I’m so thrilled to have Tess Gerritsen on 88 CUPS OF TEA today! I’ve been a huge fan of Tess’ work since reading her very first thriller novel HARVEST, her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. She has written 26 novels with over 30 million copies sold worldwide. Tess also went on to create the RIZZOLI & ISLES book series that inspired the hit TNT television series. Our chat left me on an absolute high with adrenaline and Tess shared a ton of actionable tips and advice. I’m so excited for you to apply her knowledge towards your own writing careers!
Learn More About Tess Gerritsen
Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.
While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, “Adrift,” which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.
Tess’s first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her 26 novels include Gravity, The Surgeon, Vanish, The Bone Garden, The Silent Girl, Die Again, and Playing with Fire (Oct 2015). Translated into 40 languages, her books have been #1 bestsellers abroad and top-three bestsellers in the US. More than 30 million copies have been sold around the world.
She received the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon) and was a finalist for the Edgar award (for Vanish.)
Her series of novels featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles inspired the hit TNT television series “Rizzoli & Isles,” starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.
Critics around the world have praised her novels as “Pulse-pounding fun” (Philadelphia Inquirer), and “Scary and brilliant” (Toronto Globe and Mail). Publishers Weekly has dubbed her “the medical suspense queen.”
Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.
“If I see (my first draft) on screen, I want to edit it. It stops me cold. I use unlined typing paper. I can’t have lines on it because I feel like it inhibits my creativity. 25 books, and it’s been pen and paper.”
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- What to do when you’re struggling with resistance— the dreaded writer’s block
- What time in the day Tess finds the most inspiration to write
- What inspired the hugely popular series RIZZOLI & ISLES (You might be surprised!)
- How Tess schedules her writing so she makes it on time for her manuscript deadlines
- The benefits of publishing traditionally and the benefits of publishing online
- Tess’ advice for writers who are interested in publishing novels the traditional way
- How Tess landed her literary agent
- Tess’ take on the importance of the query letter and what to include so it makes an impression
Tess’ Recommended Book:
Telling Lies for Fun and Profit: A Manual for Fiction Writers by Lawrence Block
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