Behind the Books – J T Ellison Edition

J T ELLISON“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 Catherine Coulter.

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”.

J.T then went on to recommend 5 of her favorite books for our readers, so that all our bookshelves grow bigger and heavier, her picks are:

OUTLANDER – Diana Gabaldon
Harry Potter 1-7 – J.K. Rowling
THE SECRET HISTORY – Donna Tartt
WHAT ALICE FORGOT – Liane Moriarty
PANIC – Jeff Abbott

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:
Pick one:

•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!”

– Article written by Kinnari

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