Sunday Smatterings

So another week in the books, and May coming to an end. It's been a long week for everyone, especially those affected by the horrific attack in Manchester. But the stories that emerge, the heroics, the kindnesses, restore our faith in humanity when faced with the cowardly actions of these idiots. I fear it will be a long summer for us all, and I hate that. 

In better news, Nashville is going to the Stanley Cup! We're playing Pittsburgh, and it won't be an easy road, but I hope it will be a good one. 

I made a lot of mental progress on the new book, and some solid writing, too. It's a long weekend, but it's going to be rainy, plus I'm traveling next week, so lots of work this weekend. I actually love a rainy Saturday to write.


Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

From Hockey 101 to a Ph.D. in Nashville. This week has been nothing short of highs and lows. Here's one of my bright spots.

The Empathy Machine. New research shows that seeing through another's eyes takes a detached mind not just a warm heart. A fascinating long read. Cognitive empathy is a real thing in my world.

"Incredibly rare" William Caxton print discovered. History nerds will want to check out this BBC article. Caxton brought the printing press to England in the 1400s, so this is a pretty cool discovery, indeed!

An Open Letter to Writers at Every Stage of PublishingThis essay by Kerry Lonsdale is just beautiful. No matter where you are in the writing process, this is a must-read.

George RR Martin says Game of Thrones spin-offs will all be prequels – and announces a fifth. Did you know there were going to be spin-offs? GoT fans—and HBO execs—may be happy for a while. Just make sure you finish that next book, George... though I think I understand the delay. I wouldn't want to let it go, either.

Interview: Agent Sarah LaPolla on how authors can stand out, negotiating offers, and the state of publishing. Authors in progress, you're gonna want to read this, too.

Famous Writers and their Feline Friends. Cats have played a role in many artists' creative lives. I know mine have.

And closer to home:

200 copies of LIE TO ME up for grabs! The Goodreads contest ends this week, so hurry hurry!

THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE Roundup. For every book compile a digital scrapbook of sorts: articles, accolades, nice reviews and the like. Nick and Mike made a splash this spring, and Catherine and I are so pleased y'all have enjoyed their latest adventure.

That's it from me. Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend, and remember what Memorial Day is all about. God bless our soldiers who have died to secure our great freedoms. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Daily Tao ☯ 5.26.17

Daily Tao 5.26.17

So guess who forgot to blog last night?

I remembered at 10:30, whilst watching the Penguins v. Senators game, and decided you know what? It’s okay. I figured y’all wouldn’t mind. 

But I should have done it early, before we went to dinner for my MIL birthday, so shame on me. I didn’t get as much work done yesterday as I wanted either, for various reasons, mostly to be blamed on fellow scribe Sarah J. Maas, whose utterly brilliant and captivating A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN has me between the Scylla and Charybdis of work and reading. 

I haven’t enjoyed a book so much in months. All I want to do is gobble it up. So when my normal reading during breakfast and lunch accidentally stretch into my writing time, and I’m up well past midnight reading, I have to simply bow in Sarah’s direction, and recognize that refilling my well is sometimes as important as expending its contents. 

In addition to writing, learning that it’s called a “cast” of falcons (dangling editorial carrot, there) I did do something else awesome yesterday — picked the audio narrators for LIE TO ME. My God, the talent on this book — you’re going to love it!

And today I took a lunch break and did a long, fun, intricate, and exciting interview with Hank Garner from THE AUTHOR STORIES podcast. We covered everything from my humble beginnings writing weird short stories of astronauts left behind on Mars (yes, I went there first) to a very extemporaneous discussion of creativity and inspiration to my favorite topic, the need for strong female leads in fiction. He made me so comfortable that I was actually doing voices. Which is a thing. My friends can tell you I slip into characters all the time, but I sometimes do it unknowingly, and only when I’m utterly relaxed. So… impressions by J.T., coming next Friday on Hank’s awesome podcast. I’ll put up links.

And then, the afternoon calmed, and I managed 1500 words. That's better.

Have a wonderful long weekend! Be safe, be smart, and have fun.


Dear reader, it has been a happening time for Nicholas Drummond.

Not only did Catherine and I have a blast writing Nick & Mike’s newest adventure, THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE, we also enjoyed launching it into the world. And it appears y'all had a lot of fun launching it with us—because you made the book debut at #1 on the Wall Street Journal’s bestseller list, and #2 on the New York Times and USA TODAY! 🎉🙌💕

We are (book) party animals. Aren't we wild?

I've gathered a few links as a digital scrapbook of sorts, so in the coming days we can look back and see what fun we had. Enjoy!







"This fourth in the A Brit in the FBI series is hard to put down . . . as Coulter and Ellison continue, on a roll."
–  Booklist, Starred Review

"Coulter and Ellison are really on an amazing roll with their outstanding A Brit in the FBI series. Wildly creative and twisty plots that take readers on crazy rides around the world are anchored by a core cast of unforgettable characters . . . Thrillers do not get better than this!"
– RT Book Reviews

An "adventure-filled fourth thriller in the Brit in the FBI series . . . Fans of popular culture will appreciate the references to such icons as the Star Trek Romulans, Harry Potter, and Sherlock Holmes."
– Publishers Weekly 

"There are action and thrills aplenty in Coulter and Ellison’s new addition to their Brit in the FBI series." 
– Kirkus Reviews

Daily Tao ☯ 5.24.17

Great news, y’all — commenting on the blog is fixed! From here on out, to comment, you click on the word “Comment”, which opens a nice, clean box. You write me a love letter, click “Post Comment”, and the following box will appear. All you have to do is put in your name, and click “Comment as Guest” and voilà!  


*Ignore the Log In to Comment. It shouldn’t be there, but at least now there’s the guest option. Still working on eliminating any more confusion with the service, but this is a good start.*

So. With that fixed, which took up a lot of time today, I was able to turn to the manuscript, edit what I did yesterday, and eek out another almost 1000. I'm over 6k now... I also did a big print interview (which you’ll see next month, fingers crossed) and did some last minute travel arrangements for BEA. 

A good day, all in all. And tomorrow, it’s manuscript only. And kitties. Who really do love to distract mom the moment she gets going with her words…

Oh, did y’all see the great news from my BFF, Laura Benedict? She sold her new novel, and it’s going to be incredible — I’ve read the book and it’s fantastic. Many congrats to Laura today!

Sweet dreams!

Daily Tao ☯ 5.23.17

A stellar start to the book today, 2300 words. I could have kept going, but there were a ton of distractions, too. My fault, I forgot to turn on Freedom and ended up dealing with an issue that should have waited until after work hours. My goal is to average 2000 per day 5 days a week, and I’m feeling confident enough in the story that I think this is very doable.

I am back in my zone, only taking appointments and calls on Mondays and Fridays, which allows for deep work Tuesday through Thursday. It worked for the last book so well I’m excited to try it again. If it continues to work, it means I can almost double my usual weekly output, which makes my brain (and my publishing partners) very happy, because there are so many stories begging to get out. 

Last night was historic in Nashville. My beloved Predators won the Western Conference title, and will be playing in the Stanley Cup for the very first time. And I will be there, in my nineteen-year-old practice sweater, cheering them on. The Preds came to town the same year I did, and I’ve always been a fan. My parents took me to Colorado Rockies and Washington Capitals games growing up, and darling husband continued in their stead, so this is a lifelong quest, for me to see my team make it to the big dance.  

And at the same time, my heart is breaking for the families in Manchester, England. It’s a terrible thing, and I was so torn last night, filled with great pride and great sorrow. It feels like the world should stop turning when these horrible events happen, but it doesn’t. All I can do is offer a prayer, and make sure the godless people who commit these atrocities are forever stopped in my novels. You wonder why I write crime fiction? So I can stop the bastards in their tracks. 

And on that rather vicious note, sweet dreams!