TESS GERRITSEN: I WILL NEVER STOP WRITING
With 25 million sales Tess Gerritsen deserves the title Queen of Thrillers. She uses her own experience as retired physician to polish the details in her novels.
In January she published the latest adventure from famous Fizzoli & Isles series Die Again. The book became an instant hit and currently is standing with average 4.6 Amazon stars from 767 reviews.
We’ve got a great chance to speak with famous author about her books (26 novels and counting), her writing habits and her future plans. Enjoy.
– Your book Die Again became another hit from Rizzoli & Isles series. Your personal opinion, which is the most thrilling point in the novel?
– The most thrilling parts to write were certainly the sections in Africa, and Millie’s fight to stay alive. I loved writing about how she transforms from a rejected girlfriend to a true heroine. I always love stories where the “ordinary” person becomes victorious.
– How did you decide to write the story that brings the adventure to Africa?
– I went on safari a few years ago, and while there, my group had a frightening encounter with a leopard in the bush. We were protected by our bush guide, who was expert in keeping us safe. I thought: what if he’s not who he says he is? What if we place our trust in the wrong person? That made me t think of a story set in the bush, with a group of tourists who can’t recognize the killer in their midst.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– I had the hardest time coming up with who the killer really was. At first, I thought it might actually be the bush guide, but that was too obvious, and too boring. I also had a tough time trying to link it back to crimes in Boston. I spent many weeks struggling to connect all the parts of the plot.
– Tell us something more about the creation of the main characters Jane and Maura? Are they 100% fiction or it’s close to someone from your real life?
– Jane is based on many female cops I’ve met. They’re tough, smart, and have learned to deal with a lot of conflict on the job, because they’re women working in what’s mainly a man’s job. Maura is based on myself, and we have a lot in common. We’re both medical doctors, we both believe in logic, and we want a scientific explanation for everything.
– How much time you need to finish a story and to publish it?
– It can take me from 1 – 2 years to write a book, and it’s usually published within a few months.
– How many books from Rizzoli & Isles series your fans may expect?
– So far I’ve written 11 books in the series. I know there’s at least one more coming, but I don’t know how many more there will be after that.
– The sixth season of the famous TV series is starting in two months time. Give us some clue about the new episodes?
– I don’t know! They have their own team of writers who create the stories. I have no idea what’s coming.
– Who are you?
– I’m a quiet person with a big imagination and a lot of curiosity. I’m happiest just being by myself, enjoying nature, and telling stories.
– What are your writing habits?
– I write at a home office, my first drafts are in longhand on unlined typing paper, and I don’t always know what’s going to happen in my books when I start out.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of your books?
– I’m thrilled with how many people are buying my books. But I always hope for more readers.
– Tell us the plans for your next novel Playing with Fire and would you unveil something about the story?
– It’s not a Rizzoli & Isles book. It’s about a woman violinist who buys a mysterious music manuscript in a Rome antique shop. Whenever she plays the waltz (called “Incendio”), her three-year-old daughter does something horrifying and violent. The woman thinks the music must be evil, and to save her daughter — and her family — she must discover the origin of the music. The answer lies in wartime Venice.
– What are you doing to promote by the best possible way your book?
– I will probably go on book tour. But most exciting, I have composed the music for “Incendio,” and there will be a recording to go along with the book itself. Readers will be able to listen to the waltz as well as read the story.
– Do you have any recipe for recovery after you finished writing a novel and how do you refresh yourself to gain an inspiration for the next one?
– My recipe for recovery is generally to go someplace new. I love to travel. I’m a perpetual tourist, and I always look forward to the next new destination.
– When you started with writing, what were your realistic expectations for your career as an author and did you expected to reach 25 million book sales?
– I had no idea I would ever sell this many books. I was just happy that anyone would want to read my stories. Even if none of them sold, I think I would still be writing because that’s what I love to do.
– Ask yourself a question?
– Will you ever stop writing? My answer: Never!
Take a look at her books:
Call After Midnight (1987)
Under the Knife (1990)
Never Say Die (1992)
Presumed Guilty (1993)
In Their Footsteps” (1994)
Peggy Sue Got Murdered (1994) re-released as Girl Missing
Thief of Hearts (1995) re-released as Stolen
Keeper of the Bride (1996)
Life Support (1997)
The Bone Garden (2007) medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles is a secondary character
Girl Missing (2009)
The Surgeon (2001) introduces police detective Jane Rizzoli
The Apprentice (2002) introduces medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles
The Sinner (2003)
Body Double (2004)
The Mephisto Club (2006)
The Keepsake / Keeping the Dead (US / UK, 2008)
Ice Cold / The Killing Place (US / UK, 2010)
The Silent Girl (US / UK, 2011)
Last To Die (UK / US August 16 / 28, 2012)
Die Again (2014)