Saturday, April 21, 2012

Solitude by J.T. Ellison


J.T. Ellison is the international award-winning author of eight critically acclaimed novels, multiple short stories and has been published in over twenty countries.

Ellison grew up in Colorado and moved to Northern Virginia during high school. She is a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman's College and received her master's degree from George Washington University. She was a presidential appointee and worked in The White House and the Department of Commerce before moving into the private sector. As a financial analyst and marketing director, she worked for several defense and aerospace contractors.

After moving to Nashville, Ellison began research on a passion: forensics and crime. She has worked with the Metro Nashville Police Department, the FBI, and various other law enforcement organizations to research her books.

She lives in Nashville with her husband and the ghost of a poorly trained cat, and is hard at work on her next novel.



Solitude
by J.T. Ellison


We writers have voices in our heads. It’s just a fact of life. The voices speak to us, we write their words on the page, and people read the stories and are captivated, drawn into a land of make believe.

All right. Let’s be honest and call this what it really is. Controlled psychosis.

You laugh, but think about it. Where else in the world are you allowed to let the little voices in your head control your thoughts, your words, and your deeds? Hmmm?

Most writers are loners, happily spinning yarns with their imaginary friends day in and day out. Some of us are extroverts, getting a rush from interaction, gratified by teaching, or simply refilling the well on a night out with friends.

I’m one of those bizarre introverts who can unveil my personality at will, as necessary, for groups. The public me is a version of myself, the me I want to be. It’s like actors on the stage, playing a role. Or, for those of us who are terribly shy, it’s a bit like going to war.

You embellish yourself a bit. So you can make it through the night. You put on pretty clothes – armor. You do your makeup and your hair – helmet. You take a pill or have a glass – shield. And then, head to toe in metal and mail, you swan about, hoping you aren’t putting your foot into it too badly.

But that’s life, isn’t it? We all feel that momentary cringe when we think we’ve said something off, or insulting, or embarrassing. 99% of the time, no one takes your words the way you think they came out. As a matter of fact, everyone is so busy cringing that no one really hears what’s being said.

I hope.

Many of you know that Randy and I recently lost our beloved kitten, Jade, aka Thrillercat. Things have been very, very quiet around here. I’ve always seen myself as a quiet writer – I like the silence of being alone with my thoughts and my laptop – but it wasn’t until Jade passed away that I realized just how much I talked to her during the day. I ran bits of dialogue past her, or ideas, or questions. And she sat there, quiet as a mouse, and accepted all my thoughts. It is so bizarre not to have that sounding board anymore. And it’s been lonely.

I’m starting the tour for my newest novel, A DEEPER DARKNESS, April 17. I will be strapping on my armor and sallying forth into the world to talk about the book, and hopefully not put my foot in my mouth too many times. But this novel is about loss, and since I’ve been experiencing so much of my own lately, I’m girding myself to speak in public about that very issue.

  It’s the commonalities that make each of us connect with a book. Even quiet, solitude-loving writers need to come out of their shells every once in a while and connect with people. I hope to see you on the road, or at my videochat April 19 (6pm EST, details on my website under the Events tab) And maybe we can make each other feel a little less alone.


 

6 comments:

Kaye Barley said...

JT, hi and welcome back! Always my pleasure to see you here.

Your piece rings a lot of bells on a lot of levels for me and I appreciate you sharing some of this with us.

Many of us also understand your conversatons with your beloved Jade. You enriched her life as much as she enriched yours by sharing your thoughts with her. That's all they ask of us, isn't it? The sharing of ourselves. Hugs, sweetie!

Glenda Beall said...

Having lost so many important people and pets recently, I understand about loss. I also have a cat for company now. She is loving and sweet most of the time. And I would miss her like I miss my Rocky, the found dog we had for fourteen years.
I enjoyed this post and hope to get your book.

lil Gluckstern said...

I just lost my cat, and I find myself talking to her, and then I remember. To me she was special, and can't be replaced. I really enjoy your books, and the new one is waiting for me at my local bookstore. When there is loss, we have each other. For me, anyway.

jenny milchman said...

JT, I am so looking forward to reading your next, and I hope I can get to one of your readings (I love Nashville, but only make it there in late summer, in the last leg of our cross-country drive).

I am a fan of your work--books, and also what you do for ITW (I'm part of the Debut Authors Program, and have steered many Debuts to your helpful post on blurbs).

I'm sorry for the loss of Jade, and can imagine how much you must miss her quiet sounding board.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry about the loss of Jade. Everything you wrote resonated with me about the companion of a cat. And I felt that I myself had written what you said about the many sides of a writer. Bless. T.J. Straw

JT Ellison said...

Thank you, all! Your warm wishes help, tremendously! Thanks fro having me back, Kaye!