"The romantics of growing old with someone were shattered by the realities of the
flesh incrementally dying."
Author J.T. Ellison writes succinctly about the thrilling possibilities and realities
of life in her stories. J.T. Ellison has also been honored as New York Times
bestselling author. She writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville
Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and
pens the Nicholas Drummond series collaborating with bestselling author
J.T. Ellison is also the co-host of A Word on Words, Nashville's famed literary TV
series; She is also the founder of Two Tales Press, an independent publishing
house, and The Wine Vixen, a wine review website.
Needless to say, J.T. is connected abundantly with her readers, and when we got
down to talking with her and asked her how much a virtual connection helps an
author in this age and time, she replied saying, "I think social media is fantastic for
meeting new readers, developing friendships, and providing information. I think authors should
find what they enjoy and get their kicks from it instead of trying to use it as a sales channel".
Writing and reading have always been harmonious and there is no doubt that
indulging in one means the betterment of the other and J.T. was of the similar
opinion and says that, "They are completely linked: if you're a writer, you're a
reader, full stop. And I've always been a big reader; from the time I was a young
child. I read early, read widely, and wasn't restricted to kid's books by my
parents, so I developed a taste for all sorts of great fiction: mysteries and thrillers
and sci-fi and fantasy and romance. Having all those disparate stories buzzing in
my head certainly helped me become the writer I am today. I find now that when
I'm not reading, my writing starts to slow down. When I'm really on a roll with
my work, I'll read 3-4 books a week. So I'd say I can't do one without the other".
Walter Mosley once said, "A man's bookcase will tell you everything you'll ever
need to know about him." Similarly is the belief that a writer's room gives us a
greater understanding of the writer. We asked J.T. to describe her writer's desk
and she explained that she really enjoyed the freedom of movement— "I'm a big
believer in changing your setting if you feel things are getting stale. I write at my
kitchen counter, the dining room table, the living room, and when the weather
isn't beastly hot, on my back porch. There are almost always a couple of kittens
about, as well. They help the creative flow".
Discovering the inner Potterhead in J.T., I asked her of her literary influences, as
through the influences of those around us is how we grow and find ourselves;
"J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series will always be some of my favorites —I love
the fight between good and evil and she's done it so brilliantly it literally changed
the world. She taught me to follow my heart". She went on to tell us about - "John
Sandford, who inspired the Taylor Jackson series, John Connolly, who inspired
my ever-evolving writing style, Lee Child, who's friendship and guidance has
been invaluable. The thriller chicks: Catherine Coulter, Tess Gerritsen, Erica
Spindler, Alex Kava, Karin Slaughter and Allison Brennan, for showing me how
not to compromise my subject matter just because I'm a woman. Diana Gabaldon,
for teaching me how to create worlds. Sharon Penman, Karleen Koen, Danielle
Steele and Mary Stewart, for helping me move from children's books to adult
books (i.e. : teaching me the differences between love, romance and sex. I guess I
better include Judy Blume's Forever in there too, for that very reason.) Ayn
Rand's Anthem changed my life, Book VII of Plato's
Republic got me into
graduate school, and my all-time favorite, Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov, showed
me it's possible to have lovable monsters".
We played our version of the author rapid fire and these were her responses:
- Ebooks/Paperback — Ebooks. With all the traveling I do, I love having my library with me.
- Movies/Television — Both
- Backpacking/Staycation — Is lying on the beach with a good book an option?
- Writing on paper/computer — Computer
- Writer's block - Reality/Myth — Mythology. It's all in our heads.
The interview winded down with the discussion of her earliest reading memory;
which turns out to be the eclectic choices of the Encyclopedia and her mother's
copy of The Norton Anthology of Poetry. And when asked of her opinion over a
platform such as Woodpie and its effort to reach readers and create new energy
for reading, she said, "I think any platform that connects readers and gets great
books into their hands is a winner, and Woodpie does a very nice job of both. It's
very pretty and straightforward, and I love how international it's becoming!"
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