Monday, January 25, 2010

Pro-File: J.T. Ellison

Coming February 23

J.T. Ellison:

1. Tell us about your current novel (or project).

THE COLD ROOM (2/23/2010) is the fourth novel in the Taylor Jackson series. It delves into some of the most difficult material I’ve ever had to research – necrophilia and adoption. It took me into worlds I didn’t know existed, but that’s the whole point to writing, isn’t it?

2. Can you give a sense of what you're working on now?

I’ve just finished the final revisions of book five, THE IMMORTALS, and I’m about halfway through book six, THE PRETENDER. I’ve got a couple of short stories brewing as well.

3. What is the greatest pleasure of a writing career?

The solitude. I enjoy being in my own head with these characters, so writing never feels like work. And getting to meet my literary idols at conferences. It’s insane.

4. What is the greatest DISpleasure?

How can there be any displeasure to writing? I get paid to make up stories. It’s a dream come true. Even on the worst writing day, when nothing is coming, I’m still happy. It’s like pizza. No matter how bad it is, it’s still great.

5. If you have one piece of advice for the publishing world, what is it?

Listen to the consumers. Their tastes seem to be changing, and the opportunity is there to expand literature into the marketplace in the same ways as music and movies.

6. Are there two or three forgotten mystery writers you'd like to see in print again?

John R. Maxim – all of his Bannerman books are outstanding – breaking all conventions for thrillers.

7. Tell us about selling your first novel. Most writers never forget that moment.

My agent, who is a fabulously nice guy, played a bit of a joke on me. He called, all morose, and I swear I thought he was going to tell me that he was giving up on me. Instead, he started to laugh, and told me I was going to be published. Then he gave me the news that the offer was for three books. Then he told me to call my husband. (Yes, I can repeat every single word of that conversation. It was a big moment.) What was so cool – my parents were visiting. So I was able to call my husband, get him on the phone, and tell all three of them at once. I managed to get a few words out before I broke down. We drank excellent champagne that night to celebrate. It was awesome.

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