I have waited so long to write this blog post. I have a big surprise for you.
I wrote a standalone, a suburban thriller. Gallery, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, bought it. It will come out in the spring of 2016.
From today's Publisher's Marketplace:
NYT bestselling author JT Ellison's first standalone novel, NO ONE KNOWS, a suburban thriller pitched in the vein of Gillian Flynn and Harlan Coben, to Abby Zidle at Gallery, for publication in Spring 2016, by Scott Miller at Trident Media Group.
Of course, there's a story behind the news. This book was four years in the making. I pitched it in early 2011 and started writing in that June. It is based on a dream I had several years ago, in which many odd things happened, including my husband disappearing, and Harlan Coben giving me sage career advice.
It was one of those dreams you wake up from and know you have something. I pitched it to my agent as "a suburban thriller, something dark and unexpected. Think Harlan Coben meets Gillian Flynn." He loved the idea. I started writing it. I poured my heart and soul into this novel, six months of really-stretching-myself bliss. It's the story of a perfect marriage interrupted, of a young widow grappling with her new reality after her husband disappears. It opens the day she receives the letter from the State of Tennessee declaring him dead, five years after he went missing.
My agent liked the finished novel. A lot. We were prepping it for submission, doing the requisite revision to make it perfect, when Catherine Coulter came into my life and hired me to write the Nicholas Drummond novels with her. That was May 2012.
I shelved the edits on the book for the time being, assuming I'd return the moment I finished the first Nicholas book. Of course, things happened. And then this chick named Gillian Flynn, who I so greatly admired, published a smash novel that was on everyone's lips. I read it, so excited, and while I loved (most of) it, I closed the cover with a major issue on my hands.
My novel was no longer the first of its kind. There really are no original ideas.
So I rewrote NO ONE KNOWS a couple of times (five) until it was an original story again. It took forever to get it right (two years), working nights and weekends, a week here, a week there, getting editorial input from several sources (eleventy-billion), rewriting and revising and reworking (eighteen drafts, five titles) until it became the book Abby Zidle fell in love with. A book I am incredibly proud of, which will go down in my publishing history as my first standalone. I think it's worthy of the title, because, after all, in this world, NO ONE KNOWS....
Abby publishes some of my friends, too, writers I greatly admire, so I'm doubly thrilled she was the one who loved my baby like her own.
More news as it comes, but thanks for sticking with me through all the hints, and late nights, and time away from Taylor and Sam and Nicholas. I think it will be worth it in the end.