Ask Tess Gerritsen - September 23, 2012 discussion

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message 1: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Whidden (dawn71753) | 1 comments Did you have a difficult time getting people to take a chance on your first stories? You have developed great characters, but how hard was it for you when you first started out?


message 2: by Juniper (new)

Juniper | 1 comments Hello Mrs Gerritsen,

Thanks for answering our questions !
I would like to ask you where you get the inspiration to write your novels ? Does a plot come to you naturally or do you have to think about it a long time before it starts taking form ?


message 3: by Cindee (new)

Cindee (cindeeduong) Do you base any of your characters on real people that you know? I love reading your books! Your characters are so great!


message 4: by Diane (new)

Diane | 3 comments Hello Tess!

I have read all your books, sometimes i wonder if you miss your old job?


message 5: by Christine (new)

Christine Hatfield  (christinesbookshelves) | 11 comments Are you married and do you have any kids and what do you do when your not writing books and what's your favorite holiday and movie and song and color and food and when's your birthday and how old are you?


message 6: by B.A. (new)

B.A. Blackwood | 1 comments I enjoy your books immensely and have read all of them. What is your writing process? Do you outline, write straight through, go back and edit as you write, etc.? Thanks for having this discussion.


message 7: by Angelic (new)

Angelic (angelic_h) With your medical background do you relate more to Dr. Maura Isles or do you have more in common with Detective Jane Rizzoli?


message 8: by Elif Cansu Gayretli (last edited Sep 23, 2012 03:15AM) (new)

Elif Cansu Gayretli | 1 comments Hi Mrs Gerritsen ,
Thank you for answering our questions. Which ambiance do you prefer when you are writing , noisy or silent etc ? One more question, do you have in common with your character maybe Dr. Isles ?? Thank you again :)


message 9: by Tess (new)

Tess Gerritsen | 72 comments Dawn wrote: "Did you have a difficult time getting people to take a chance on your first stories? You have developed great characters, but how hard was it for you when you first started out?"

The hardest part was convincing my loved ones that I really was a writer and that I needed to be left alone to write! Then there was the struggle to find an agent and publisher, which took a few years. Yes, there were rejection letters. Yes, I questioned if I'd ever get published. But if you keep at it, and if you have stories to tell, eventually your work will be recognized. I never really wrote to be famous; I wrote because it's what I loved to do.


message 10: by Tess (new)

Tess Gerritsen | 72 comments Imladris wrote: "Hello Mrs Gerritsen,

Thanks for answering our questions !
I would like to ask you where you get the inspiration to write your novels ? Does a plot come to you naturally or do you have to think abo..."


Plots always start off with an idea that makes me think: "Oh my god. What happens next?" VANISH was based on a true case of a woman who wakes up in a body bag. I wanted to know what happened next -- and what happened after that. That's really my only trick to plotting. I ask what happens next, and then I make it happen. I don't always know the logic behind the sequence of events, so I have to make all the pieces fit by the end. And that's the hard part.


message 11: by Tess (new)

Tess Gerritsen | 72 comments Cindee wrote: "Do you base any of your characters on real people that you know? I love reading your books! Your characters are so great!"

Some of them are. Maura's based on me. Rat's based on my teenage son. Jane's mom is .. well, a lot like my mom was!


message 12: by Tess (new)

Tess Gerritsen | 72 comments Diane wrote: "Hello Tess!

I have read all your books, sometimes i wonder if you miss your old job?"


No, I love what I do now! I've got the best job in the world.


message 13: by Tess (new)

Tess Gerritsen | 72 comments Christine wrote: "Are you married and do you have any kids and what do you do when your not writing books and what's your favorite holiday and movie and song and color and food and when's your birthday and how old a..."

I'm married, and have two grown sons. When I'm not writing, I'm gardening or playing my fiddle or traveling. My favorite holiday? Thanksgiving! Because it's all about food, and I don't have to worry about buying gifts. Favorite movie: "Galaxy Quest!" Because I'm an old Trekkie and I completely get the joke. Favorite song: "Starry starry Night" by Don McLean. Because it always makes me cry. And I love "Halleleujah" written by Leonard Cohen, just because the chord changes are divine. Favorite color: green. Because it's what I love to see outside my window. Food? Unable to answer. I eat and like just about everything! (My dad was a chef.)


message 14: by Tess (new)

Tess Gerritsen | 72 comments Beth Ann wrote: "I enjoy your books immensely and have read all of them. What is your writing process? Do you outline, write straight through, go back and edit as you write, etc.? Thanks for having this discussion."

I don't outline. I just start with an idea and characters. A lot of hair-pulling. A lot of blind alleys. I let the plot unwind as I write it. But I also spend a lot of time thinking about it. Even while I sleep. It's a 24 hour a day job, if you consider all the mental processes that go into it.


message 15: by Tess (new)

Tess Gerritsen | 72 comments Angelic wrote: "With your medical background do you relate more to Dr. Maura Isles or do you have more in common with Detective Jane Rizzoli?"

I have NOTHING in common with Jane! She's way snarkier and tougher than I am. Maura is my mirror image.


message 16: by Tess (new)

Tess Gerritsen | 72 comments Eelifcansuu wrote: "Hi Mrs Gerritsen ,
Thank you for answering our questions. Which ambiance do you prefer when you are writing , noisy or silent etc ? One more question, do you have in common with your character mayb..."


Silence. I write best at my own desk in my home, and I always write first drafts with pen and paper (unlined), because it frees up my head. When I write on a computer I feel compelled to constantly edit and correct, which really stops that forward motion so necessary to the story.


message 17: by Diane (new)

Diane | 3 comments Tess wrote: "Diane wrote: "Hello Tess!

I have read all your books, sometimes i wonder if you miss your old job?"

No, I love what I do now! I've got the best job in the world."


I can imagine that! I am glad that you think the same way!


message 18: by Diane (new)

Diane | 3 comments Tess wrote: "Diane wrote: "Hello Tess!

I have read all your books, sometimes i wonder if you miss your old job?"

No, I love what I do now! I've got the best job in the world."


I can imagine that! I am glad that you think the same way!


message 19: by Christine (new)

Christine Hatfield  (christinesbookshelves) | 11 comments Have you ever been to a music concert?


message 20: by Tess (new)

Tess Gerritsen | 72 comments Christine wrote: "Have you ever been to a music concert?"

I love concerts where there are fiddles involved -- because I play one. So give me a Celtic theme, and I'm there.


message 21: by Tess (new)

Tess Gerritsen | 72 comments Kali wrote: "Ms Gerritsen, you've stated that you identify with Maura; does Jane resemble a friend of yours, from some point in your life, or a friend you wish you'd had? Their relationship is so close that it..."

Jane resembles not just female cops I've met, but she's also very similar to female surgeons I know. Surgical fields are the equivalent of police work -- male dominated, a bit macho, and a place where a woman really has to stand up for herself.


message 22: by Christine (new)

Christine Hatfield  (christinesbookshelves) | 11 comments Oh cool and i've been to three concerts and i play the piano


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