Thursday, 31 March 2016

Another five-star review for "The Charcoal Knots" on Amazon...

Thank you, Amazon shopper Otiselevator, whoever you are, for sharing your thoughts; there's nothing like a good review to warm a writer's heart.

"Arty S&M, you'll submit to its charms.
An all too brief but erotic and intriguing story which left this reader panting for more. You're significantly raising the bar for other writers here Imogen and I hope the sequel comes to fruition very soon. By turns romantic and stimulating it outstrips (no pun intended) a certain global bondage success story within a few pages. A sexy novella written by someone with literary ability and knowledge of creative artistry, not to mention a vivid imagination....whatever next?"

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Massive blues today

I had a job interview yesterday; it went fairly well, there were no really ghastly or tough questions and everyone was friendly.  But afterwards as I was coming away, I found myself puzzling, because instead of feeling pretty cheerful about it as I would have expected, I felt really flattened.

I'd been completely in "interview mode", just fixed on giving it my best shot, remembering all the things you need to remember at an interview, all the nuances, all the subtle things about choice of words, tone of voice and so on.  I went through the whole thing working hard to keep as focussed as possible and perform to my very best.  But slowly as it went on I found myself starting to feel oddly uncomfortable. 

I couldn't pin it down for a while, and I wasn't really able to step back mentally and think "Why doesn't this feel right?" until it was over.  It took me some time to sort out why I wasn't happy, because I needed to get right out of that mental space again and look at things more coolly; and so I was a good deal of the way home before I had the first ah-ha moment.  Then gradually as I thought things through I began to see what had been so jarring. 

It would take forever to explain all the little signs I managed to put together; but basically I realised that over the course of the interview there had been a growing number of signs that the role wasn't quite what I'd thought. 

I'd got the idea, from the job description and person specification, that it was a role doing a lot of the things I used to do at Kew, at the level I used to be at, and I know I have the skills and experience for that sort of work.  But it turned out to be a different, rather lower-grade job, a basic admin support for two people at the level I used to be at; not only less well-paid but also markedly less responsible, and only using a small proportion of my core skills regularly.

I'm not quite sure how, but I had misread the job information as saying what I wanted it to say.  And I'm not sure how, but it would seem the employers had misread my application in the same way.

I'm not terribly career-minded; I don't feel slighted at the prospect of not being employed at the same grade I used to be on.  But I am concerned that this job might turn out to be a lot less interesting than the description made it sound, and a lot less involving for me.  I probably wouldn't have applied if I'd cottoned-on that it was an office junior role, rather than a front-facing customer-focussed sales role.  I'm trying to go after jobs that require my core skills, which are heavily based in customer-service, not general basic admin. 

It was a rather peculiar experience altogether.  I can analyse it till the cows come home (believe me, I'm over-analysing for England right now) but working out how this maybe happened isn't helping as much or as quickly as I'd like.  I just feel so inept, and terribly deflated; it's really depressed me to have made such a basic error of judgement.
I hope I don't get offered it now, because I really won't want to accept it if I am. And that thought feels pretty bleak. 

Damn it, something has to come up at some point.  Something has to.

But feeling so low and blue today has left me fighting, suddenly right on the edge of a bout of depression.  Damn it all to hell, I don't want to go there. 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

The Charcoal Knots - I've had my first reviews!

Aaand the first reviews are in: 

"sooooo good... can't wait to read the rest..."

"Definitely worth a look if you like safe, sane and consensual bondage with a male sub."

"Oh my goodness *buy it buy it now*!!"

Okay, so those are comments from readers, not the TLS, but still - positive feedback warms the writer's heart! And there's a really lovely comment on Amazon as well: 

"I read this in just over 2 hours, I couldn't put it down. Erotic, evoking striking imagery, and storytelling at it's finest. You get so embroiled in Kat's artistic affair with this mystery actor, who's finally getting to act on his desires, that you truly don't want the story to end. I was very interested (you'll understand that reference when you've read it), and can only hope the author finds a way to continue the tale. The ending certainly leaves you wanting more."

Thank you to everyone who's given me feedback!  It really cheers me up to read comments like these!  I'm not expecting to make money by doing this, but it's a tremendous boost to the self-confidence, knowing that people have read my story and enjoyed it. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

In which I self-publish (with a lot of help!)

I've been planning to do this for ages, and I finally got it done.  Quite literally; I got a friend to do it for me.

I had the text, I'd created a cover, it was all ready to go.  But the technical side, so often described as "simple" and "intuitive" (one of my least-favourite buzz words!), completely defeated me.  Cue the very capable assistance of my good friend the DipGeek, who is as technically savvy as I am woefully ignorant of these things.  I couldn't have done it without her, so huge thanks are due!

So what have I published? (for reasons of space I'll refrain from using "had published for me" and similar clumsy constructions from now on).  It's this:

You may remember that several months ago I was wittering on about a couple of writing projects and saying I planned to e-publish them.  Well, this is the first of those.  It's an erotic novella about an artist seducing an actor.  It's available from and on Goodreads, and I even have (because Dip built me one) a facebook author page.  Which you can visit, and like.  I'll be posting updates and news there, if I have any that is. 

You'll notice if you check that out that I've published under what one might term a slight pseudonym.  All it comes down to it that The Charcoal Knots (formerly known as "If You're Interested") is pure smut, and some of my family are fairly old-fashioned about such things.  I'm shielding them, and shielding myself from having to deal with their shock and disapproval, and concern that I'm failing to seek help, and anxiety that in some way it's their fault that I grew up as a woman with sexual thoughts.  You know the saying "you pick your fights"?  Well, I'm picking my family-stressors. 

I don't expect to make money or get famous from this.  It's very likely to sink without trace, like the majority of e-books.  It's possible that almost no-one will read it.  But if it just sits on my hard drive then it's certain that no-one will read it.  If I sell thirty copies I'll make back my costs.  Anything more than that is a plus. 

The cover, incidentally, is my own work.  Hence the rather amateurish quality of the layout & graphic design.  I photographed a drawing in my sketchbook and overlaid the title on it using Microsoft Paint - pretty basic stuff.  The text is all my own work as well and all  my own proofreading - and three typos have already been flagged up to me.  At some point I'll learn how to do a new edition, and eliminate them.  But for now, there it is, my book.  My dirty book.  I am a published pornographer. 

I'd be getting more done in the marketing line right now if I weren't currently battling a horrendous cold.  It came on very suddenly and has left me feeling vile.  I ache all over and have a hacking cough - I sound like a lifelong smoker at the moment - and I can't think straight.

If I can get Dip to teach me what to do, I'll follow up on The Charcoal Knots with a few other things.  I'm working on a sequel to it, as well.  If a few people read and enjoy things I wrote, that will make me very happy.  I hope it will make them happy too.