagree. If the person says that they found the pacing slow re read it and check. If a comment is repeated, then it’s important to pay attention to that as well.

4. Ask What They Would Change Or Do Differently

It’s always good to have a second opinion. Sometimes the person giving you feedback will come up with an idea that intrigues you to experiment. It can also draw attention to an area that you never thought about doing differently.

5. Update The Person Giving You Feedback.

This is only an option. I do this if someone asks me to or if I find that a part of their criticism was integral to my story improving.

These are just some of the things I go by when I receive feedback.

I hope they are of use to you.

Until next week,


Thanks to Dariusz Sankowski for the image via

NaNoWriMo: Day Seventeen


Pages: One Hundred and Twenty Five
Word Count: 41,768

Hi guys!

Time for another update. 

I started writing earlier than usual last night so that I could have an early night. I finished at two (not very early but better than half six), had a hot drink while colouring then hit the road to Bedfordshire.

Getting to sleep still wasn’t that easy.

To make things worse, just when I was about to drop off I was disturbed by a vision of a story idea. They have a habit of doing that, don’t they? So annoying. I wrote it down and tried to go back to sleep.

I had been hoping to have an early start but with the trouble I had getting to sleep I was exhausted. Not helped by the fact that I’d not had a great dream, either.

You know what it’s like when you’re trying to not think about someone and they pop in to your dreams showing you exactly what you don’t want to see? That’s what happened to me.

Not surprising to say that I feel a bit vulnerable because of that.

Still, the show must go on. Unfortunately. 

Happy Writing!

Until tomorrow,


Finished Manuscripts


Hi guys!

I have finally managed to finish my Work In Progress, my novel, Pandora’s Kiss.

The one above is my handwrriten draft –

Pages – 142
Words – Unknown

The one below is my typed draft –

Pages – 260
Words – 85,939

I originally finished it last week but didn’t post what with introducing the Protectors of Aidan.

Now it is all tucked away in one of my drawers in my study. I have taken a week off to give my brain a bit of time to think of other things other than writing. That, in itself, has been very difficult. To work on something for three months without a break and then to come away into not having anything occupying your brain is truly odd.

That’s not to say that I’ve not thought about it. The odd idea has flitted through the net once or twice but nothing outstanding has hit me as of yet.

With National Novel Writing Month just around the corner maybe it’s just as well.

Maybe short story writing might be something to practise while I wait patiently for NaNoWriMo. It’s never been one of my strong points.

Have a great week!