Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psych

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Spatch
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Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psych

Post by Spatch » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:47 pm

Hopefully by the time you read this (give or take 12 hours), my very first novel Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist, should be available on Kindle and other E-reader formats. For your edification and information I am providing an "anticipated FAQ" below.

(Not)Frequently Asked Questions

So, you've written a novel. What's it about?

Irrelevant Experience is a fictional account of how one hopeful experiences the clinical psychology application season. In the form of a diary/ reflective journal, our plucky heroine has to navigate the highs and lows of agonising about filling in their application form, dealing with their assistant psychologist job, office politics, interviews, Facebooking/Clinpsying, assistant groups and all the other joys that many of us hold dear to our hearts. Then there is all the housemate, romance, social life stuff that goes along with life after university too.

Aren't you supposed to be some Voltaire quoting, dominant-paradigm-overturning member of the intelligensia? You seem to have accidentally written something along the lines of Bridget Jones' Diary, the Devil Wears Prada or the TV show Girls?

Firstly, I quite like the genre many call "Chick lit". I figured that the best way to make it accessible to a broad an audience as possible.


Hang on a second. This sound awfully familiar? Isn't this just the Confessions of a Reserve List Jockey Blog?

I co-produced the Confessions blog in 2008-9 with RLJ, (and was actually the basis of two of the characters in that blog). However, apart from the basic set up and some character names, Irrelevant Experience is an entirely new novel, complete with an actual plot and story. As great as blogs are, they are by their very definition meandering and plotless. Great as diaries, but are considerably less satisfying as complete stories (unless you are some kind of narrative therapist, who enjoys that kind of thing). Irrelevant Experience draws from that period of my and RLJ's life, but also is heavily influenced by the stories and accounts from the many assistants and trainees I have had the fortune to interact with over the last 8 years, both on and off-line. (Don't worry, everything is anonymised and heavily fictionalised. I would be very surprised if anyone recognised themselves.)

If you read Confessions blog, you may like the novel and recognises names, but be prepared for the fact that the "story" is completely different. (The heroine doesn't end up working in local government for a start).


How come are you have spent your evenings writing this? Surely clinical psychology can't pay that badly?

My motivations are threefold.

1) I wanted to see if I could write a novel and for it to be a enjoyable experience for the reader comparable with something you would find on the shelves in Waterstones. If can great. If not, I will at least have learned something. Money, while it's nice, is not the main reason for me doing this, it's really the feedback I need that will help me develop as a writer, whether that's sales figures, Amazon reviews or people letting me know in others ways.

2) I am still acutely aware that I work in a profession where there are many myths and misconceptions held by the general population. I wanted to write something mainstream, accessible and engaging about the early stages of the profession, that could be read equally by the Chair of the DCP or by someone who had never heard of psychology in their life. If we are all supposed to be on a mission to "make psychology a household name", This is my very small contribution to that endeavour.

3) At my current stage of life, I am several years post qualified and in a mid career post. I am aware my memory of that pre-qualified time is already starting to fade, and I just wanted to capture it in some way that tapped into some of the universal feelings and ambiance of the time. While the novel is dramatised (it would have to be otherwise it would be unreadable) I hope it holds some of the spirit of that time. I have no idea what AP life will be like in another 20 years, but maybe this is a time capsule of a certain moment.


Okay, you sold me. So how can I get my hands on it?

As of writing the book has been successfully uploaded, accepted and is currently awaiting review for stocking. I will post links when they are available. I think its up on Smashwords (use the search function) but I think thats mainly for the US readership as its all in dollars. Never fear, it should be on Amazon.co.uk shortly if everything goes well.

I am happy to answer questions or take feedback on this thread , or PM me if you want. I am reflecting on the process of writing it in my blog at the moment (http://spatchlogan.wordpress.com/)

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Spatch
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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by Spatch » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:21 am

It's up faster than I expected.

It's up at Amazon now on their Kindle bookstore. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still read it if you download their Kindle reader for your computer, or their app for iPad/iPhone.

Amazon.co.uk
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrelevant-Expe ... 00EQFE5JW/

Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Irrelevant-Experi ... B00EQFE5JW

For those of you who are using iBooks, Kobo or other e-book readers and devices, you can get a copy via Smashwords which supports those formats from here:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/350446


My beloved has checked it with her old-skool Kindle, and the whole thing seems to come out okay, but there is no way of me checking how other versions come out. If you do notice any problems on any of the formats, please do let me know and I will try to investigate asap. I hope people enjoy reading it, and I look forward to any feedback, positive or negative.

Thinking ahead, I realise this thing is going to live (or die) by word of mouth. As a first time unknown novelist, with no agent or external representation, I put my hands up that I am probably completely out of my depth here. I don't have a major publishing house behind me, any big budget marketing, or media connections.

However, I do potentially have you kind folk. If you do like the book, please do spread word of it by mouth, Facebook, Twitter, Linkdin and the all of the other social media networks you may be attached to. If anyone uses Goodreads, that would be awesome to talk about it there (I only found out about this about midnight last night, being completely oblivious about this beforehand). If anyone has any other advice for getting the word out, or can help in other ways, please do get in touch.

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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by Loula » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:59 am

Good on you for giving this a go- the combination of some amazon vouchers and a holiday in a week's time means that this will likely end up on my Kindle in the next few days.

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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by Pink » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:14 am

Bought! and will recommend on Goodreads-this is the link to put it on there. I started but it needs lots of info I don't have..

http://www.goodreads.com/book/new?book[ ... ychologist

Very excited Spatch and do think you're pretty brave and inspiring-good luck!

Enjoy a well-earned break this weekend!

Pink

updated to add: Ha! First page made me laugh out loud already-very funny!
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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by Will » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:34 pm

Just got it now, reading it via the kindle app on iPad which looks to be working fine. Looking forward to having a read of it!
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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by Will » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:56 pm

Imagine me saying this in a voice a bit like the comic book guy from The Simpsons, but The Thong Song was by Sisqó not Usher ;)
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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by Dr.Dot » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:03 pm

Thanks for the acknowledgment; I guess I'd have to read it to see if I made it in there...

Good work there Spatch. x
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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by CatBells » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:53 pm

Bought and reading on my iPhone!

Already chuckling along, recognising a few of these reflections myself...

Congratulations on being published. If the rest is anything like the first few chapters, I'm going to very much enjoy working my way through it!

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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by snigglybear » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:04 pm

Just bought this, figure it will keep me entertained whilst travelling all over the country to do thesis interviews!

Congrats on getting it completed and out there :)

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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by Peach » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:04 pm

I've been waiting for this for a long time. Look forward to having a read. Congratulations on getting it published Spatch.
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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by Will » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:39 pm

Loved it, read the whole thing in one day! Made me smile and think back on my own journey to clinical psychology training. I will be recommending it! 

I've also written this on the amazon feedback :D
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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by miriam » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:49 pm

Just for the record, Spatch has the admin/moderating team's agreement to promote this on here.

And good work on finishing it and getting out. I shall have a read some time.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by hannahbubble » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:20 pm

Bought it this morning and just finished it! I really really enjoyed it.

As someone who's not had an AP post yet and has yet to go through applying, it was informative as well as entertaining!

Congrats.

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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by Spatch » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:54 am

Thanks for all the positive feedback and the warm reception. I truly appreciate it from all of you, and it means a lot to me. Its only been about 24-hours, but I am glad its getting into people's hands.
Loved it, read the whole thing in one day! Made me smile and think back on my own journey to clinical psychology training. I will be recommending it!
Bought it this morning and just finished it! I really really enjoyed it.
Thanks for the feedback. I am also impressed and heartened that two people felt engaged enough to read the entire book in a single day. (As a first-time novelist, I am impressed you got through it at all.)
I've also written this on the amazon feedback
Much obliged. Amazon hasn't put up any reviews or reader feedback yet (pity, as I would really love to know what you have written), so am wondering how they process all this, or if its in the pipeline.

One other thing that I felt was worth reflecting on was something that happened last night. I was having drinks with one of the people who the book was dedicated to, and mentioned the novel having come out. While her reaction was one of mild interest, I was surprised by the reaction of her non-psychologist partner who immediately downloaded it on the spot. It made me think about how those around us, who aren't in "the game", may be just as interested (if not more) in reading about what we go/went through.
Shameless plug alert:

Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist is available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrelevant-Expe ... 00EQFE5JW/

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Re: Irrelevant Experience: Secret Diary of an Assistant Psyc

Post by Morningstar » Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:07 pm

One other thing that I felt was worth reflecting on was something that happened last night. I was having drinks with one of the people who the book was dedicated to, and mentioned the novel having come out. While her reaction was one of mild interest, I was surprised by the reaction of her non-psychologist partner who immediately downloaded it on the spot. It made me think about how those around us, who aren't in "the game", may be just as interested (if not more) in reading about what we go/went through.
I'd like to echo this. I was talking to my partner about your book last night and he immediately said 'ooh I'd quite like to read that', and he's not a big reader. I shall be downloading it this weekend :D

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