Killer Year–The Class of 2007

Oh, I Wish I Were An Oscar Meyer Weiner…
June 29, 2006, 6:00 am
Filed under: JT Ellison, Killer Year Founders

I’ve been having a very hard time trying to figure out what to blog about here at KillerYear. For today’s post, I’ve started four different topics, getting a paragraph into each one and deciding that no, this isn’t right.

I started to explain why I’m most likely going to hell for finding things that shouldn’t be funny uproariously amusing See, I told you I’m going to hell.

I started into an explanation of why I’m so nervous about attending my first real writer’s conference. Granted, I’m going to spend four days with the people I respect most in this industry. I’m meeting my editor and my publisher for the first time. I have drink dates lined up with amazing writers, and I can’t wait to get to Phoenix and finally become one of the group. Not to mention I get to meet so many of my Classmates in person. We’re going to trot out our newly minted t-shirts, network our asses off, and I’m going to poison every plant at the Biltmore by surreptitiously pouring shots of Jagermeister into their depths. It’s going to be a wonderful time.

I riffed for several sentences about how, strangely, the juices are flowing mightily on the new book, and in the midst of the chaos theory that permeates my life, I’ve been surpassing my designated daily word count goals. And now I’m leaving, interrupting the flow, and I’ll be curious if I can keep on track.

None of these had the steam to go anywhere. I guess some days are just easier than other. What it really boils down to is I want to entertain you, enlighten you, leave you with some nugget of information that will help your further your career or make you smile. In short, I want you to like me. I figure if I take on the aspect of America’s most beloved pork product, who wouldn’t?

But I’m a realist. I’m not as funny as Brett, as insightful as Sandra, as plugged in as Jason. I blog over at Murderati, giving my perspective on the writing life, and that’s easier for me, in many ways. But I use up all my material, and find myself worrying about what to put here, in this glorious spot.

I don’t want to bore you, or waste your time.

I think this neurosis is inherent to the creative community. I’m a pretty confident person, even about my writing. Sometimes. Most of the time. Okay, maybe not so much. But I’d like to think that a year from now, when I have ARCs and book signings lined up, that I’ll be as confident as I can be in my writing abilities.

But when it comes to blogging – HA! The joke’s on me. These weekly columns have been wonderful for my creative side, keeping me disciplined about getting work done, but it stresses me out like you wouldn’t believe. I have a dry sense of humor. Things that are amusing to me may not be to others. I’m always afraid that I’m going to say something that might offend… someone, somewhere. It’s all the training I received growing up, I believe.

The recent blogosphere, ahem, controversy is a prime example of the lack of nuance that appears in blog posting and comments. Absent varied and sundry emoticons, it’s hard to let people know when you’re being sarcastic. Dry wit doesn’t translate. Despite my best efforts, I’m not as talented as I’d like to be when it comes to making a column laugh out loud funny.

I’ve begun to ramble, so I’ll cut this off here. As you read this, I’m deep in the heart of Phoenix, meeting and greeting, trying to put my best foot forward. I leave you with this question. What scares you the most about this industry??? Agents? Editors? Bad reviews? Or boring as hell blog posts???

A quick programming note regarding the Weekend Update – The KillerYear Classmates will be blogging live from ThrillerFest, so tune in to be dazzled and astounded!

Also, from Jan Burke’s wonderful Crime Lab Project…

Two Phone Calls for Forensic Science

Those of you who are Americans can help to improve forensic science services in all 50 states and the U.S. territories by making two phone calls, one to each of your U.S. Senators.

Please ask your senators to increase funding for the Coverdell National Forensic Sciences Act.

To learn your senators’ phone numbers, go to the U.S. Senate Website. In the upper right corner, you’ll see “Find Your Senators” and a pulldown menu for your state. Congressional contact information is also available on the Crime Lab Project Website.

Please make these phone calls today!


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I think I’ve found my new favourite blog.

Comment by Buffy

Boring?! Bah!

I’m not sure yet what frightens me, except for the daily fear, usually in the midst of writing, that I will never finish another novel ever again. My agent has been awesome, my cover designer has been great, my acquisistions editor has been wonderful. I haven’t talked to my production editor yet, but I’m not skeered, just curious what that process will be like. I’m nervous about the promotional work, mostly because it’s such a new idea.

But otherwise, nothing about the industry so far actually scares me.

Now if I can just get a grip on that paralyzing existential terror when I sit down to do the writing part of it all.

Comment by Bill Cameron

Fear and how it motivates writers is an interesting topic. Ultimately, what you’re talking about is whether or not your first book will be successful? Or will you become a critically acclaimed author? How will the reaction to the first book shape the rest of your writing career? All of that comes in to play as we wait to see what happens with our own Killer Year efforts. You are doing all the right things to give yourself an edge. There is one component here that no one seems to address much – luck. So much in what happens to your book will depend on things beyond your control. So this is what I say: Enjoy every moment. Do what you can (so you don’t have to wonder later if you didn’t do enough). The ride’s the thing for now. Don’t be afraid of agents, editors, or the reading public. JT, you have an original voice, a desire to promote your work (do you have any idea how many authors think that the process ends with the delivery of the manuscript?) Poisoning the plants at the Biltmore might not be a good idea, but we might be able to get some publicity out of it!

Comment by Gregg Olsen

“Poisoning the plants at the Biltmore might not be a good idea, but we might be able to get some publicity out of it!”

A man that knows how to work every angle!

You know, if I offer any sage advice, it’ll just get thrown back at me in two weeks as I’m packing!!! And you know what’s pathetic? I know a lot of people I’m going to see because I met them last year, I email with them. How the hell can I still be nervous?

Well, I am. But I’m not anonymous anymore, and that makes a difference too. And as a Canadian, it’s much harder to hide in the UK. The accent sort of gives me away – I think there were all of half a dozen North Americans there last year, and I was the only Canadian. So I’m not hard to find.

Comment by Sandra Ruttan


Comment by Gina

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