OK – it’s been a bit of a bad week – but I have prevailed.

On Monday, my laptop packed up. I walked to the shop in the driving rain and it was fixed. By the time I got home it had gone again. I rang the shop and we fixed it over the phone. That afternoon it went again. (For the more technically minded – the latest windows update had upset it.) I took it back the next day – in the even more driving rain – and it’s working again. Touch wood. And continues to do so. A small victory, I feel. Especially now I’ve dried out.

Also on Monday I had a pretty massive dental emergency. This was arising out the dental emergency the week before last. My lovely dentist managed to find me a spot. One hour later, heavily traumatised – I’m not brave – and with gouge marks in his expensive chair, things have been nailed back into place. I’m living off soup and soft white bread – just in case. But, that’s another trauma ticked off my list. I have successfully cancelled a contract with Sky – and trust me, that’s no small feat. It would appear they have no mechanism for cancelling a contract in the 14-day cooling off period. Four telephone calls and a total of three hours on the phone – at least half of which was spent listening to their dreadful music – contract cancelled. Yay me!

I’ve finished the edits for Another Time Another Place – including the tricky paragraph I had to re-write using the same number of words as the old para. It’s all detailed and ready to be sent back to Headline next week. Ditto with next year’s Christmas story which I finished yesterday. The Toast of Time will also be on its way to Headline next week. Aren’t I doing well? I’ve made a start on the next St Mary’s book – the one after Another Time Another Place – because it was burning in my brain and I couldn’t think about the book I should be writing so Saving Time is currently on the back burner while I think about the ending. I know how I want it to end – I’ve just got to get them all there. Actually, I suspect all I’ve done is clear a space ready for the edits for Long Shadows which I’m sure will be thudding on to my desk any moment now.

Administratively, I’ve paid my bills, replied to emails and sent out my last Christmas cards. I’d like to say, ‘All difficulties quietly overcome,’ but it would be much more accurate to say, ‘All difficulties overcome with a great deal of bad language, even more walking in the rain and giving up sleep at two in the morning to write down that cool bit of dialogue before I forget it. And make a cup of tea. And try to find my notes on that Egyptian bloke. And generators. And IEDs. And rams. And Tsarkoye Selo. And falling asleep just as it’s time to get up. However, I now consider I have done my duty so I have tea, I have chocolate, and I’m about to sit down with my kindle and sort out my Christmas reading. I’ve written so much this last month I feel the need to put the words back in again. If that makes sense.

It’s been a pretty shitty year for us all, I think. It’s hard to see how the next one could be any worse but I hesitate to say so in case 2021 regards that as some sort of challenge. To all my lovely readers – and you know who you are – I’d like to wish you the very best possible Christmas. And more than ever, a peaceful, prosperous and healthy New Year. Take care, everyone. Enjoy The Ordeal of the Haunted Room on Christmas Day and with good luck, and a following wind, we’ll see each other soon. Jodi.


  • Harry Clarke

    It is a delight to find a new book series of the caliber of those by Thea Harrison and Elizabeth Hunter. Another new way of looking at a world.
    Jodi is wonderfully crackers and the humour is injected seamlessly. Very good reads, I’ll continue flopping around in the past with Leon, Max etc. I hope that they all survive. Was it them that taught cats to have 9 lives?

  • Bix Warden

    I read JODTAO when it first came out here in the US. In my pre-COVID life, I am a librarian at the Eureka Valley Branch Library in the Castro District of San Francisco. I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. At the time, the others were not yet available here, so I bought paperback editions of ASOE and ASC .I started ASOE, but misunderstood something in the very beginning (no spoilers) and put it aside. That turned out to be brilliant on my part, because after reading everything I could think of, I decided to give ASOE another chance. And the results were amazing. I devoured all the books, the short stories, the Time Police books, and everything else you’ve written (currently starting on The Nothing Girl). To say you are now my favorite writer would be an understatement. I am addicted. Hopelessly in love with all your characters (please be gentle about killing them off, my heart can’t take it). I have laughed uproariously, cried like the world was ending, and enjoyed every minute of every book. Well, maybe not the very, very sad parts. But you made up for it. Mostly. :)

    Anyway, thank you a million times over for getting me through the election, this part of the pandemic, and all the other craziness going on in the US right now. I lived in the UK for a couple of years, and love being transported there again through your writing. Goddess bless you, Jodi Taylor. I cannot WAIT for your new St. Mary’s, Time Police, and Elizabeth Cage books. I would send you so much chocolate if I had an address to send it to. <3

  • Koba
    I can’t recall when I became enamored with the St Mary’s crew; I think it was an offer from BookBub that got me started and I loved getting lost in time with them. Thanks to COVID, my then 88-yr-old mum had her social wings clipped & was hankering for something new to read. I downloaded the entire St Mary’s catalogue to her tablet and she has read the series with gusto. We now have a dialogue peppered with allusions to Max, Leon, Markham, pods, cabbage & tea. Both of us are eagerly awaiting the next installment. Meanwhile, now that I have finished my Masters thesis, I will dive into the Time Police books.

    Dear Jodi, will you be delving into other, more esoteric, eras of history like that of Asia, the Middle East (outside Egypt) and Russia? Could you use a research assistant? As an editor of academic articles & books, I have plenty of experience providing information to stray scholars. I am duly impressed by the history you plow [plough] through to make your stories so credible. You have two devoted fans here on the west coast of the Northern Hemisphere of the New World who are hoping the nightmare of the last 4 years is coming to an end. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.
    BTW, my areas of expertise are the Middle East, Centra Europe, Russia and Second Commonwealth Judaism (2nd Temple period).

  • Audrey Mac Cready
    I hesitate to say ‘Happy’ New Year, but I do wish you all the best in 2021. Sorry I missed your chat with Hazel, but I found it last night (via Twitter) and it was such a treat . A lovely start to 2021 for me!

    The first of your books I read was ‘A Bachelor Establishment’ (I had run out of Georgette Heyers). It was such fun I checked out your other titles and discovered St. Mary’s. Hallelujah! I listen on Audible (sorry, free plug) and am now on my third trip through the series. Am bracing myself for the Infamous Book Eight. How could you do that to us??? At least, the Time Police series helps to heal the trauma…
    I’m awestruck by your imagination and so, so glad that you exist – in whatever time zone!

  • Fiona Gardiner
    Just a great big thank you for keeping me so entertained, entranced, amused and moved with your books. I read and reread them, still laugh out oud, still shed a tear and still feel the frisson of fear. Brilliant. I have now introduced my son to them and he is devouring them at speed. Keep on keeping on, please!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.