Tess Gerritsen

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Tess Gerritsen
TessGerritsenedit.jpg
Born (1953-06-12)June 12, 1953 (age 61)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Occupation Author, medical doctor
Nationality American
Education Stanford University, University of California, San Francisco
Genres Suspense, Mystery
Spouse(s) Jacob Gerritsen
Children 2

www.tessgerritsen.com

Tess Gerritsen (born June 12, 1953) is a Chinese-American novelist and retired physician.[1] Her first name is really Terry; she decided to feminize it when she was a writer of romance novels.[2]

Background[edit]

Tess Gerritsen is the child of a Chinese immigrant and a Chinese-American seafood chef. While growing up in San Diego, California, Gerritsen often dreamt of writing her own Nancy Drew novels.[3] Although she longed to be a writer, her family had reservations about the sustainability of a writing career, prompting Gerritsen to choose a career in medicine.[4] In 1975, Gerritsen graduated from Stanford University with a BA in anthropology, intrigued by the ranges of human behavior.[5] She went on to study medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.[4] She received her medical degree in 1979 and started work as a physician in Honolulu, Hawai'i.[6][7]

While on maternity leave, she submitted a short story to a statewide fiction contest in the magazine Honolulu. Her story, "On Choosing the Right Crack Seed," won first prize and she received $500.[6][8] The story focused on a young male reflecting on a difficult relationship with his mother. Gerritsen claimed the story allowed her to deal with her own childhood turmoil, including the repeated suicide attempts of her mother.[6]

Writing career[edit]

Inspired by the romance novels she enjoyed reading while working as a doctor, Gerritsen's first novels were romantic thrillers.[6] After two unpublished "practice novels", Call After Midnight was bought by publisher Harlequin Intrigue in 1986 and published a year later.[9] Gerritsen continued on to write another eight romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue and Harper Paperbacks.[6]

Genre shift[edit]

Gerritsen at a book signing.

In 1996, Gerritsen published her first medical thriller novel, Harvest.[9] Having already decided to pursue the medical thriller genre, the plot was inspired by a conversation with a retired homicide detective who had recently been travelling in Russia. He told her that young orphans were vanishing from the streets of Moscow, and police believed the kidnapped children were being shipped abroad as organ donors.[10] Harvest was Gerritsen's first novel to be published in hardcover, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list at #13.[11] Following Harvest, Gerritsen wrote three subsequent bestselling medical thrillers, Life Support,[12] Bloodstream,[13] and Gravity.[14]

In 2001, Gerritsen's first crime thriller, The Surgeon, was released; it introduced the character of homicide detective Jane Rizzoli. Although Rizzoli was only a secondary character in The Surgeon, the character has been a central focus of a series of nine novels pairing her with medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles.[15] The books inspired the Rizzoli & Isles television series starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.[16]

Although most of her recent publications have been in the Rizzoli/Isles series, Gerritsen wrote a stand-alone historical thriller, The Bone Garden in 2007. The Bone Garden, a tale of gruesome murders, takes place primarily in 1830s Boston and includes a character based upon Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes.[17][18]

Gerritsen's books have been published in forty countries and have sold 25 million copies.[15]

Other works[edit]

Gerritsen co-wrote the story and screenplay, Adrift, which aired on CBS as Movie of the Week in 1993 starring Kate Jackson and Bruce Greenwood.[19]

She has contributed essays in volumes published by Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She also blogs regularly about the writing business, both on her own website and on a mystery writers site, Murderati.com.

Yakov's Lament (2012) a solo violin piece by French composer Damien Top is inspired by Gerritsen's novel Harvest.

Personal life[edit]

Gerritsen is married to Jacob Gerritsen, who is also a physician. She has two sons.[20] She enjoys gardening and playing the fiddle,[clarification needed] and lives in Camden, Maine.[3][21]

Reception[edit]

The Surgeon received a RITA award Romance Writers of America in 2002 for Best Romantic Suspense Novel.[22]

In 2006, Vanish received the Nero Award for best mystery novel, and was nominated for both an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America and a Macavity Award.[23][24][25] She has also won approval from several of her contemporaries, including James Patterson and Stephen King, the latter of whom described her as being "even better than Michael Crichton".

Selected bibliography[edit]

Romantic suspense[edit]

  • Call After Midnight (1987)
  • Under the Knife (1990)
  • Never Say Die (1992)
  • Whistleblower (1992)
  • Presumed Guilty (1993)
  • Peggy Sue Got Murdered (1994) re-released as Girl Missing
  • In Their Footsteps (1994)
  • Thief of Hearts (1995) re-released as Stolen
  • Keeper of the Bride (1996)

Medical thrillers[edit]

  • Harvest (1996)
  • Life Support (1997)
  • Bloodstream (1998)
  • Gravity (1999)
  • The Bone Garden (2007) medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles is a secondary character
  • Girl Missing (2009)[26]

Rizzoli/Isles series[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BIO from the Tess Gerritsen Official Blog
  2. ^ WRITERS AND SECRET IDENTITIES an essay by Tess Gerritsen posted to her blog Sunday, October 7, 2007 @ 11:45
  3. ^ a b Barr, Nikki (February 4, 2008). "An Interview With Tess Gerritsen". Daily Express. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b High, Chris (2007). "Interview with Tess Gerristen 2007". Chris High. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  5. ^ "CASA Newsletter" (PDF). Cultural and Social Anthropology Department, Stanford University. 1999. Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Karm, Ali (September 2002). "Shots Magazine Interview: Tess Gerritsen". Shots Magazine. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  7. ^ Holton, Carlotta G. (April 29, 2008). "Literary Spotlight: Tess Gerritsen". WritersNewsWeekly. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  8. ^ Rowe, Beverly (December 2005). "Author of the Month". MyShelf.com. Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b Daley, Yvonne (1997). "Author,Author". Stanford Alumni. Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  10. ^ White, Claire (November 2001). "A Conversation With Tess Gerritsen". WritersWrite. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  11. ^ "PAPERBACK BEST SELLERS: September 22, 1996". The New York Times. September 22, 1996. Retrieved January 25, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Best Sellers: Paperback Fiction". The New York Times. August 16, 1998. Retrieved January 25, 2009. 
  13. ^ "PAPERBACK BEST SELLERS: September 5, 1999". The New York Times. September 5, 1999. Retrieved January 25, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Best Sellers: Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2009. 
  15. ^ a b Keyes, Bob (September 16, 2007). "Putting pen to paper". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved January 19, 2009. [dead link]
  16. ^ 'Law & Order's' Angie Harmon: 'I hope they make a museum out of the stages.'
  17. ^ Tong, Denise (September 1, 2007). "One-on-One with Tess Gerritsen". Current Vine. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  18. ^ Sege, Irene (November 14, 2007). "Medical mysteries add twists to historical thriller". Boston Globe. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  19. ^ Vey, Barbara (February 7, 2008). "Paging Dr. Tess Gerritsen". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 25, 2009. [dead link]
  20. ^ Mehegan, David (September 2, 2006). "Death becomes her". The Boston Globe. Retrieved May 13, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Tess Gerritsen: Official Site". Retrieved January 19, 2009. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Comprehensive List of RITA Winners". Romance Writers of America. Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  23. ^ "The Nero Award Press Release". Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  24. ^ "Edgar Awards". Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Mystery Readers International's Macavity Awards". Mystery Readers International. Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  26. ^ Gerritsen, Tess. "Girl Missing". Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  27. ^ "Tess Gerritsen: Official Site of the NY Times Bestselling Author". Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  28. ^ http://www.tessgerritsen.com/news-events/

External links[edit]