Interview with Jodi Taylor

Ich durfte die Autorin der Doktor Maxwell-Reihe interviewen.

Hier könnt ihr es auf Englisch lesen. Hier könnt ihr es auf Deutsch lesen.

When and how did you come up with the idea for the st mary’s series?

About ten years ago I’d just retired and was looking forward to enjoying life and not doing very much, and after a couple of weeks I was bored to tears. I thought I’d write a book. I had no thought of getting it published – it was just to see if I had the mental discipline to write a whole book. I’ve always liked History and the idea of time travelling historians was very appealing.

Initially the book was supposed to be mostly about the history – St Mary’s was simply the mechanism for getting them there and Max was the person who would tell the story but both St Mary’s and Max proved to be completely uncontrollable so I just gave in and went with the flow.

I never intended to publish the book – in fact, in the original version I killed everyone at the end just so I couldn’t write a sequel but I found writing so enjoyable I had to bring them all back to life again. Then a friend suggested I self publish on Amazon which I did, and the rest is history.

What is your favourite character?

I have several favourite characters. Markham – who died in the first book but some strange instinct made me reinstate him – Rosie Lee tends to brighten up any scene she’s in – Russell from The Nothing Girl because he’s just outrageous – and Max, obviously. Although I love all my characters. Especially the bad ones.

Do you have any tips for people who are just starting to write?

Yes – just do it. Sometimes people tell me they’ve had a brilliant idea for a book and should they approach an agent or publisher and I say no – write the book first. You have to have something to show them. And it’s a good idea to have made a start on your next book as well because that’s the first question they will ask – when’s the next one and what’s it about?

There’s no short cut – you just have to sit down and write. If it helps, I rarely start a book at the beginning. I usually choose a good strong scene somewhere in the middle and start there. In that way, should I get stuck, I can move either backwards or forwards through the book as I need to. I usually write the beginning towards the end of the process because I know the characters so much better then. There is no rule that says you have to write a book in a linear fashion so I don’t.

And I have no control over my brain. Often I’m writing a scene and get an idea for a different scene – or sometimes even a different book. Keep a notebook close by and write it down immediately. I can’t tell you how much good stuff I’ve lost because I’ve thought – I must remember that – and immediately forgotten it.

When did you start writing?

I started to write Just One Damned Thing After Another at the end of 2011. So everything I’ve written has been in the last ten years.

What is your favourite era or time period?

Ooh – tricky! I think, like Max, I’m an Ancient History girl. Anything after 1AD is modern to me and again, like Max, I can hardly be bothered to get out of bed for anything after 1485. I’m fascinated by the Egyptians, the Persians, Catal Huyuk, Troy, the Romans, the Greeks, Carthage, and so on, and I’m hoping to extend my knowledge to the lost city of Axum, possibly Zimbabwe, and more of Mesopotamia.