by Kate on Aug 27, 2010 at 3:08 pm
Tess Gerritsen and her editor Selina Walker at the Transworld offices
Tess Gerritsen talking at Rainham library 19th August
Tess signing at Rainham Library
Tess signing at Bishopswood House supported by Rossiter Books
Tess signing stock at Waterstone’s Shrewsbury
Tess signing for a long queue of avid fans in Waterstone’s Chester
The Bloomin’ Good Books Festival in Southport supported by SilverDell Books
Tess signing copies of The Killing Place at Southport Flower Festival
by Kate on Aug 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm
Thursday 19th saw Tess visit Rainham Library to talk about her upcoming book The Killing Place to a packed room of avid fans. When asked, “what do you do when you get writers block?” Tess said “it happens with every book” and that it’s normally because she puts something in that doesn’t feel quite right. Tess never plans her books in advance but puts pen to paper and handwrites them before typing the script up on to the computer when finished. Consequently, the first draft often looks nothing like the finished book. To combat writers block she goes for long drives, sometimes 2 or 3 hours mentally ticking off the options for what her characters should do next.
Tess then went on to talk about her inspiration revealing that her ideas come from thoughts that she can’t shake or that she finds disturbing. For example for Harvest she read a story about children in Russia who were suddenly disappearing at just the age when they could be used for adult organ donation. The subsequent thought was so horrible that two weeks later she was still thinking about it. Her background in medicine lead her to know about the practice of donating organs and Harvest was born.
On Friday 20th Tess travelled to the Welsh border to talk at Bishopswood House, just outside Ross-on-Wye. In this remote location Tess brought up a thought that partially inspired the beginning of The Killing Place. We all blindly follow our GPS or Sat Nav gadgets trusting that they’ll get us where we want to go but this can lead to disaster as Tess found out when researching the book. Apparently there have been over 300,000 sat-nav disasters or accidents in the UK in the past year! So if people follow their sat nav into empty fields, off cliffs or even into lakes it would be very possible for Maura Isles to get stranded on a long snowy road in the middle of nowhere due to the sat nav in her car.
It seems that Tess also may have been inspired to write grisly crime novels from a very young age by being brought up on horror films. Her mother was a big horror movie fan and Tess always writes remembering herself as a child sitting in the movie theatre feeling scared. She wondered whether she’d have become a different writer if she’d watched romantic comedies…
Sunday 22nd – Bloomin’ Good Books Festival at Southport Flower festival
You can definitely say it was a Bloomin’ Good Books festival as the sun can out of the clouds for Tess’s last UK event on the Sunday. After wandering around, buying a few flowers, admiring the show gardens and basking in the sun, the main marquee filled with fans to hear Tess talk of the filming of her Rizzoli & Isles series over in America. The series was filmed in LA, although being originally set in Boston, and real homes were used for filming. To make sure that the setting was authentic for Boston in the Autumn and to the horror of the flower enthusiasts listening to Tess she said that it was ordered that the large rose bushes surrounding the houses being filmed were to be destroyed, a fair sacrifice for the series.
Tess was asked the question “Do you ever feel as if you become the characters in the book when writing?”. Tess replied saying that these characters, both good and bad, vividly materialise in her mind. This was most scarily true when she was writing The Surgeon as she felt she had no trouble knowing how he would react in situations or what the character would say. So much so that the police even approached her regarding a case in the 1970s in America that echoed many of the traits of The Surgeon. They were sure that she had been in touch with him, a very chilling scenario to be confronted with!
After a great week full of events Tess flew back home on Monday ready to start work on her next thriller set in Boston’s Chinatown called The Silent Girl. All I can say is that when Jane discovers a severed hand on a roof in Chinatown it contains the hairs of an ancient monkey, one linked to the legend of the Monkey King. Find out next year what happens but in the mean time get lost in the snowy mountains of Wyoming where Maura Isles discovers a dark secret in The Killing Place.
And finally, CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of the dedicated books:
by Elizabeth on Aug 25, 2010 at 3:50 pm
Next to reveal all is the brilliant Priya Basil, author of Ishq And Mushq and more recently, The Obscure Logic of the Heart.
Read on to hear about Priya’s record breaking attempt, her (not so) faulty appendix and even a bit of skinny dipping too!
5 things you didn’t know about Priya Basil:
1. Priya passed her Kenyan driving test even though she lost control of the car during the test. The examiner told her off for chugging along at a docile 30kph, and insisted that she speed up in order to prove to him she could really drive. She got up to 100kph before skidding off the road. The examiner chuckled and slapped his thighs. ‘Now that’s driving,’ he said. Things work differently in Kenya.
2. Priya is a keen cook. When she can’t write she bakes – the more complex and chocolatey the recipe, the better.
3. Priya has had her appendix out even though she didn’t need to. At the age of eight, a little ploy to get attention and stay home from school went rather wrong when her pretend stomach pains were diagnosed as appendix-related. That same day she was admitted to hospital for an emergency operation. Even as she was wheeled to theatre she wanted to shout ‘Stop! I’m fine, really. I feel absolutely okay.’ But she was too scared, and went through the whole procedure, only admitting the truth to her parents about ten years later. What perplexes the whole family most is just whose was the inflamed and partially ruptured appendix that the surgeon had presented to Priya, as her own, in a jar after the operation?
4. Priya likes to skinny dip – but only at one particular lake in Berlin, in the early morning, or late evening, when no one else is around. Her mother is disturbed by this unwelcome Germanic influence and can no longer bear to hear about Priya swimming at all.
5. Priya hopes to set a new World Record in less than a month’s time. On September 21st 2010, the International Literature Festival Berlin will host Authors for Peace, a 24-hour, global, live online reading to mark the UN’s International Peace Day. In this event, which is the first of its kind, and which was proposed to the festival by Priya, authors from all over the world will read from their work in a gesture of solidarity with those who are oppressed, or caught in conflict. Hopefully, many citizens worldwide will join in to watch the event, thereby amplifying the spirit of peace and unity. Priya invites you to be part of this special event. To find out more visit www.authorsforpeace.com
Priya Basil was born in London in 1977 and grew up in Kenya. Her first novel, Ishq and Mushq, was longlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize for Young Writers and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. It was also shortlisted in the 2008 Spread the Word: Books to Talk About competition. Priya lives in London and Berlin.
To find out more about Priya and her novels, visit her website here
by Kate on Aug 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm
The third Discworld novel to be brought to the small screen stars Richard Coyle as Moistvon Lipwig, David Suchet as Reacher Gilt and Claire Foy as Adore Belle Dearheart.
To celebrate, we are offering you the chance to win one of ten Special Edition Going Postal DVDs. To enter, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with GOING POSTAL in the subject line. The competition closes at midnight onFriday 27th August.
by Elizabeth on Aug 19, 2010 at 11:14 am
Last week, the brave Sean Black revealed all for our between-the-lines readers
This week MICHAEL WRIGHT is in the hot seat as we divulge five things we never knew about the Francophile author and the lengths he will go to for a Cadbury’s Creme Egg!
5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT MICHAEL WRIGHT:
1. He is allergic to penicillin, and grew up convinced that he was also allergic to pineapple.
2. He had childhood crushes on Suzi Quatro, Debbie Harry and Gemma Craven.
3. The first proper job he was ever offered was as a sub-editor on Electrical Review, a magazine dedicted to the heavy-duty cabling industry.
5. He is currently training six times a week in an attempt to row 2000m in sub-7 minutes at the British Indoor Rowing Championships.
Born in Surrey in 1966, Michael Wright enjoyed an unfashionably happy education at Windlesham House and Sherborne and graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in English Literature. He spent several years working as a theatre critic, arts columnist and literary diarist in London whilst wondering what to do when he grew up. The answer turned out to lie in rural France, where he now lives.
Je t’aime à la Folie (the sequel to his joyous and very funny bestselling memoir, C’est la Folie) is now out in hardback.
‘Wright captures the fun of the countryside perfectly.’ The Sunday Times
‘What elevates this book…is Wright’s gentle humour and his ability to create a vivid impression of his literal and emotional journey…with such wit and perception.’ The Daily Telegraph
by Kate on Aug 19, 2010 at 10:57 am
Bookstores and libraries are the usual venues for author events, but Tess Gerritsen isn’t your usual author. Not content with staging an event in a hospital on this UK tour to promote her latest bestseller The Killing Place, last evening she appeared in a double bill with acclaimed Dublin crime journalist and debut novelist Niamh O’Connor at the Movie House Cinema in Belfast.
In an inspired event arranged by Belfast bookseller No Alibis, Tess and Niamh shared with a packed screening room their separate experiences of novel writing, and talked about some of the grisly real life cases which informed their plotlines.
Her medical background equips Tess with an emotional detachment to her writing which enables her to tackle often scary and dark scenarios, she says. Niamh’s own experience of covering some of the most notorious crime stories for the Sunday World made her want to write fiction to offset her growing emotional attachment to these real cases, so both writers felt their original career has a huge impact on their books.
In a neat role reversal on stage, Tess posed several probing questions to Niamh, who is most accustomed to asking the questions herself.
Discussing wide-ranging issues such as criminal justice, women’s roles in the police, women in jeopardy, serial killers and TV adaptations, Tess and Niamh kept the audience so gripped they abandoned their popcorn.
Tess and Niamh signing books at the Movie House Cinema after their event, 18th August
by Elizabeth on Aug 19, 2010 at 10:20 am
Stephen Clarke’s latest novel, 1000 Years of Annoying the French, is out now. It’s for anyone who is interested to know what REALLY happened to Joan of Arc, why America would be l’Amérique if the French hadn’t threatened a cow, and why we owe the signing of the Entente Cordiale to Parisian ladies of the night. And the funniest thing is, it’s all true…
Click here to read an interview with Stephen on the brilliant expat blog and discover just how much we Brits love annoying the Frogs… i mean, French.
by Kate on Aug 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm
In a first for a novelist event, bestselling author Tess Gerritsen today addressed a rapt audience of doctors, surgeons, nurses and medical staff at Royal Bolton Hospital as part of the Reading Agency’s Six Book Challenge.*
Tess talked about her own personal experiences as a physician in the US prior to her new career as internationally acclaimed author. Her history gives a depth of authenticity to her medical thrillers.
Paula Elliott, Library Services manager at the hospital said, “we are really pleased that Tess has come to the hospital. We have visiting speakers of course, but this has enlivened our staff library and encouraged all staff to read novels as well as their usual medical texts. “
Tess said “I’m really delighted to come to Royal Bolton Hospital. The Six Book Challenge is a fantastic initiative to bring the widest audience to books, and direct to their place of work too”
* The Six Book Challenge is a UK-wide annual incentive scheme for less confident adult readers – see www.sixbookchallenge.org.uk It was launched in 2008 by The Reading Agency, the charity which works to inspire more people to read more (www.readingagency.org.uk), and has attracted around 13,500 participants in 2010. The Royal Bolton Hospital has won this visit by top US crimewriter Tess Gerritsen through a prize draw offered by The Reading Agency in association with the Campaign for Learning and Transworld Publishers for participating in both the Six Book Challenge and the Campaign for Learning’s Learning at Work Day.
Alison Ling, Medical Illustration, takes a photo of Tess Gerritsen in the Royal Bolton Hospital library at her event today 17th Aug
Sarah Watkins, Pathology, Royal Bolton Hospital, gets her copy of The Killing Place signed at Tess Gerritsen’s event
Follow Tess on twitter @tessgerritsen and @transworldbooks
Visit our facebook page for more info on our other great crime authors -The Serial Thrillers
by Kate on Aug 18, 2010 at 10:35 am
Tess Gerritsen and Tom Cain appeared together in the rather incongruous surroundings of the Children’s department in Waterstone’s Manchester as the events room is currently being refurbished.
Tom opened proceedings with an introduction to his all action hero Sam Carver and a colourful trot through his own history as a journalist and profile writer. For the record, he’s particularly proud of his George Foreman autograph, but that’s another story…
With a brief and rather tantalising read from his latest bestseller, Assassin, and a searing snippet from his first hit The Accident Man, Tom won the audience over deftly before handing over to Tess Gerritsen.
Tess raised the extarordinary Dougrey incident (google it, but spoiler alert If you haven’t read the new book!) which partly inspired her new Rizzoli and Isles thriller. This incident details the freakish and widespread deaths of herds of sheep grazing on the fields in Wyoming, followed by the discovery of fields of dead horses, with no overt fatal symptoms. How did this happen? And what would be the consequence if people were struck down in the same way? Maura Isles is about to find out.
Tess is promoting her latest novel The Killing Place, but inevitably her fans were keen to know about her NEXT book. Exclusively, in Manchester, she was able to reveal the title for her forthcoming 2011 thriller – The Silent Girl - you read it here first! The opening scene is set in the mysterious and occasionally sinister world of downtown Chinatown. It’s about… AhA! But that’s another story, too!!
by Kate on Aug 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm
Calling all Tess Gerritsen fans!
If you aren’t able to make it to any of Tess’s events while she is over in the UK, all is not lost!
Tess has offered to take some time out of her busy schedule to sign and personally dedicate a copy of The Killing Place for 5 lucky people living in the UK.
To be in with a chance of winning one of these exclusive books you just have to comment on this story with your favourite Tess Gerritsen thriller and who you would like the book dedicated to.
Winners will be selected randomly and announced at the end of Tess’s stay in the UK on Monday 23rd August!
For more information visit www.tessgerritsen.co.uk