A lovely article in the Portland Press Herald today:
Gerritsen credits her parents for pushing her to be successful and well-rounded. When she was 7 years old Gerritsen told her father, a Chinese-American restaurant cook, that she wanted to be a writer. He told her to study hard and seek out a career that would be more secure, maybe science or medicine. Wanting to please her parents, Gerritsen compromised. She became a doctor, then a writer.
The two disciplines have meshed pretty successfully for Gerritsen. Her medical school lessons and five years as a practitioner have come in handy, helping her create the popular “Rizzoli & Isles” book series about a medical examiner and detective working together. Her characters, Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, are the basis of the TNT TV series “Rizzoli & Isles.” She’s wrapping up work on the 12th book in that series, “Strange Girl.”
And her musical mastery was crucial in “Playing with Fire.”
“I have to be thankful that I had parents who were very demanding,” said Gerritsen, whose father was born in America while her mother was born in China. “I think it was an immigrant thing, striving to succeed, to push their children to succeed. When people talk today (negatively) about immigration, they forget the great energy added to society because of these strivers.”