Sunday Smatterings (The Kerr Edition)

Hi, guys! It's me, The Kerr. Did you have a good week? Everything is getting so green again, I wake up to a brilliant blue sky every morning, and the evening sun hangs out much longer after work than it used to.

I love spring. I love feeling the warm breezes, working by an open window, seeing the joggers and stroller-pushing mamas out again. I feel a bit brighter, too, full of energy and possibility. I hope you're feeling it too!

Here's what I've been up to this week.


What I'm Eating

Confession: this is kind of like guacamole. But not really.

I had this avocado salad at a little brunch place near my house, and I order it every time I go—it's so simple, yet so delicious. Diced avocado, shallots, grape tomatoes, lime juice, olive oil, salt & pepper. That's it! Gentle tossed together, it's a perfect little salad to serve for Easter brunch, or placed on spinach with some chicken on top. 

Alas, I have no photos of said salad, because...

Another Confession: I am not a professional food blogger. This is evident by the way I consume everything I eat without taking photos of it. What can I say? When it comes to food, I have trouble with the word no. 🤷‍♀️

What I'm Playing (on my headphones)

I'm a sucker for a good podcast. This week I blazed through S-Town, from the producers of Serial and This American Life.

Murder, mayhem, a treasure hunt, a clock maker, small town Southern politics, a backyard maze with 64 permutations of escape, Kant and Plato. This seven-part series is all over the place—I mean that in the best way possible. Every spare bit of downtime I had—cooking, cleaning, dog walking—I was listening to this riveting show. It has the intrigue of Serial Season 1 without having to wait weeks for the next episode. I highly recommend it.

If that didn't convince you, here's a lil' preview.

Um, yeah. Go listen to it.


What I'm Reading

Remember last week, when I talked about my favorite, must-pre-order-book-as-soon-as-I-see-it-and-wait-in-breathless-anticipation-for-release-day authors?

Anne Lamott is one of those authors.

This week, her new book HALLELUJAH ANYWAY showed up on my Kindle. I have gleefully been reading a chapter every morning over coffee—it's my motivator to get out of bed and get through a workout, actually. The sooner you get this over with, I think, the sooner you can go read Anne.

I always need a kick in the pants, and Anne is always there to give me one—and a laugh or two along the way. Filled with thoughts on mercy, why we all need it, and how to spread it around, it's a lovely way to start each day, a goal to aspire to. I fail miserably, but I'm still practicing.

What I'm Watching

This. This video from Harlequin is hysterical. The 75 seconds are worth your time, I promise. 

Dog of the Week

Crockett the ridiculous greyhound

This week's winner is my greyhound, Crockett, for being this week's #1 office distraction. He can't understand why anyone would ever stop snuggling with him. 

I know, buttercup. But Mommy's gotta bring home the rawhide somehow.

11.10.16 - Toronto on My Mind

Toronto on my mind

Week before last, my agent and I went to Toronto for meetings with my publisher.

It was a very exciting day, with so many takeaways I barely know where to begin. The main focus was on the new standalone, which will be coming your way around Labor Day next year. It was incredibly gratifying to see all the plans for this new novel, touch base with all the folks making it work, Facebook Live, sign books, and eat (and eat, and eat). It was truly a special day all the way around. 

I was very struck by several things.

One, obviously, I am extremely lucky to have the chance to sit down with my publishing team and discuss upcoming book plans.

Two, as the proprietor of my own small indie publishing house, it was incredible to see all the moving parts of a full-strength bonafide publisher at play. From research to marketing to art and social media, seeing the full force of a house in publishing mode was fascinating and gratifying. Makes me very, very happy I don’t have to all this on my own.

And a note about teamwork—I am endlessly grateful to have this team behind me. The players have changed slightly over the years, but I’ve been with MIRA Books for a decade now, and I’ve watched them weather all the recent publishing storms with aplomb, good humor, and an innovative attitude. These people are madly, passionately,  head-over-heels in love with books, and with the authors who create them. I’ve bumped up against people in the industry who take for granted the contribution authors make to the process; Harlequin and MIRA have always made it a point to let their authors know that without us, they don’t work. I’ve always been thrilled to be a MIRA author, I am even more overjoyed to be a part of this team now.

Also, marketing a standalone is very different from marketing a series. The differences were astounding to me, and I learned so much. Honestly, I’m still trying to process it all.

Many years ago, I wrote an essay about the value of face-to-face meetings with the people you’re doing business with, especially your agent and editor.  As a ten-year veteran of the same house, I’ve had the luxury of knowing the folks I work with forever. And I’ve known them so long because I made a special effort to meet them early on. I’m telling you, it is so worth your time and energy to find a conference your people are attending, or make a trip to visit them in their natural habitat. You won’t regret it for a minute. 

So that’s the book report on my exciting trip to Canada! More to come from the standalone front in the coming weeks, especially on the title! In the meantime, #keepwriting and #keepreading!

J.T. Ellison

New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the premier literary television show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

For more insight into her wicked imagination, join J.T.’s email list at, or follow her online at or on Twitter @thrillerchick.