A FORMER librarian-turned-writer who believed she wasn’t good enough to even get a rejection letter from publishers is now sitting pretty – after landing a five-book deal.
Jodi Taylor wrote her first novel, Just One Damned Thing After Another, following her retirement after 20 years with the North Yorkshire library service.
However after completing the manuscript and sending it off to publishers and agents she waited for a year without a reply.
“I dreamed of getting a letter of rejection. But I wasn’t even good enough for that. I heard nothing," she said.
So she invested £150 in creating an ebook, put it out on the website Smashwords – and within a month it was number one in the free books category and shot to the top of its category in the Amazon charts as readers posted five-star reviews.
“I couldn’t help thinking it was too good to be true,” said Ms Taylor, who has now moved from Northallerton to Gloucestershire. “All these complete strangers were comparing it to Harry Potter, which left me bemused.”
Things then got even better - when award-winning independent publishers Accent Press spotted the book and offered the 61-year-old a three-book deal, which was quickly upped to five books.
Just One Damned Thing After Another is the first in a series based around the adventures of the disastrous time-travelling historians of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they bounce around the past to find the answers to many of history's unanswered questions.
“I wanted to write a book about time-travel that was a little different,” said Ms Taylor.
“I went ahead and put in elements of history, adventure, comedy, romance, tragedy and anything else I could think of, not realising how difficult it would be to classify.
“Yet readers seem to like it. One of the most repeated comments I get from readers is that my book is really ‘something different,’ and not just a regurgitated 50 Shades of Twilight.”
She will now be returning to her old stamping ground when she reads from her book and answers questions at Northallerton Library on April 15 from 6pm to 7pm. Tickets are £1, including refreshments. Advance booking required, contact the library on 0845 034 9506.