Writing original stories is always hard but imagine if your life depends upon it. That is the situation in which Jasmin, the hero of this book, finds herself. Enrolled in the Dorothy Wordsearch School of Writing she discovers the school’s awful secret – hidden in the basement lurks Mr Collins, a terrifying monster who feeds off original, spontaneous stories or, if the stories aren’t original or spontaneous enough, their unfortunate authors.
Mr Collins would definitely approve of this story. It’s original and witty, full of amusing characterisation – ‘Whenever Mrs Frizzell spoke it sounded like she was telling a bedtime story to a two-year-old, with lots of faces which said Sad or Worried or Very Angry’ – not to mention some sharp digs at the children’s book world. It sneaks in almost as much about the editorial process as about escaping crazed villains – a funny adventure story which credits its readers with intelligence.