Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

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

Toady…do childhood memories inspire?

March 8, 2013

 Toady – definition: a person who flatters another in the hopes of receiving favors.

The-Wind-in-the-WillowsMy first thought when I read this word was Toad of Toad Hall. It was a favorite book when I was growing up – Wind in the Willows. Fascinating animal characters in a natural environment. Then the realization came that my current project is about animal characters in a forest helped by woodland sprites. Is there a sub-conscious link to my childhood do you think? I hadn’t thought of Toad and his friends in more decades than I care to mention but maybe they linger in the depths of my mind. I had thought I was writing this particular story because my parents were always very keen for  my siblings and I to understand and appreciate the natural world around us. Possibly it is a combination of the two. I have passed on my parents legacy to my children and my current project, Ockleberries to the Rescue is partly inspired by the stories I told them when they were little. Their favorite outing was always a wildlife park preferring them over zoos. The animals have so much more space to live in.

Could our current themes or genres be influenced by childhood memories and favorite books? My pal, Vikki at The View Outside discussed favorite books from childhood in a recent post so I thought it only fitting to put it here.

When you consider what you write now is there any link to your childhood? It may not be so startling obvious as mine is in regard to my current project but what are the underlying traits in your work?

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