We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

JT Ellison

Ah, it’s September. Back to school, back to work. Back to drooling over the pen and paper selection at my local Staples. I have a serious problem when it comes to "school supplies."

I’ve usurped my original column this week to bring you up to date on
quite a few goings on. Some may wonder why I haven’t been babbling on about all
the things happening with the new book deal, given that I’m the newbie and I’m
supposed to be giving you that perspective. Thing is, it’s a quiet, long
process to get some of the formalities out of the way.

So, with some fanfare – I signed my contracts!!!

And everything is very, very real for the first time since

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been prone to bouts of grinning for
no apparent reason other than the thought crosses my mind that yes, when I say
I’m a writer and I get that inevitable question, “Oh, where can I buy your
books?” I’m now able to say with confidence, “Next November, anywhere and
everywhere.” And I’ll admit to a few moments of jig dancing these past couple of
months. Too bad I’m a lousy dancer.

Thankfully, there’s been some real work getting done amidst the playtime.

There’s lots going on behind the scenes with Killer Year,
and there’s going to be oodles to say about that later this month.

I have a new website too, thanks to my darling Hubby. If you haven’t had a chance, stop by and take a look. It needs some work, there’s a technical glitch in the software that’s being worked on so I can finish populating the links, etc. But I love it, and hope you do too!

If you really want a laugh, I’m making my appointment with a photographer for the official "Author Photo." That’s frightening in and of itself. And my new business cards arrived today. They are too cool. I’ve graduated to Overnight Prints, rather than doing it myself on the laser printer. There’s a step in the right direction for ya!

I’ve had some time off, sort of, and actually didn’t touch
the computer for two days in a row, which has to be some kind of record for me.

But what I’ve been focused on, fighting for, immersing
myself in is serious, balls to the wall writing.

The second book is halfway done, and I want to complete it
by November 1st. I have the plot for Book 3, which is stellar news
for my mind gremlins, because they can go back to worrying about other things
while I finish Book 2. I have new goals and deadlines that are mandated, and
those dates are further out, but I’m sticking to my original schedule to give
myself some breathing room in case of maiming or dismemberment, which is about
the only thing that will keep me from my deadlines.

I’ve also done some short stories, the first of which is
available now at one of the coolest new sites on the web.

MOUTH FULL OF BULLETS, a innovative ezine from the devious
mind of B.J. Bourg, is live with their Fall issue, and my flash piece THE
is up there, pretty as you please. To top it off, it’s the first time
I’ve been paid for my work. You know how businesses pin their first dollar
about the register? I’m framing the check, with B.J.’s permission, of course.

I have another coming next week, a full-length short story
called KILLING CAROL ANN, in the special fall double issue of SPINETINGLER
. My hat’s off to Sandra Ruttan and Kevin Einarson, the editors of
SPINETINGLER, for all the amazing work they are doing with this internationally
acclaimed ezine. This will be their first issue available in print too.

I’m so thrilled with the number of places where first time
writers and seasoned veterans can mingle in print. FLASHING IN THE GUTTERS is
one of my favorites, and I contribute frequently over there. DEMOLITION
is one of the strongest, tightest run ships on the net, and their
current issue is mind blowing.

There are many more, but these are markets I’ve found who
welcome newcomers, who encourage submissions, who treat their writers with
respect and are gracious in their critiques.

I highly recommend everyone do at least a flash piece this
week, support our community’s ezines.

So, now that I’m done tooting my own horn, I do hope you
enjoy the stories. Shorts for me are a way to deviate from my prescribed path,
to explore new points of view, develop new characters, exorcise demons
(literally) and generally have a good time.

I consider them brain medicine.

We’ll now return you to your regularly scheduled

So, tell me. Share with the mystery community. What have YOU been up to?

Wine of the Week: Hmmm… Hubby brought home a new varietal,
the Nero D’Avola grape, dark, luscious and very drinkable. This varietal is to
Sicily what Sangiovese grapes are to Tuscany. Here’s a couple to try.

Duca Enrico

Pasqua & Fazio "Mezzo Giorno" 1999 Nero d’Avola


GO VOLS!                                    


19 thoughts on “We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

  1. Tasha Alexander

    JT, you ROCK!!! I’m in awe. Huge congrats on signing the contracts. Next thing you know you’ll be getting a check in the mail. Woo hoo!

    What have I been doing? Writing my third book. I want a draft done by the end of the month, but will be attending the Midwest Literary Festival and Bouchercon, so that’ll make a hole in my work time. Also gearing up for next month’s paperback release of And Only to Deceive.

    Should be getting first pass pages for A Poisoned Season, the second in my series, soon. Book will be out in April.

    I’m also having an adulterous affair, so to speak–stealing bits of time from Book #3 to play with Book #4. Dangerous, I know, but ohhhh so fun. I’ve never cheated before but have to admit that I kind of like it.

  2. J.B. Thompson

    The fact that YOU know exactly what I’m doing aside, I’ll share with the rest of the class – I’m writing books four and five while I try to find an agent who’s willing to take me and my talent (ahem, I mean Book #3) to the mattresses.

    But enough about me. Let me say for public record how very proud I am of you, my great friend, for all your accomplishments. You are the standard by which I set my own goals.

  3. Ron Estrada

    I envy those who design their own websites. It looks good. Congrats on the contract. Dancing naked on the lawn is permitable once in a lifetime. And nobody notices if you can’t dance.

    I’ve written short stories, but never mystery shorts. I may have to give it a shot.

  4. Sue Trowbridge

    JT: I noticed that the “title” tag on the front page of your web site just reads “Page 1.” Ask Hubby to change it to something like, “JT Ellison: Thriller Writer and Author of ‘All the Pretty Girls.'” That’ll help you with Google — its indexing method seems to pay a lot of attention to what’s in those title tags. (You can see a page’s title at the very top of your browser window.)

  5. Naomi

    Sue, BTW, is the creator/webmaster for both my site and Jeff Cohen’s. I can’t speak for Jeff, but I know I’ve been so happy with Sue and Interbridge.

    If you are planning to hire a webmaster for your website, contact her/him way in advance. Many of them get filled up.

    And in terms of writing short stories, I do think it’s a great way to jump into another POV. But it’s still very hard work.

  6. Beatrice Brooks

    Go Broncos! Go BC Lions!

    Okay, JT, you’re on. I promise I’ll write a flash fiction this week. In fact, I was watching my dog Pandora snap at a fly and wrote a story in my head: PERHAPS SHE’LL DIE. Once I get it down on paper (screen) I’ll start submitting. Sandra? Bryon?

    Oh, wait. How many words in a flash fiction, please?

    Hugs,Deni Dietz, published with books, long-ish stories and novellas, but no flash fic 🙂

    PS- Tasha, see you at Bouchercon!

  7. JT Ellison

    Afternoon, guys! I’ve been off in the wild blue today.

    Tasha, I hope everyone has coem to your site for the cocktail party with Gregg Hurwitz. It’s a good one!http://www.good-girls-kill.com/

    Bryon, I credit you and Demolition for jump starting my career. So thank you!

    JB, you’re too sweet. Thank goodness for you, and your eagle eyes on my apostrophe problem 🙂

    Ron, it’s just so much easier to do it myself. I can update links, make changes, and with the support you get from these template based systems, it’s worth it for a newbie. If I ever make $ I’ll pay someone to do it for me.Where can I read your stories? You should definitely try your hand at mystery, they’re fun!

    Sandra, SPINETINGLER is going to be the next EQMM or AHMM, a defninitive source for mystery shorts, interviews, reviews and news. It’s awesome!

    Sue, thank you for the advice! Would you tell me how to make a little JT come up as an icon for the address???

    Naomi — you’re right, shorts are hard. But so fun!

    And Deni — whoo-hoo to the Broncos. I am so jealous that y’all drafted Jay Cutler, from Vanderbilt! The Titans needed him, but now we have Kerry Collins, so I think our season is not lost. But Cutler will be Denver’s Elway, no doubt!

    Happy Friday, everyone!

  8. Ron Estrada

    Right now you can only read my short stories on my computer. I never had any luck getting them pubbed. I did get magazine articles published, but decided it was too much work for the pay. My novels have evolved from suspense to mystery.

  9. David J. Montgomery

    I’ve been taking care of the baby, doing the day job (just part time, thank God), trying to read through a stack of books as tall as Everest, writing a bunch of reviews, and harassing agents about my manuscript. Nothing very exciting, but it fills the hours.

    Now if only I had time to write…

  10. Elizabeth Krecker

    Great to hear so much is happening! I’m so happy for you and your contract!

    [dances jig around kitchen!]

    I took a breatk from my book and wrote my first short story, ever. For a non-fiction writer, it wasn’t easy. First time in my life I ever stared at a page not knowing where to start!

    Thanks for your inspiration and, perhaps more importantly, your wine of the week – sounds luscious!

  11. Inigo

    JT, thanks for the list of e-zines – I submitted, and BJ at Mouth Full Of Bullets accepted, my drabble (100-word flash fiction) for the Spring 07 edition.


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