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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100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

Reblog Time


I am busy at the moment- books to write, books to read, child to rear, same old same old, but as the sun is making an appearance (occassionally), we’re trying to make the most of the good weather we do have.

So, I have decided to reblog some of my older posts over the next two to three weeks to free up some time. There will be new book reviews, one new ‘What’s Your Name?’ post, and a ‘Heart Voice’ post, but otherwise I shall be revisiting some older musings.

Keep your eyes peeled for my first reblog tomorrow- it’s all about creating antagonists.


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman


Writing Corner with KJ Chapman

Thanks to Al over at Hyperactive Pandemonium for taking the time to interview me for his ‘Writing Corner’. I had a blast!


Good morning campers. I hope you are all enjoying a great morning.

My guest this week is a brilliant author, an avid reader and reviewer and blogger who I have had the pleasure of reading her first book and great blog posts.

Next week I look forward to reading the second book in her EVO Nation series. It was a fun interview to conduct with great answers where I found out her childhood writing memories and how she manages to juggle her time between projects. Also who would she choose between Doctor Who and Harry Potter? This question and more were answered.

A chat with KJ Chapman

K.J.Chapman is an avid tea drinker, writer, blogger, book lover, Whovian, and author of the EVO Nation Series. Born and raised in Cornwall, England, and with an accent to match, K.J.Chapman is a self-proclaimed fan girl and geek; a lover of everything science…

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Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: The Dark Side by Anthony O’Neill

The Dark Side by Anthony O’Neill 4/5

13510714_1205895482795200_2010087657_nIn this dark and gripping sci-fi noir, an exiled police detective arrives at a lunar penal colony just as a psychotic android begins a murderous odyssey across the far side of the moon.

Purgatory is the lawless moon colony of eccentric billionaire, Fletcher Brass: a mecca for war criminals, murderers, sex fiends, and adventurous tourists. You can’t find better drugs, cheaper plastic surgery, or a more ominous travel advisory anywhere in the universe. But trouble is brewing in Brass’s black-market heaven. When an exiled cop arrives in this wild new frontier, he immediately finds himself investigating a string of ruthless assassinations in which Brass himself—and his equally ambitious daughter—are the chief suspects.

Meanwhile, two-thousand kilometers away, an amnesiac android, Leonardo Black, rampages across the lunar surface. Programmed with only the notorious “Brass Code”—a compendium of corporate laws that would make Ayn Rand blush—Black has only one goal in mind: to find Purgatory and conquer it.

Thanks go to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Dark Side is due for release on June 28th 2016.


The moon has been colonised by humans, but not any ol’ humans- the worst of the worst get exiled to the moon. Fletcher Brass is ‘Lord’ of Purgatory, a lunar colony on The Dark Side with a domed capital city known only as Sin. Think Gotham City meets Las Vegas. When he embarks on a self-funded expedition to Mars, Brass shall allow his daughter QT ‘Cutie’ Brass to run the colonies… or will he? Are the assassinations linked to Brass in a sinister plot to discredit his daughter? Enter Damien Justus, an earth cop on his first case on the moon. Justus has the arduous tasks of finding the truth despite corrupt colleagues that are content to turn the other cheek. Can he do his job and not be used as a pawn in a father vs daughter battle of power?

But… that’s not the worst of the problems. A rogue, killer android is on a murderous rampage, and is heading straight for Purgatory. Calling himself ‘The Wizard’, the brutal android has delusions of granduer and power.

O’Neill uses science and imagination to create a moon-world of the future. The Dark Side is totally believable as a concept, and written in such a convincing way. There is a huge cast of people with different back stories, some we only meet briefly before untimely ends, but it all adds to the world building.

If you want a sci-fi book with a touch of noir, a high death count, and a side helping of humour, then, The Dark Side is the book for you. I would definitely recommend this well thought out, believable, dystopian novel.

I shall leave you with this nugget of brilliance:

“And as for you, I will drag your tongue through your asshole and make you lick the back of your balls. But that is all up to you, sir, for you still have the option of proving yourself a productive commodity.”


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.