Personal Demons – Students

Newman students talk about their experience of the Personal Demons project

By Alicia Kaye

I can’t believe my luck!!! I have always wanted to be a novelist, so work in English at the moment is a dream come true. We have been working online with Steve Alton, author of The Malifex and The Firehills, on his third novel, Personal Demons.

Mr. Alton has emailed us early drafts of his work and we have been asked to help him improve it. The book is absolutely wonderful, very funny indeed, but we have responded to his notes in several places and can you believe it, he has taken up our suggestions???

Set in a modern high school, the tale is a hilarious love story with touches of magic that keep the readers begging for more.

We have rolled about laughing after reading some extracts on our teacher’s white board. We have then highlighted, deleted and add our own bits and sent them back to the author for comments.

Do you know any other school kids who are so lucky, because I don’t.

I must say that getting involved in this exercise has really helped sharpen up my writing skills. We now can’t wait for his next email and we love the way he responds to our ideas. It has helped me see how the drafting process helps to improve writing. We don’t always get our way, but you can’t really argue with such a skilled story writer.

I love the way it is growing and adapting. I read his first book and I must admit this is his best work and that’s not just because I have been involved in it. This book will become really popular! You mark my words. Some of our ideas have not been written up yet so I can’t wait to see what he does with them.

The final words of approval must go down to Chris Badger and Joshua Roper-Knight, two Y8 students who have been heavily involved in the project.

“We’ve all rolled about laughing doing this. We’ve read loads and have written even more. We can’t wait for the next email”, Chris Badger

“If this is work, then give me more!” Joshua Roper-Knight