Don’t put your daughter/son on the stage!

I’m your classic introvert. I’m perfectly happy in social situations just as long as the attention isn’t on me. I love talking to people if I can  stick to asking questions and listening but try to switch the conversation my way and see how fast I manage to flip it back.

It seems odd then, that all four of my children are at their happiest as part of a cast on a stage. Dancing, singing, acting – it doesn’t matter which. They will just run with whatever is thrown at them. And whilst two of them are naturally outgoing like their Dad, the other two would rather not speak unless it would be rude not to… and even then might not!

So it delights me that we have a wonderful and very vibrant youth theatre group in my town. At least twice a year such of my children as are available are able to be part of an Upstagers show and they love it and since I have learned how much they grow from taking part, I have firmly encouraged them. Here’s a post I wrote six years ago after a very successful run of Billy Elliot which they performed at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford. Tis was before I really understood what a massive part of our family Upstagers would become!

Last week, two of the children had the chance to part of a vibrant and ambitious production of Starlight Express, a show which takes place entirely on roller-skates. The  cast members had to sing their numbers whilst negotiating two concentric race tracks which the Upstagers team had built around the auditorium. It was heart-stopping stuff but I’m happy to report that the only collisions during the five show run were of the choreographed kind. The production was very well received, great fun was had by all and now things feel a little bit flat around here!

But not in my writer’s world. Postcards is still selling very well and the lovely reviews just keep coming. I’m so grateful to anyone who writes a review because each one gives other readers the confidence to take a chance on an unknown writer and so discover me for themselves.

I read quite a bad book last week too. Review here. And don’t forget the new book group book, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine which is a real gem of a book and well worthy of a place in your suitcase this summer..

Please check out the links and share my site with anyone that you think might be interested.

See you next week. Happy reading.

Imogen x

My Dales Way Quest

So, here’s a sign that I have walked past almost every day for a over a decade. It marks the start of The Dales Way, a walk from my home town of Ilkley to Bowness-in-Windermere in The Lake District. If I had a pound for every photo that I’ve taken of walkers about to begin then I’d have enough to buy myself a guidebook!

Anyway, this being the year of the Big Birthday I decided that I should stop just looking at the sign and actually DO something and with that I announced my intention to walk The Dales Way on Facebook, a surefire way of making me commit to something.

This bold step enabled me to identify a walking partner, someone much wiser and more experienced in these things than me and, crucially, with a sense of direction which I lack.

Next came new boots. My trusty old ones ( leather on the left) last saw action on the Isle of Aran in 1985 and whilst I’m awfully fond of them, I felt that walking boot technology ( and fashions) might well have moved on. I was right and the nice man in the walking shop helped me buy something suitable. ( Nice new and disconcertingly bigger boot on right.)

So now I’m all sorted. I have a date in the diary ( 11th June 2018) and the motivation. I even have that guide book. I am breaking with convention a little though. I reckon it’s psychologically better for me to start in The Lakes and then walk home so I may need to read my book backwards!

And now I’m ‘in training’. It’s a six day walk and I have to be able to walk 16 miles for two days on the trot and still get up and walk again for a few days after that. This feels quite daunting but not impossible. I imagine that it might hurt a bit but I’ve had four children. I can handle a bit of pain!

We’re doing a long training walk each month and gradually building up my stamina until I’m ready to go. And of course, me being me,  I’m going to write a book as I go along. So watch this space for news of how I’m getting on!

In other news, the eagle-eyed amongst you will have seen that I had a book launch last week and I want to say thank you to everyone that came along to support me. I am more grateful than you can possibly imagine. Sales of Postcards From a Stranger are going well and I’m getting some lovely reviews (and my mum hasn’t written all of them!)

There’s a new book review up HERE which might be interesting to those of you trying to find inner peace. And I have decided that the Book Group Book for the summer will be Eleanor Opliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman which The Yorkshire Post described as ‘Brave, smart and funny… the most refreshing and heartwarming debut I’ve read in some time’. 

So if you fancy reading along with us then you know what to do. Read the book and then join in the chat on the Forum which I will open for discussion from 1st August but which is always open.

Have a great week. Happy reading.

Imogen.

 

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Lift off!

Hi

Well this is all very exciting! My book Postcards From a Stranger appears to be taking off and I’m delighted. Readers are being very complimentary and whilst I’m sure that there will be some bad reviews before too long, there aren’t any just yet. I even have people who have marked it to read on Goodreads.

Please indulge me if I share some of the comments that readers are leaving.

“The mysteries and puzzles are set against a clear backdrop so that the reader’s energies are focused on the central theme. This skillful construction made it a book that was hard to put down. I was riveted.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed this! Great mix of characters and a storyline that kept me guessing throughout. Both laughter and tears involved in the book, with a story that had me gripped and kept me turning the pages.”

“A great novel – twists in the plot, believable characters with poignant stories and back-stories and the dysfunctional family relationships that we all have to some degree, or at least recognise.”

“It’s a cracking read, delving into family dynamics and the devastating effects that secrets and lies can have, rippling outwards and onwards.. It flows easily and keeps you engrossed and always wanting to know what happens next. I would highly recommend it and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

I’ll stop now but there are plenty more like that so I am delighted. And if you haven’t read it yet then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

In other news, today the first draft of my next book has sailed its way down to my editor for her comments and feedback so I’m nervously awaiting that but that is giving me the perfect time to get on with plotting the one after that.  I’m also aiming to write another Lucinda book in the autumn so if you have any young teenagers who enjoy kicking around with Kitty and Lydia then tell them it won’t be too long to wait.

There’s a new Review HERE. This week’s book is 720 pages long so it’s been a bit of a marathon but it was well worth all the hours.

Next week I shall be announcing our next Book Group Read so that you have something to get your teeth stuck into over the summer. We can then talk about it when we get to September. I did think about suggesting my own book but I wasn’t quite brave enough for that!

Don’t forget that if you don’t want to miss a post and for details of my new books then sign up for my mailing list. I promise not to bombard you.

Happy reading.

Imogen.

 

Feeling a little braver . . .

Hi

Well this has been quite a big week. My new book Postcards From a Stranger started to sell both here and in the States. Not only that but as I write this I have six ★★★★★ reviews. All of them share one theme – “I couldn’t put it down”.

Obviously I’m delighted that I seem to be having such a good start although I’m sure there will be some less encouraging reviews in due course. That’s part of the journey of being a writer and why it was important that I read the book that I have reviewed this week! Check it out HERE.

Also, have you noticed my new, cute little hippo badge? That’s because I was featured last week on Book Hippo, a book recommendation site. You can check that out HERE if you’re interested although the offers may now have expired. I can thoroughly recommend BookHippo if you have difficulty trying to decide what to read next ( when you’ve finished my book that is!)

So now I’m working like a demon to get my next book ready to go to my Editor‘s next month but it’s all great fun and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

If you’ve finished any of the Book Group Books then it’s never too late to pop over to the FORUM and add your comments to the discussion. I’m considering making Postcards the summer read! What do you reckon?!

Happy reading.

Imogen x

Postcards has gone LIVE!

Hi

You join me at a very exciting point in my career as an author. My first book has gone live! (I know Lucinda has three books and a box set but they don’t count around here!) It’s exciting and terrifying in equal measure as I wait for my friends and family to read it and report back. This could be a very short-lived career!

The book is currently at its introductory price so if you fancy getting hold of a bargain then now’s the time to do it. Just hop over to Amazon and get it downloaded! As ever, if you do read it please could you leave an honest review because without social proof it will be very hard for me to convince people that don’t know me to read it. It’s also been featured on BookHippo which is a site which recommends books in the UK so that’s really exciting!

The marketing side of my new career is just half of the story though. I also need books to sell so this week I was delighted to write THE END on the last page of the next book The Thing About Clare which I now need to start editing prior to sending it to my editor for her comments next month.

Lucinda has been busy too. The Mum Swap will be on a promotion later this week so if you want to bag a free copy for someone who might like it then point them HERE from Wednesday onwards.

My review was a bit tricky this week as the book I started turned out to be not quite what I expected and so I had to abandon it. However, that allowed me to finish one that I’ve been reading for a while so every cloud. You can read my review HERE.

Anyway, now I have to get back to Author School. So much to learn! If it’s sunny where you are as it is here then enjoy it. Here’s where I’m writing from today.

Happy reading

Imogen x

 

No Time to Write!!

Who knew that being an author entrepreneur could possibly take so much time!?! The last three months have seen me tackle a learning curve like no other but I’m starting to feel slightly more in control. My first book Postcards From a Stranger is in the traps and waiting to be released. If you’d like to be part of my Advance Team and read the book at a reduced price in return for leaving an honest review then please email me on imogen@imogenclark.com or you can download a free Preview HERE and see if it’s the kind of thing you might like to read.

Lucinda Fox (my alter ego) has also been busy changing the covers to all her books which will be appearing in a store near you very soon. The books are aimed at girls form 11-15 and so if you know anyone that they might suit then go and have a look HERE

I’ve also appeared on the Self Publishing Formula Podcast and website talking about Mark Dawson‘s much publicised course. You can watch/listen to me HERE from about 24 minutes in.

But with all this going on, it’s hard to make time for writing which I need to do as I have to get manuscript #2 to my editor by 24th July! No pressure!

There’s a new review HERE if you want to see what I’ve been reading this week. Also, if you’ve read any of our Book Group books then don’t forget to post your thoughts HERE. The joy of an online group is that there are no deadlines. The chat is always open for you to join, no matter when.

Happy reading.

Imogen.

It’s the quiet ones you have to watch . . .

Hi

I’ve been reading a fascinating book this week – Quiet by Susan Cain. If ever you meet me at a party I’ll be the one on the edges, wishing I could sit and just watch and not speak. Small talk seems like such a waste of words to me and I can never hear or make myself heard over the loud laughter from the other side of the room. But no one would ever call me shy. Public speaking doesn’t phase me, new situations are no problem and I’m usually the one to take the lead in a group of strangers on a course.

Well, now I have discovered that my type of personality has a name under the Briggs Myers Personality Indicators – I am INFJ! Who knew?! Well, clearly loads of people knew but not me. And I learned that it was OK not to look forward to the things that others seem to relish because there are plenty of other ways in which I can relax and have fun. And it doesn’t make me weird. It just makes me INFJ!

In other news, I have decided that the pace may be too fast for the Book Forum so I’m going to slow down and do a book every quarter. That way people might not be put off by having to read so quickly and be able to join in the discussions. So watch this space for the announcement of Summer’s read. I shall still keep posting my Reviews as regularly though and there’s a new one this week as usual..

Pace is building towards the launch of my book Postcards From a Stranger. You can now download a Preview which is very exciting and I have a lunch party on Thursday 6th July, 7 pm in Friends of Ham, Ilkley so if you happen to be in the neighbourhood pop down and listen to me read a bit. I might even sign your copy!

Until next week, happy reading.

Imogen x

 

New York and other adventures

Hi there.

I’m back! Did you miss me? Don’t say that out loud – you’ll hurt my virtual feelings! Well, I had a very interesting few days in New York pretending that I lived there whilst staying with some English friends who have adopted the city as their second home. I ate where New Yorkers eat and I met so many fascinating Creatives that my head span all the way back to the airport.

I forget sometimes when I’m sitting at my little desk, in my little town, on my little island how big the world truly is and it is so exciting to be exposed to somewhere fresh once in a while. I felt like a little girl in a department store as I met interesting people and then raced back home to google them and see their many creative achievements.

And now that I am back at my little desk I am inspired to keep writing because if there’s one thing that I learned it’s that creating stuff is just what you are driven to do. If success comes then that might be nice but the most important issue is to get your stuff out there and let it breathe.

And so speaking of which, it is now only around a month until my novel is published and it’s getting very exciting. If you can’t wait and want to get your paws on the first few chapters or if you just want a taste of what I get up to at this little desk to see if it’s any good then mosey over to HERE where you can sign up to get the Preview downloaded to a device of your choosing.

In other news, as I have been away I have had lots of time to read and so there is a new REVIEW for you to peruse although I’m not sure it’s a book that I’m recommending this time.

Also, if you dip into our Book Group or are interested in what people say then my thoughts on May’s book Fates and Furies are HERE. I’m currently perusing the bestseller lists for a book for us to read in June so I’ll announce that next Monday. In the meantime, don’t forget to sign up for the PREVIEW of my new book and happy reading.

Imogen x

Postcards Preview

Hi there.

So this week I’ve been busy pulling together a preview of the first few chapters of my debut adult novel Postcards From a Stranger.

Obviously being thus far untested as an author, it’s important that readers can try my writing out for size to see if it’s going to suit them. After all, no one wants to spend money on a book and then discover that they hate it two chapters in.

Of course, you ardent followers have been able to read my short story here but now everyone else can  download a preview HERE which I’m hoping will whets appetite for when I release the book in July.

I also went to see The Sense of an Ending at the cinema this week. I enjoyed it so much that it prompted me to re-read the book and you can see my review HERE. I have to admit to getting far more out of the book the second time when I had lovely Jim Broadbent in my mind’s eye as I read.

I’ve also started reading this month’s Book Group Book, Fates and Furies. I have a lovely long flight coming up at the end of the week so hopefully I’ll get quite a lot read then. But more of that next week…

Don’t forget to check out the PREVIEW for Postcards From a Stranger and if you enjoy it please point your friends in this direction. Word of mouth is the best advert I have at the moment.

Have a great week and happy reading.

Imogen.