Author Features

MEET: J.T. Ellison author of “It’s One of Us”

J.T. lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens, where she is hard at work on her next novel.

Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle

author J.T. Ellison - It's One of Us
It's One of Us by J.T. Ellison

What was the last book that you read that you’d now recommend?

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. It took me a few tries to get into but once I did, I thought it was magnificent. 

Have you read any classics lately that you were reading for the first time?

No, I’m all modern right now.

Do you re-read books? And if yes, what was your last re-read?

I do, all the time. I reread the last four books in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series to prepare for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE. Such a joy.

What are your go-to genres?

Thriller, epic fantasy, and RomCom.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Anything by Judy Blume. 

What books are on your bedside table right now?

THE WIDOW, by Kaira Rouda, ARCA, by GM Macalister, THE ANATOMY OF GENRE by John Truby.

Do you bookmark or dogear your page in a book?

Bookmark. I feel dog-earing to be sacrilege.

What is your ideal reading setting?

Curled up on my porch on a rainy day, preferably next to a fire with a steaming hot mug of tea. Bliss.

Tell us about your favorite indie bookstore?

Oh, I have so many! My local is remarkable, Parnassus Books. I love the vibe when you walk in: hyper-intellectual meets fun-loving, and the store’s footprint is beautiful. I also love Murder by the Book in Houston, and Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale. 

J.T. Ellison's favorite bookstore

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

Reading Tennyson’s poem THE EAGLE. “He clasps the crags with crooked hands…” I was little, six or seven, when I realized “hands” were the eagle’s claws. The power of metaphor bloomed and I was hooked. 

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

As a huge OUTLANDER fan, I used the books to navigate my way through the highlands and Edinburgh. And I went to Cortona looking for the fabulous fountain in UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN – it doesn’t exist! They put it in for the movie. 

Where do you get most of your writing and editing done?

My office/library, or my porch. And airplanes. There’s something remarkably intoxicating about writing on planes. I’ve always threatened to do a round-the-world trip when I’m on a close deadline.  

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Energize. The magic of having written gives me a buzz that’s unbeatable.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Well, as of this moment, three finished novels that are going to pub this year, and one half of a novel that I’m currently writing. Plus three short stories complete and ready to go. I am a firm believer in finishing projects – there’s no trail of half-eaten sandwiches on my computer at the moment.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I used to read them with bated breath. Now, I appreciate the good ones, ignore the bad ones, and let sleeping dogs lie.   

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t wait for someone else’s opinion of your work to start the next thing. Just keep writing.

When you’re not reading or writing, what are you doing?

I love golf, travel, checking out nice restaurants with my husband, and organizing my business. My calendar soothes me. 

What are your three favorite things right now?

My William Hannah planner, that I’ve adapted into a very streamlined bullet journal, a stunning Swarovski crystal Hedwig my parents gave me for Christmas, and the Breville tea maker I gave my husband. We’re loose-leaf tea purists, and it’s totally programmable for temperature and time brewed. A great toy!

Your favorite travel destination and why?

Edinburgh, and the highlands of Scotland. I’m a Wallace on my mother’s side, and it’s just in my blood.

What’s your favorite meal and go-to drink order?

Mmm. Grilled halibut in a delicate beurre blanc, root veggies, and Zwei non-alcoholic sparkling Riesling.

J.T. Ellison's favorite food

What six people, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?

I’m at an age where I wish I’d had more time with my grandparents, and I never got to meet my paternal grandfather – so there’s 4. Hemingway. Du Maurier.

If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be, and who would play you?

Oh, that’s hard. I think it would have to be fantasy, like Cinderella-esque. Charlize Theron would be nice.  

What’s the last TV show or movie you watched that was really good?

I love Yellowstone–the classic gangster trope married to a western thriller, set on a ranch with the incredible backdrop of Montana as a setting. I grew up in the woods in Colorado, the scenery is an echo of my early life. And Beth Dutton’s one-liners are worth every moment.

You have to sing karaoke; what song do you pick?

“Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS. 

If you were being taken to a deserted island and could only bring one book, what would it be?

Impossible to choose just one – so I’d sneak in my Kindle. Something long, though, like an omnibus edition of a favorite series, like Deborah Harkness’s A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES.

thriller It's One of Us by J.T. Ellison


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