On What Do You Do When You Finish Writing a Book?

April 17, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.  

A major capital M Moment in my mythology. Catherine Coulter and I have just finished the revised version of our first novel together, The Final Cut. We started the research in June 2012, writing began July 15, 2012. Nine months and three days later, we've birthed a massive, intricate international thriller, introduced a whole new cast of characters for the 'A Brit in the FBI' series, and created a new iconic male lead -- Nicholas Drummond -- a man whose skills and repartee rival James Bond. 

So what do you do when you've just sent off a behemoth of a novel that's consumed your every waking moment for the past nine months of your life?  Here's a glimpse into my 24 hour post-partum period:

5:01 p.m. - Celebrate and crow on the phone with co-writer.  Send emails to friends declaring we're done. Tweet and Facebook same information. Bask in warm glow.

5:02 p.m. - Receive text asking to chat from one of bestie writing buddies who is unaware of the perfect timing. Crack open can of Coppola Blanc de Blanc prosecco, drink with straw. Applaud self for recognizing opening a bottle of the good stuff when significant other is not home is recipe for disaster. Commence hilarious gossip session which lasts until...

6:00 p.m. - Husband arrives home with celebratory pizza, pepperoni with extra mushrooms. Hang up, receive lauds, kisses, and special hugs. Call parents, share good news. 

6:30 p.m. Open bottle of Bogle Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir. Eat dinner, watch news until sad, move to Game of Thrones to cheer up. (insert ironic emoticon here) 

6:45-9:00 p.m. - Sideline texts with bestie writer buddy who has laryngitis.  Miss hearing her voice badly. Encouragement given and received.

9:30 p.m. - Realize you're falling asleep, have become a septuagenarian, and go to bed. 

April 18, 2013

Do not set alarm. Plan to wallow luxuriously in bed, slumbering until noon. 

8:30 a.m. - Wake at normal time regardless.  Straighten house, office, bedroom.

9:00 a.m. - Tea, healthy breakfast,  talk to another writer bestie about outlining and process. Catch up on email (delete is your friend) 

10:00 a.m. Read long-form article  on John le Carré, his career, process, brilliance etc. Allow ego to wonder if New York Times will do long-form article on you when you're eighty-one. Wonder if the New York Times will exist when you're eighty-one. Wonder if you will live to eighty-one. Realize you've amused yourself, are mentally writing blog post. Open iPad.

10:30 a.m. Decide writing blog post on iPad too cumbersome, retrieve laptop. Start post.

11:00 a.m. Settle in to fold three weeks of laundry whilst watching The Notebook, a movie (and book) you've never seen (or read) because once upon a time a fellow writer said the author of said novel was a jerk, and you don't reward bad behavoir.

1:30 p.m. LOVED The Notebook. Heartbreakingly beautiful story. Remind self never to allow others to make judgments for you. 

3:00 p.m. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. No explanations necessary.

3:30 p.m. Despite vow to self not to work, settle in to finish Albert Zuckerman's WRITING THE BLOCKBUSTER NOVEL.  So many great lessons to be learned here.

4:30 p.m. Watch the FBI briefing on the Boston Marathon bombing - take copious notes (An aside: This may sound a bit morbid, but part  of my job is knowing the latest and greatest technologies used to solve crime. It's part of how I get justice for my own victims. Blessings to everyone in Boston and surrounds involved in this horrific attack, and to the folks in West, Texas.)

5:30 p.m. Three plot points for new novel appear in your head. Must. Write. Down.

6:00 p.m. Shameless self-Googling finds both the pre-order for THE FINAL CUT and the new cover for the release of A DEEPER DARKNESS in the UK May 3.  

6:08 p.m. Start fretting about possible overnight tornado threat.  

6:12 p.m. Start fretting about what to wear to the Southern Kentucky Bookfest Saturday. 

6:16 p.m. Back up computer. Just in case. 

6:20 p.m. Yoga.  For which you have been dressed since you got up at 8:30 a.m. and hadn't gotten around to yet.

7:30 - 10:00 p.m. Darling husband home. Lasagna and the leftover wine for dinner. Watch House of Cards, read a few chapters of Harlan Coben's SIX DAYS, and crash, crossing fingers tornadoes don't disrupt sleep.

The life of a writer. Ain't it glamorous???

 

 

 

 

 

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JT Ellison

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of fifteen critically acclaimed thrillers and is the co-author of the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. With over a million books in print, Ellison’s work has been published in twenty-five countries and thirteen languages. She is also the co-host of A Word on Words, Nashville's premier literary TV series, which airs on Nashville Public Television. She lives with her husband and twin kittens in Nashville. Visit JTEllison.com, and follow her on Twitter @Thrillerchick or at Facebook.com/JTEllison14.