CampNaNo, Writing and Me

CampNaNoWriMo July


So, I’m late signing up, but I bit the bullet and did it this morning. I’m camping as of tomorrow. Are any of my fellow writers camping in July? Let me know. I’m interested in joining some encouraging, fun cabins.

I’ve set my target at 25k for the month as I have a lot of Mummy duties in July with it being the last month of school before the 6 week holidays- sports day, Race for Life, Induction days etc etc. But 25k would see my first draft of Thrown to The Blue nearly finished. You never know I might smash my target, but I made it achievable and I’m happy with that.

Any CampNaNo tips? If you are signed up give me a shout.


Book Reviews, Books and Me

June Reads Round Up


Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger


My full review: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge

I gave this book 3/5. The concept was innovative and fun, but I found the world building slightly unbelievable. Some good character development, but some not so good. Quick, easy read.


Unknown by Phil Price


My full review: Unknown

I gave this book 5/5. Many POV’s woven into a master tale of vampires, other worlds, and blood harvesting. Many stories could be stand alone from throughout the eras, but the more you read, the more intricately everything is linked.

The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irina Brignull

13451099_1200272576690824_694634852_nMy full review: The Hawkeeed Prophecy

I gave this book 3/5. I enjoyed the fantasy aspect of the story, and how well teen issues have been woven into a tale of witches, spells, and prophecy. Some relationships felt a little awkward, and the narrative felt rushed in places. A book that doesn’t transcend the age range, but I believe would be enjoyable to young teens.

The Story Traveller by Max Candee

13444163_1200438200007595_49741606_nMy full review: The Story Traveller

I gave this book 3/5. Detailed world building and imaginative characters. A few too many info dumps for my liking, and a contradictory protagonist. A read for teens with an innovative concept.


The Dark Side by Anthony O’Neill

13510714_1205895482795200_2010087657_nMy full review: The Dark Side

I gave this book 4/5. Well thought out, believable dystopian future. A colonised moon loaded with criminals! Gotham City meets Las Vegas. Sci-fi noir with healthy dollops of humour and a very high death count. Thoroughly enjoyed this read.


The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R Carey

13553382_1209905312394217_1733002327_nMy full review:

I gave this book 5/5. Not what I expected, but in a good way. Unique take on the zombie novel with science woven in. Small group of well developed characters and multiple POVs. Could not put this book down.


Have you read any of my June reads? What did you think? Do you have any recommendations for me because I’m always looking to add to be TBR pile *cough*.

Find me on Goodreads and Pinterest to keep up with my reading list and reviews.

Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R.Carey

The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R.Carey 5/5

13553382_1209905312394217_1733002327_nMelanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.


I did not know this was an apocalyptic Zombie story! The front cover doesn’t give anything away, however, seeing as I love a good zombie novel, I was ecstatic. Even more so to start reading and think, ‘this is the best zombie-esque novel I have read since Stephen King’s Cell in 2006. Yep, ten years, multiple zombie novels read, and only now have I found another gem.

This is the first book in a long time that I have been reluctant to put down. The pace is perfect- finding out just enough at just the right time. I read half the book in one sitting just to find out that little bit more every so often.

Carey’s skill at expressing the thoughts of a ten year old girl, Melanie, is spot on, and captured her fixation with a particular teacher who shows kindness where the others saw the children as monsters. There are multiple POVs and each character offers something to the narrative, and all are well developed throughout the novel.

The science behind the infection is all too real. Ophiocordyceps are a parasitic fungus with some species that can infect insects and alter their behaviour- basically control them. What would happen if a new species, or should I say undiscovered species, of Ophiocordyceps infected a human? I saw a David Attenborough clip on Ophiocordyceps and it only made the narrative in this novel more believable. I prefer a horror woven with a little science. It makes the whole experience that little more scary.

Okay, I’m raving on and on, but I loved this book. If you’re not a fan of apocalyptic novels or the zombie element, then this isn’t for you. But if like me, you’re a zombie freak and love a bit of end of the world reading, then get this book!


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


Fifty Blog Post Ideas For Writers

This reblog couldn’t have come at a better time. Another friend of mine is looking at setting up a blog and has asked me for some basic post ideas to get her started.

The following list has 50 post ideas- some I have done, some I haven’t. Yes, they may not be original, but it is up to each writer/ blogger to bring something new to the table.

Writerly Bookish Stuff

I have had a request for blog post ideas from a friend and fellow writer who wants to start up their own blog, and build a web platform for themselves and their debut novel. I have been compiling a list of both writing related and personal post ideas since I started blogging, and I am more than happy to share:

  1. Introduction post: about you, your passions, your goals.
  2. A day in the life.
  3. Quotes of the week/ day/ month.
  4. Tip share: share tips you use when writing.
  5. Book reviews.
  6. Word count updates: show your progress on your current work.
  7. Writing space: describe/ photograph your writing space.
  8. Sneak Peeks: What’s in your handbag? What’s in the boot of your car? What’s in your fridge?
  9. Interview a fellow blogger.
  10. Be interviewed by a fellow blogger.
  11. Interview a professional on a topic you want to discuss.
  12. First chapter of your novel: drum up some…

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Dialogue Heavy: Is That a Problem?

My second reblog of the week covers something that is still a source of self doubt for me- dialogue heavy novels. Have a gander and let me know what you think on the topic.

Happy reading.

Writerly Bookish Stuff

Is a dialogue heavy novel a problem? For me, the answer has always been- no. I enjoy dialogue if it’s well written, and I equally enjoy writing dialogue. I get to know my characters from their spoken exchanges; their favourite cuss words, slang terms, and their use of body language in the dialogue tags. I thoroughly enjoy creating their tone and use of vocabulary.

I think it is a reflection of your writing style, and the kind of writer you are. If dialogue is your strong point, then you may tend to veer on the heavy dialogue side, or vice versa. I don’t agree with blathering dialogue that offers nothing to the narrative, but well written, purposeful dialogue can not be a bad thing, right?

Let me know your opinions, as this topic has been the root of many a self-doubt episode during my writing journey. Dialogue heavy novels- yay or nay?

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Writing and Me

Creating Antagonists

Here is my first reblog of the next few weeks. I posted this about a year ago and still stand by my methods for creating antagonists…

Writerly Bookish Stuff

creating antagonists

I  have settled down to write this blog post with a large, steaming mug of tea, so I must be anticipating it to be either lengthy, time consuming, or both. Bear with me on this.

Yesterday, a reader of my eBook, EVO Nation, shared her enjoyment in my development and portrayal of the main antagonist. Hence, why this blog post idea sprang to mind.

In truth, my antagonist was as much a surprise to me when I was writing it as it must be to the reader experiencing it for the first time. In previous posts, I have explained my lack of planning and outlining when it comes to my first draft, and how this can lead to surprising revelations even for me as the author. When I came to the logical conclusion that a certain character had the motivation and means to be my perfect (surprise) antagonist, I felt sick with betrayal…

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