The effort to remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office moves from the state House to the state Senate this week, but the proceedings will have a distinctly House flavor with the selection of David Ellis as lead prosecutor in the governor's trial. Ellis is the legal counsel to House Speaker - and Blago nemesis - Michael Madigan.
Is Ellis ready for his close-up?
One thing Ellis has going for him is that he's presumably used to critics. Besides writing the House impeachment panel's report, Ellis has written five novels whose titles are apropos: Line of Vision, Life Sentence, Jury of One, In The Company of Liars, and Eye of the Beholder.
According to his author web site, Ellis grew up in Downers Grove and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1990 and from Northwestern Law School in 1993.
"In 1996, when I had been practicing law for three years, I was on vacation, watching the sunset, and I started doing that thing we all do in moments like that - reflecting on life, and whether I was doing everything I wanted to do," he writes. "I realized that I had a creative side that I wasn't exploring. It seemed so obvious to me, once I realized what was missing.
"So I set out to write a novel. I hadn't taken any English courses, and I didn't have any formal training, but I knew one thing: I knew what good writing was. So I started out, and most of what I was writing was not very good, but I kept at it, kept improving. I wrote an hour a day for almost three years, and then I had the first draft of what later became LINE OF VISION.
"You should know that LINE OF VISION was rejected by about seventy-five agents before it was accepted. But I kept at it. When LINE OF VISION won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, I got a lot of calls from agents who had taken a pass."
Too bad, because Blago's trial could shape up as a prime marketing moment, even if Ellis says, "we're not looking for a circus."
It's going to be a circus, David, and it will undoubtedly make a good book.