top of page
  • Writer's pictureJohn Ellington

Use the Old to Recharge the New

My name is John Ellington, and I am a practicing small animal veterinarian (technically I am between jobs after moving 2400 miles). If "John" is too boring, I have also been called "Dr. Jelly", "Easy E", "Phyllis", "Dr. Cutie", and some other names that aren't family friendly.

In addition to being a vet, I guess I'm an author now? Time will tell if anyone likes my story as much as I do. I'll probably wait to include "author" on my resume until I actually get someone other than friends and family to read Whispering Winds of Appalachia.

Writing a novel has always been a dream of mine. When I was in undergrad at Clemson (Go Tigers), I started writing a pirate-themed novel instead of studying for biology. After finishing the first two chapters I re-read it and then immediately moved the file to the Trash Can on my Mac...right where it belonged. Three years ago, when I was driving back from Stone Mountain State Park in Roaring Gap, NC I felt a sudden urge to begin describing my favorite setting on the planet, the Southern Appalachian Mountains. I had no idea what kind of story I would be writing, but I laid in bed all night typing. Each paragraph of the first chapter took me thirty minutes or more to write, and I probably deleted and re-structured each sentence four or five times. I wanted the first chapter to feel like painting with words and capture the spiritual essence of the Smoky Mountains as they affected me. When I finished the first chapter and read it the next morning, I knew I had the foundation for a story. Three years later, my story is finished, edited, and ready to release. Now all that's left is marketing.

The entire process has been a little overwhelming. To be honest, typing my story out in Microsoft Word was the easiest part. To illustrate, let me make a list of all the things I have done and am doing for the first time:

***disclaimer - I have had professional help with editing, formatting, and cover design***

  • Written a book (obviously)

  • Developmental editing

  • Line editing

  • Proofreading

  • Formatting

  • Interior layout

  • Cover design

  • Pricing

  • Metadata analysis

  • Self-Publishing

  • Author profile

  • Biography (especially difficult to do without feeling vain)

  • Asking for reviews

  • Bugging friends and family

  • Designing a website

  • Developing a marketing plan


This process has been rewarding and even fun at times, but I would be lying if I said I didn't feel somewhat lost.

Something I'm learning, though, is that it is possible to use the old to recharge the new.

What do I know? What am I good at? Who supports me?

It's been a wild few weeks, but I sense the good in it, even through the feeling of being lost. With the support of friends, my sweet little Bagel, Milly (and yes, I meant to spell it that way. If you had Beagles you'd understand), and freelance literary professionals I am nearing the future that is set before me.

Scenes like this help...

More updates on the novel in the next few weeks. Release dates are February 1st for the eBook and March 1st for the paperback!

Until next time...


227 views1 comment

1 commentaire

Brieanna Deis
Brieanna Deis
23 déc. 2023

I'm so proud of you, Phyllis! You are going to achieve great things! You rock, dude! 🎸

bottom of page