Announcement Time - A New Taylor Jackson Novel is Coming!

It’s time to publicly share the big news from my December newsletter. Here we go!

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I will be contributing a story to SWEET DREAMS, Brenda Novak’s thriller box set. The box set will be available for $9.99 for a limited time, starting May 1, 2015. And here’s what I will be bringing to the party: 

From New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison comes the long awaited prequel to her Taylor Jackson series. CROSSED, the story of a madman trying to create his own end-of-days apocalypse, introduces Lieutenant Taylor Jackson to the young, troubled FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin. 

A brand new, never before published TAYLOR NOVEL, y’all! Just like you’ve been begging for! And they say I don’t listen…

A little background on CROSSED. This is the very first book I ever wrote. It’s the book that landed me my agent back in 2005. I will rewrite a bit (she says, hopeful it’s not utter crapola), to improve the craft aspects and some story updating, but it’s high time y’all get to see how Taylor and Baldwin met and fell in love. 

I can’t wait to share CROSSED with you. And just look at the lineup of authors! This is going to be the box set to end all box sets.

Now, this book is not going to be in bookstores in this iteration. It will be available in the digital box set only from May 1- July 1, and then I have plans for it, which we’ll discuss in 2015. And don’t worry, if you don’t have an ereader, all the platforms have a version that allows you to read on your computer.

So … surprise! I will give you pre-order links when we’re closer to release. I’m honored to be included with all these incredible writers, and really excited to share Taylor’s first adventure with you at last.

And if you’re interested to see the places behind the books, check out Placing Literature, where all month long I’ll be geolocating scenes from my books! 

So what do you think? Does this sound like something you might be interested in????

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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 jtellison.com/subscribe, or follow her online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14 or on Twitter @thrillerchick.

12.3.14 - On Planners

Back in the saddle. 2037 today on Nick #3. Also cleaned up email, updated addresses, made a few adjustments to my 2015 planner. I’m at that weird time of the year when I can’t wait to switch over, to start my annual review process and dig into next year’s goals. I already know what my overarching theme is, and it’s beginning to leak into my last few weeks of 2014. 

Speaking of planners, the December contest is live. The prize is a Moleskine 2015 planner! See, I’m even starting to tidy up YOUR lives, too!

Personally, I am switching to a Quo Vadis Journal 21. It is a daily planner instead of weekly, the format I've been using for YEARS. I started keeping a daily logbook of sorts back in October, and realized I loved having all that space to write, record, and otherwise plan things out. So the Journal 21 it is. And... it fits into my (very old) Coach leather day planner cover. WIN!

So my combination of Day One for journaling and blogging, and the handwritten day-to-day stuff - this is where I'm heading in 2015.

What sort of planner do you use?

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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 jtellison.com/subscribe, or follow her online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14 or on Twitter @thrillerchick.

12.2.14 - A Book's Many Steps

So the DH and I have contracted some sort of viral… thing… that is not officially the “Influenza Virus” but is some other sort of flu. I’ve been fighting it since Saturday; he’s almost a week in.  Which means there’s been quite a bit of lying about moaning on couches, tea consumption and lack of general focus. 

Bad timing. My last pass edits for WHAT LIES BEHIND came in on Friday, and were sent off last night with a kiss and a prayer. I spent the whole weekend (minus my shift at Parnassus - that was FUN!) working on them. It’s always nerve-wracking to me, this final step in the process before the book goes into production. 

There are multiple steps in a book’s editorial life. I turn in a manuscript, my editor does a general, or developmental, edit. She gives me notes, and I go through and make changes accordingly. This part of the process can go smoothly (as this did) or it can generate reams of paper. It just depends. Every book is different. 

The next step is the line edit. This is where the editor goes through line by line, making sure things make sense, typos are caught, and things are consistent. She send me the marked up manuscript, and I too go through line by line, addressing any issues that have cropped up.

And then it’s on to the copyedit. The book is generally typeset at this stage — though with the advent of technology, that seems to happen much earlier in the process. I plow through the copyedits — cringing at my apparent lack of knowledge when it comes to grammar and punctuation — fix discrepancies caused by cross-cultural language barriers, and otherwise polish, polish, polish. 

Then we go to AAs, author alterations, which is the final step in the process. The manuscript is as clean as we can make it. This is my last chance to make changes, substantial or otherwise.

This is the step that takes the longest for me, because I read every single word. I don’t gloss over lines, I don’t allow my brain to trick me into seeing things as I know it should be rather than what it is. Some authors read theirs aloud, some read backward. I just take a long, leisurely stroll through the book, paying special attention to the story, the dialog, looking for repetitions, all that stuff.

I found several errors, and one whopping inconsistency we all missed. Errors tend to creep in during the previous three stages; this is why I take my time and read thoroughly. Hopefully I’ve caught them all. 

Now the book goes to proofreaders for one last look, and then it’s off to the printers.

There will be errors. There always are. Even with all these steps, all these reads (the post-finished count is five - that doesn’t count the hundreds of reads it got while I was writing) typos silently set-up warrens, and breed. Like rabbits. Drives us all mad.  

But I'll tell you, I like this book. Probably the kiss of death review wise, but I think it's solid and exciting, and Sam really shines. It's a fun one.

And, I got my final cover today. I can’t share it yet, but I’ll give you a hint… it’s one of my all-time favorites. I had that ZING of delight when I saw the concept, and the final version is simply gorgeous. 

So that’s what I’ve been up to. Tomorrow, the brain turns at last to uninterrupted writing time on Nicholas #3. We have a title for it, at last. I’ll wait for Catherine to announce it, then I’ll share : )

Do make sure you're signed up for the newsletter. (http://jtellison.com/subscribe/) Big news coming Friday!!!

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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 jtellison.com/subscribe, or follow her online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14 or on Twitter @thrillerchick.

11.27.14 - And We Give Thanks

A friend wrote me yesterday asking for a few sentences on what I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving. I dutifully gave her my list, which I assume is similar in nature to most others. Family, friends, gifts, etc. 

But there are a lot of things in this world I am thankful for this year. So, in no particular order, a (non)exhaustive list.

  • Writer friends who let me whine and buy me wine 
  • Non-writer friends who look at me like I’m insane, or brilliant, or both
  • Parents who are living, healthy, still married and rather fun to be with
  • Carmex. Enough said.
  • Those little fur mice that my cats adore; it’s so nice to find them wet and soggy underfoot in the mornings
  • Earl Grey tea
  • A husband who unloads the dishwasher and makes tea for me in the morning
  • My MacBook Air
  • Being surrounded by professionals who have my best interest at heart
  • The love of strangers
  • Progressive lenses
  • The freedom to pursue my dreams
  • The people who fight for me so I can pursue my dreams
  • And stories. Thank God for stories.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram - no, really.
  • Pinterest - and this one is special, because, you know, VISION BOARDS!
  • Hot showers on cold days
  • Warm crackly fires
  • The dust that rises in a poof when you open an old book long on the shelf (not to be seen as a commentary on my housekeeping skills)
  • Laughter
  • Smiling
  • Rembrandt tooth whitening toothpaste
  • Creme de la Mer
  • Birkenstocks
  • Boots and skinny jeans and leggings 
  • 80s music aka “First Wave" on Sirius XM
  • The Clash
  • That I’ve been given a gift, and the ability to share it with others
  • My very old Coach dayplanner cover that fits my new Quo Vadis Exaclaire Journal 21 perfectly
  • Amazon Prime
  • Indie bookstores
  • Inappropriate movies
  • Harry Potter
  • Cameras
  • Advil - All. Those. Bookshelves.
  • Diamonds
  • Cashmere
  • Hot baths
  • The moment when you start reading a book and realize it’s going to be a brilliant ride
  • Pillow forts
  • Kittens
  • Ghost kittens
  • That article in the Daily Mail that suggested I lay off wheat (adios, 15 pounds this year)
  • Gluten-free pie crusts
  • Stevia
  • YOGA!
  • That my body still does the things I ask of it
  • Redecorating to address needs. Like a yoga room. And more bookshelves.
  • Did I mention the best husband in the world? 
  • Cowriters
  • Those awesome little cloths that actually clean your glasses
  • Kind Bars
  • iPads
  • Rainy days in Paris

You get the idea. I could go on and on. But entirely non-irreverently, I am so very thankful for you. For coming here, and reading, and cheering on, and all that. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

What are you thankful for today?

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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 jtellison.com/subscribe, or follow her online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14 or on Twitter @thrillerchick.

11.25.14 - This Chicken's Head is Not Here

I stayed up much too late last night, watching TV and listening to police scanners, seeing things work, and things not work, applauding the peaceful protests, cringing at the fires and looting and shootings. I write about law enforcement, and it’s not often so front and center, so attainable. Seeing police in action is a boon for research, yes, but it's scary, too. I applaud the reporters who braved their lives to bring us the stories from around the country, too. It was a hard night, one I hope isn’t repeated. Alas, I fear my wish will not come true.

So I’ve been in a reflective mood today, and clearly distracted, as I first forgot my car keys, then had to come back to the house three times for, in turns, my Fitbit, my PO Box keys, and the grocery list. Then I left my wallet in the car... On and on and on, all day, silly little things here and there. I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off - such is the colloquial term - and was being blonde at the same time. 

My mind is not on my work or my errands. It’s somewhere else, and I finally stopped trying to make things work and instead settled in to clean my desk, do some filing and continue emptying the bookshelves. I know when the universe has bested me.

Word count - Zero. 

Boo. Hiss. 

But I’m here. And you’re here. So let’s have a virutal hug and some tea and a prayer for peace. Since that’s all I can really think about today.

Comment

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 jtellison.com/subscribe, or follow her online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14 or on Twitter @thrillerchick.