Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Roving Eye Interviews Tess Gerritsen

Today's Roving Eye interview is with internationally best-selling crime author and creator of Rizzoli and Isles, Tess Gerritsen. Her books, which include The Surgeon, Harvest and recent thriller Keeper of the Bride, have been published in forty countries, and more than 25 million copies have been sold around the world.

When did you first realise that you wanted to write for a living?

I knew I wanted to write when I was seven years old -- I just didn't think I could do it for a living.  In fact, up until I sold my first novel (at age 34) I didn't think I would actually get PAID to write.  I wrote only because I wanted to.  And it wasn't until the success of HARVEST (my first thriller in 1996) that I knew I could earn enough as a writer to support my family.

What made you chose crime fiction? 
Crime fiction has been my genre of choice from the beginning -- perhaps because, as as child, it was my favorite genre as a reader.  I devoured Nancy Drew mysteries (an American children's novel series featuring an 18-year-old female detective) .  Also, because of an experience with a beloved family friend who went to prison for murder, I've always been driven to explore the hidden personality behind the friendly face.

What crime novel would you most like to have written?
There are several!  I wish I'd written "Blue Heaven" by CJ Box.  Or "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn.  Or "Before I Go To Sleep" by SJ Watson.  I'm always encountering books by other authors that make my envious of their skills.

Who is your favourite author outside of crime fiction and why?
I'm a huge fan of Michael Pollan, who writes nonfiction about food and botany.  I cannot think of any writer with a more sensual and descriptive style.

What’s the earliest memory you have of writing a story?

My first book, which I wrote at age seven, was about my beloved cat who'd just passed away.  It was a biography of "Katie," who tragically passed away after being hit by a car.

If you weren’t a writer, what else could you see yourself doing?
If I weren't a writer, I would be either a botanist or an archaeologist.  Maybe a specialist in archaeological botany!

What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
My least favorite part of the writing process is the day-to-day grind of churning out the pages.  I know it sounds strange, since I'm a writer, but the actual writing is hard and painful work.  I love dreaming up the plot.  I love imagining the characters.  But the work of creation can make me very frustrated.

One record and one book to a desert island, what would you take?
One book?  The Bible, because it is a compendium of so many different stories.  One record? Probably a collection of American hit tunes from the 20's - 40's.  I love old tunes.

With the rise of ebooks and self publishing, what are your thoughts concerning the current state of the literary world?
The current state of the literary world?  For a writer -- exciting.  Never have we had so many ways to get our work out to the public.  It's the best time ever to be a storyteller.

Sum up your latest novel in less than 20 words
My latest novel (LAST TO DIE): Three orphaned survivors from three different families. What do they have in common -- besides the fact someone wants them dead? 

And, lastly, just for fun..
Have you read or would you ever consider reading 50 Shades of Grey?

Yes, I have read 50 Shades of Grey.  It's on every bestseller list, so I felt I had to!

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