Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Stories That Stay With You…

September 19, 2014

I read with interest this article regarding Lord of the Flies by William Golding’s hand written manuscript. This story has stayed with me for decades not just because of the subject matter but how the author developed the characters with such exquisite detail. It is a testament to Golding’s skill that the book is famous and referred to in numerous classrooms.

This is the article:


 Did you read it for school or later?

Has the story stayed with you?

What other books have left a lasting impression on you?

For me there is Stig of the Dump, Hiawatha, Wind in the Willows, and Jack & Jill and the Friendly Badger (this lead to a night visit to a badger sett when I was a child – an incredible experience) HiawathaStig_Dump


jack & JillWhat is your favorite?

Do you still have the original book?  I do have Hiawatha – it was first prize for a drawing competition in primary school…no I’m telling how long ago that was!






My hope is my delightful story of two woodland sprites and their animal friends in Ockleberries to the Rescue ( will give children the same sort of pleasure and lasting memories.


Book cover


“They used to call me Piggy!'” – William Golding, Lord of the Flies, Ch. 1

“He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling.”
– William Golding, Lord of the Flies, Ch. 4

“‘Maybe there is a beast….maybe it’s only us.'”
– William Golding, Lord of the Flies, Ch. 5


Today’s prompt: Write a description of your favorite childhood story adn why you love it.



Fantasy Is An Authors Tool – Use Yours..!

April 21, 2014

articlesFantasical creatures are not only fun but excellent sources for works of fiction. Whether you still hold the childlike wonder of fairies, elves, mermaids or unicorns in your imagination or utilize myths and legends in history, there is a delight in bringing such creatures alive within your narrative.

I will admit to loving the fantasy world and wish the inhabitants of such classics as Alice in Wonderland, Stig of the Dump, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, Wind in the Willows and the like, were indeed real.


Can you imagine what the world would be like if they walked among us? 

We can immerse ourselves in these kind of worlds through books and movies and many have become ‘lifelike’ to many, such as the werewolves and vampires in the current popular genre.

As writers we spend a lot of time in make believe and that is perfectly fine. There may even be a fine line between our two worlds, where our characters and their setting become real to us. Upon finishing a project there is a sadness to the leaving that world behind. (Unless you are writing a series!)

No matter your device to telling your story, fantasy is a large part of it no matter which genre you are writing because we create everything within our narrative from stratch. Although, inspiration can come from a line, a character we love and want to develop or from a memory. Our imagination is our most important tool.

What magical creatures have you written about?


An author who knew this magic and sadly passed away.ía-márquez-conjurer-of-magic-realism-dies-at-87-114041900068_1.html

February 15, 2013

This brought up memories for me and I’m sure it will do the same for you! I read a great deal as a child and will have to look deeply into which books were the top for me. However, one does ring out – Stig of the Dump – I even re-read it last year! Now to discover the meanings for me…I’ll be back. Have fun with this exercise.

Stig of the Dump, Front

Stig of the Dump, Front (Photo credit: the justified sinner)

The View Outside

I came across an exercise recently in The Daily Writer which asked the following questions:

Think back to a favourite book from your childhood.
How did it affect you?
What did you learn?
Has it influenced your life?

I scoffed, I truly did! Yeah, like a book I read as a child could still be having an impact on me now? Ha ha ha, influenced my life? *mutter grumble* And then I wrote down in my notebook the 3 books that I loved the most in my childhood…

The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M Boston

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Toms Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce


I had to go and reacquaint my self with these books. Gawd, I haven’t read them for 30+years! So I checked them out on Amazon and Wikipedia….and wow, it all came flooding back!

Ok, you may not be familiar with…

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The Booker Award…

January 26, 2013

My fellow blogger Christi Gerstle at Novel Conclusions ( has been kind enough to award me this award. You will find her blog interesting as well as fun, covering a multitude of aspects of this writing life we live – pop on over.


Now for the award rules : The Booker Award is for book and literary blogs that are at least 50% about books, reading, etc.  On being awarded with the Booker Award, you must share your top five books (and that’s the trouble!) How does a book fanatic chose only five? Each decade of my life I have had books I re-read time and time again and I can assure you that would be a very long list. So I am going to list the ones I return to because they delight me. You will notice one is a children’s book and I’m not ashamed to admit I still love reading it.

1. Stig of the Dump by Clive King

2. The Dome by Stephen King

3. Ferney by James Long

4. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

5. The Lilac Bus by Maeve Binchy

Now the next hard question…who is your favorite author and why?

I will have to say Stephen King tops my particular bill. His expertise in creating a relationship between reader and character has me in awe. Each character, whether good or bad provokes a reaction and that is great writing.


I struggled with this question. Which is your favorite genre?

To be truthful I don’t have one favorite. I read what appeals at the time I am browsing the shelves but I don’t seem to read mysteries. Not sure why.

Now the fun part choosing who I can share this award with…

Linda at

Vikki at

Jennifer at

Rebecca at

Ed at

Have fun with it people…

Blog at