Tuesday, 29 September 2015


Progress is being made.

Notwithstanding my slightly pedestrian approach to all things technological, I have managed single-handedly (I think) to get to publication with my book. Huge round of applause and a stiff drink for the woman typing frantically in the corner.

So, as far as I understand the situation, the paper mock up is being printed as we speak and will be winging its way to me for approval during the course of next week. At the same time, the digital version is sauntering down the virtual corridors of Kindleland and should be ready to go even sooner.

And how does it feel to be a nearly published writer? Truthfully? Odd. The pragmatic side of me is well aware that the chances of anyone who doesn't already know me buying the book are extraordinary small. I am highly unlikely to become the next Jacqueline Wilson or Louise Rennison and I'm not banking on retiring to the sun on my royalties. The whole enterprise is also tainted by my crippling fear of vanity publishing and making myself look arrogant or foolish or quite possibly both.

But somewhere, deep inside I'm also really excited. Very soon, anyone in the world will be able to buy a book by me....well.... by Lucinda Fox, my literary alter ego and purveyor of fine novels for pre-teen and teenage girls. That is a pretty cool feeling.

So watch this space. Soon there will be a website and a Facebook page and my mate Lucinda might even start tweeting. If you want to download Mummy's Girl when it goes live (at a very reasonable 99p) then please do. I think the paperback will be £5.99. And if you or someone you know actually reads it, please get them to leave a review on amazon - a real one that actually reflects your view. Five stars always look very suspicious to me!

Thank you all for your unfailing support. It means so much. Were it not for the encouragement that you give me, I'm not sure I would ever have found the nerve to come this far.

Imogen x

Monday, 21 September 2015


They say that throughout your life you should challenge yourself, push a little harder, step out of your comfort zone, take a risk....Irritating isn't it? I like my comfort zone. It's comfortable. But 'they' are right.

And so I have decided  ( drum roll please...)  that I am going to publish one of my books myself.

Just seeing those words written down makes my heart race and my head hurt. I've been bouncing this idea backwards and forwards for what feels like forever. Indeed, part of the reason that I'm announcing it here, in full view of everyone, is to make it more difficult for me to change my mind again. But I need to do it so that I can stop wasting so much energy prevaricating about it.

You see, this is not how I envisaged my burgeoning writing career progressing. When I started writing novels,  I didn't factor in the enormous reluctance that I feel to let anything go. I thought I'd end up with lots of finished manuscripts and then I could try my hand at getting them published like everyone else. How hard can it be to write it, send it out and deal with the rejections? Well, harder than you'd think as it turns out.

Also the publishing world looks very different to how it did when I started writing five years ago. In my head, those who self-publish have always been either arrogant or rubbish or quite possibly both. What's that terrible expression? Those who can, do. Those who can't self-publish.

But I'm reliably informed by those who know these things that the industry has moved on. Of course, there are still those authors who fall into the categories listed above (please don't let that be me) but there are also writers who actually choose to take the self-publishing route because it allows them to keep control of their work, how it is published, priced, marketed and distributed.

I do have to say that I am still cloaked in doubt and fear but on the basis that I'll try almost anything once, I have decided to self-publish my young adult novel, Mummy's Girl. Very soon. It won't be under my own name - I'm not that brave- but don't worry oh loyal blog readers. As soon as I'm ready to go you will read about it here and no doubt have the opportunity to purchase said novel and tell me what you think.

So if you know any girls aged between 12 and 15 who like a rip-roaring yarn about how hard it is to grow up then watch this space. I might have just the thing for them.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


In four days time, I will launch my precious first-born into the wider world to fend for herself as she starts University in a city, far, far away from home.

Of course, this doesn't come as a shock. In many ways, her entire almost nineteen years of life so far have been leading, with a sense of dogged inevitability, to this very moment. How many times over her lifetime have I joked about getting her ( and her siblings ) off my hands? Oh the plans I have made for when I finally 'get my life back'....

That's not really how it is though. A parent never gets their life back and which parent would want a life without children anyway? What we really mean is that we will have more time to do what pleases us on a day to day basis. Our lives will always be inextricably linked with those of our children on some level or other no matter what our relationship with them.

Anyway, less of this tuppenny philosophy and onto the far more important task of navel gazing! What does it actually feel like to have a child move away from home? Well, I can't speak for anyone else of course but I don't think I'll be treading any new ground if I say it's pretty odd. A year ago, six months ago even, I couldn't even contemplate the idea without a lump forming in my throat and my eyes brimming with emotional tears. The children would look at me questioningly. 'Are you crying, Mummy? Again!!'

But slowly my mindset has changed. Just recently, my 18 year old child has blossomed into an 18 year old young adult. The process reminds me a bit of being in year six. Suddenly those at the top of the school look, like cuckoos in the primary nest. Their legs are too long, their jumpers too short. They clearly belong somewhere else.

And so is it now, here. My eldest has outgrown us. Not in a never coming back way. It's just that our life here at home can no longer provide her with what she seeks. She needs to venture out and discover it for herself.

And how does this feel to me, her mother? Well.... as long as I don't think about her saying goodbye to her siblings or leaving her on her own in her new student flat (or try to write a blog about it) then I'm OK. This is just what happens next, how it must be. Life should move forward all the time. It's not always what we want or what we think we can deal with but that's just how it is.

So it's not with a heavy heart that I help her pack her room up into cardboard boxes ( and ridicule some of her more impractical suggestions as to what should make the trip.) She is setting out on the most exciting journey of her life so far and my job now is not to make her look back at what she's leaving behind but to help her look forward to make the most of what's to come. But I do have a packet of tissues in my pocket.....