Happy New Year

I’m not a big fan of New Year Celebrations. I’ve had more than my share of seeing out the old year – usually with a huge sigh of relief – and dancing into the new one shouting, ‘Well, it can’t possibly be any worse that the last one,’ and the universe takes enormous pleasure in proving me wrong. Usually round about lunchtime on January 3rd.

So I tend not to bother very much. These days I’m usually in bed with a good book by midnight. Not one of mine, I hasten to add. And this is a Big Thing for me. I don’t know if other authors have this problem – if there are any out there who are still coherent – or even conscious – after their probably very lively celebrations last night, do let me know – but does anyone else find it impossible to read their own work? I don’t mean grabbing a copy off the shelf because you can’t remember how you described a particular character or place, but a real, toe-curling, can’t read your own work personality disorder. I tell myself it’s because if I’ve made a mistake or got something really wrong then it’s too late to do anything about it so it’s better not to know, but I don’t think it’s that. I just can’t read my own stuff.

I have a copy of all my stuff, obviously, because I need the sales, but it all sits, either on my kindle or my bookshelves, untouched and unread. Am I weird?

Well, I think we all know the answer to that one, so moving swiftly along – my new year is taking shape already and I have a few dates for your calendars. I had a fit of efficiency in November and bought my 2018 calendar in good time. Obviously, I’ve lost it since then – I think it’s gone down the back of my wonderful duck-egg blue filing cabinet. And yes, I’m having a relationship with a piece of office equipment, but it keeps my papers in order, doesn’t talk during The Big Bang Theory, doesn’t eat my chocolate and never wants to watch the football, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s damned near perfect. Anyway, I think that’s where my calendar has gone, leaving me with the decision – put my back out shifting the cabinet or just buy another.

Why am I maundering on about filing cabinets and calendars? Yes. Dates. Here we go.

13th January – I’m at Octavo’s Cafe in Cardiff Bay, reading an extract from White Silence, and hanging around for a chat afterwards.

16th January – I’m on Radio Gloucester with Anna King. I think the programme starts at noon. I must check – but I’m actually being interviewed, just like a proper author.

20th January – I’m at Waterstones in Gloucester, signing books, if anyone wants to pop along for a bit of a chat.

I think White Silence comes out in official paperback this month. Previously, it’s only been available as Print on Demand, but now it’s out in its dramatic new cover.

April’s a busy month. There’s a short story, provisionally entitled The Battersea Barricades, which should be out on St George’s Day, April 23rd.

And I’m at the Llandeilo Litfest as well. I went last year and appeared with Jasper Fforde, which was a huge treat for me – probably slightly less so for him, but he was quite charming so we’ll never know – and surprisingly, they’ve asked me back this year. If anyone gets the chance, you should go – to the Litfest, I mean. The whole town is given over to the festival and the atmosphere is great.

And, yes, I’m teasing you, because after the New Year festivities, you’re all in such a sunny, fun-filled mood (!) aren’t you? Yes, the next St Mary’s full length novel is published this month. An Argumentation of Historians. Both it and the short story should be available for pre-order on Amazon some time in February.

May – always assuming we get that far – I’m at Cardiff Comicon again. This is always great fun. We turn up with a ton of books, admire the costumes, meet some really interesting people, drink oceans of tea, and laugh and gossip the day away. Accent Press usually have some sort of collective neural event and reduce the prices and the world does not end.

In July (I think – but as I said, my calendar’s down the back of the filing cabinet) we have the sequel to White Silence – provisionally entitled Black Light. It’s not quite finished yet, but I’m getting there.

And then there’s the traditional St Mary’s Christmas story which just might, this year, be a little different. I’m only half way through it at the moment, and frankly, I haven’t a clue what’s going on and anything could happen. I’m thinking of calling it, And Now for Something Completely Different, just to spread alarm and consternation.

That’s it – so far, anyway. I hope to be able to meet a good number of you over the coming months and I’d like to wish you all happy reading and a very Happy New Year.

Oh, and I almost forgot Just One Damned Thing After Another is getting a French release on February 8th!

27 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. Hopefully amongst all of these book-related events, you will find time to have some fun, eat more chocolate and even relax once or twice! Have a good year, hopefully it won’t rush past too quickly for all of us! Looking forward to the new book.

  2. Still have my fingers crossed that you will take a trip to the states. We are feeling neglected on this side of the pond. Happy New Year!

  3. I think not wanting to read your own stuff is for similar reasons to the angst I gave myself over my PhD thesis. I wanted it to be perfect so I kept going through it, finding errors and handing end pages of corrections. Eventually I was told to stop. “You’ll drive yourself mad doing this. Every time you read it you’ll find something else and you’ll just get depressed about it.”

  4. Completely understand what you mean about the cringeworthy feeling of reading your own books – I’m the same if someone says they’re reading one of mine, it’s so hard to resist saying ‘Oh dear, do you think you should?’ If only we could get bottled confidence to take with our other vitamins… So in case you don’t realise – you’re doing a good job, keep it up. And forget Glasgow and the USA, come to Derby instead.

  5. Happy New Year Jodi – your updates are as funny as St Mary’s! I’m in the US so can’t get the new book until April but it is all pre ordered and I can’t wait! Keep up the writing – I’d miss it!

  6. I wish you could visit the US – Boston would be nice – one day. I’m certain more than a few of us would join you for a signing, reading, tea and a chat!

  7. AAOH is already available on Amazon.com for pre-order. Alreayd ordered and am now waiting (not terribly patiently actually) …..

  8. Hi jodi or should i really say mrs tayor . Happyish you year .
    Finally got this silly thing to work . Been trying to get this whatsadoddle to work since we meet at Cardiff the year before last . I was the guy yes a chap . Whom you didn’t realise was your fan . Not the lady who was sat down while you were chatting merely away . She didn’t have a clue to what you your ramblings were .
    We got it right in the end with a lot of embarrassing looks and and few chuckles .
    Hopefully I’ll be botherring you again this year . Sorry hehe really cant wait .
    Ok yes I’ll bring some chocolate alone .

  9. I wish I lived in Great Britain so I could attend one of your events. I’ve seen your interviews on Youtube and would love to meet you in person. I wonder o you think you might venture across the ocean someday to meet
    us Yanks?

  10. I see in the U.S. they are still spending a fortune turning mediocre books into unsuccessful movies. I wonder if one of them will be clever enough to turn St Mary’s into the next Hogwarts. Can’t get enough I read them over and over waiting for the next one. Mark ham fan. Lol

      • It would be visually stunning – all those costumes, locations, battle scenes. But hugely expensive – all those costumes, locations, battle scenes… And could end up like the Harry Potter films, leaving out so much of the plot.

        A tv series might work better. Made by the BBC, of course.

        • I’m always reminded of Terry Pratchett’s experience when anyone talks about transferring a book, especially a fantasy book, to the screen. Mort was the book he talked about, one in which his much-loved Gothic skeleton of Death plays a major role. He recalled a producer telling him how wonderful the concept was and how much he wanted to produce it “but get rid of the skeleton. Nobody wants skeletons.”

          Terry said he told him to keep taking the tablets as he walked out.

          No doubt Jodi would like to see her creations play on the silver screen but there were significant compromises in the Audible dramatisation of JODTAA and those caused ripples in the fan continuum. How much greater and how many more compromises would have to be made for a TV series of film? Never mind the inevitable arguments about who should play whom.

  11. I’m another writer who never re-reads her own work, except a quick skim for reference purposes. I do have to re-read parts of my Ph. D. (completed 1990) sometimes, for the day job, and I’m struck by how, um, immature, some of the writing is.

    Happy New Year, with lots of tea, chocolate and alcohol, depending on one’s tastes, to all!

  12. Cardiff in may? Yes please! I gave you a mug last year so I look forward to meeting you again! Happy new year, I can’t wait for the new book xx

  13. Is the Audible book different than the printed JODTAA one? I have only listened to the Audible version (3 times!) and it is what got me hooked on the series. How are they different?? Thanks!

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