New interview up at Novel Journey

You can read it here.  Although, amazingly enough, I made a boo-boo answering one of the questions.  THE MEPHISTO CLUB is my sixth book in the Jane Rizzoli series, not my seventh.  I must have had a few too many glasses of wine when I wrote that!

14 replies
  1. GerritsenFever10
    GerritsenFever10 says:

    Awesome interview Dr. G! I always love to hear about how an author’s work day goes. And wouldn’t we all love to be able to write like the one-and-only Stephen King?? He’s amazing…but you’re nothing to scoff at! I am SO psyched about your new book! All the best to you!

  2. joe bernstein
    joe bernstein says:

    nice photo with the interview!is it your new book jacket picture?the one for Vanish was very good-looked properly “mysterious”

  3. struggler
    struggler says:

    As always Tess, thank you for a valuable interview. Of the many useful tips, one of the most prominent was your advice about starting a book BEFORE it’s finished in your head. This is exactly what’s been slowing me down in recent weeks – I’ve been trying to get everything mapped out before I write a single word, but this conflicts with your own method which is one of ‘seeing where it leads you’ as the story unfurls in its actual writing. I guess there will be other writers who plan things differently, but I’ve yet to discover a writer who is so refreshingly frank and honest as your good self when it comes to dishing out advice for struggling writers (or wannabes) such as myself. Couple that with the fact that I am very keen on your work and style of writing that I feel as if I have a virtual mentor of the highest calibre! (OK, caliber for you guys across the pond)

    It’s also interesting that you should mention (in a July 2005 blog) that having Asian or Asian-American leading characters doesn’t work commercially. I had been toying with this idea because of my Japanese roots but now I may re-consider. Another key point is to make sure that female readers are given preferential treatment, in terms of style and structure, as they probably represent 75% of the buying market.

    So please keep those interviews coming, especially like the one you featured today because there is surely some priceless guidance in there for those of us who aspire to say one day, as you did 20 years ago, “I’ve been published!” And please, when I’m ready and finished, put me in touch with a great agent!

  4. BA
    BA says:

    Tess, You are a shocking writer! I am talking about the interview. I consider _Gravity my favorite book of yours (and ALL the others are tied for 2nd place) – and I am a woman! I love the techy stuff.
    This blog is fun for us so that we can get our “Tess-fix” between publishing dates, but some blog fans like me are not writers. My lot in life is a reader. So bring it on already! (Only 8 more days!)
    BA

  5. Gabriele
    Gabriele says:

    Oh, I’m so in line for that historical book; medicine and history is such a cool combination (says she who just researches the treatment of open fractures in Roman times). 🙂

    I’ll have to get Gravity (I’m reading up on your books since I discovered your blog) – my reading tastes have always been a bit on the ‘male’ side.

    Contrary to you and Struggler, I need to have my books planned out in some detail before I can start writing. But I do freewriting scenes in order to know my characters better, albeit most of those never make it into the book. I didn’t plan ahead when I wrote my first book and that mess still sits in the drawer and looks very, well, messy. 😉

  6. joe bernstein
    joe bernstein says:

    BA-i’m a reader-i had to write a lot of investigative and arrest reports-fiction was not an option unless i was looking forward to jail food-i couldn’t write two lines of fiction and i’m always amazed at people who can,especially someone like tess,who also had to write a lot of very precise unembellished material as a doctor-you are certainly not alone here,but the insights into a writer’s world are amazing-who woulda guessed?

  7. Tom Young
    Tom Young says:

    Hi Tess,

    I finally broke down and bought the one book I haven’t read yet. Gravity, which is really kind of amazing since that was the book that started me on my Tess Gerritsen experience. See, I first heard of you on Coast to Coast Am when Art was interviewing you about the Gravity book. I find it funny, the book I first knew about is the last one for me to read. Until the new book comes out, which of course I have preordered.

    Looking forward to reading both soon.

  8. BA
    BA says:

    Joe Bernstein: Good choice. I hear jail food stinks. As for me, I’m too short to look good in stripes. But right now I ‘m salivating like a junkie about to get a fix (in 7 days). She is amazingly talented.

  9. ellenmeister
    ellenmeister says:

    Great interview, Tess! And since I just turned in my second manuscript to my editor TODAY and am sick to my stomach with worry, it was especially helpful for me to read this:

    Do you still experience self-doubts regarding your work?

    With every single book. I’m working on my twentieth now, and I still wake up at night, in a sweat, wondering if I’ll be able to make this one work. I think that self-doubt is what makes us always strive to write better stories. Once we become self-satisfied, the work surely suffers.

    Thanks, Tess!

  10. Tess
    Tess says:

    Tom,
    hope you like GRAVITY! A lot of people are really hesitant to buy a book about the space program. But I assure you, it IS a thriller!

    Ellen,
    good luck! Here’s hoping your editor loves the new manuscript! Whenever I turn in a new book, I too feel a little sick to my stomach, waiting for that phone call.

  11. writeforlove
    writeforlove says:

    Hi Tess,

    Speaking of interview questions, I have one for you, and I aplogize if the answer can be found on your site somewhere.

    I know that your background is in medicine, but did you ever take any writing classes? did you go back to any type of school for fiction writing? How did you tackle it, coming from an entirely different career path? Did you always know that deep inside you were a storyteller?

    I would love nothing more than to complete a novel manuscript. It’s not the dedication or discipline that frightens me from doing it–it’s the process of writing fiction itself. I have no idea how to jump into it. I keep a notebook of story ideas, and they pop into my head quite frequently, but I don’t know the first thing about technique. I’m just wondering if you went into it blind, or if there are some classes you could suggest. I like to believe that I tell stories (more than report) in the articles I write for the magazine I freelance for, but I would love to know if it’s possible to write fiction without taking fiction classes.

    Thanks!
    jen 🙂

  12. Tess
    Tess says:

    writeforlove, all I took in college was your standard freshman writing couse. I don’t think one has to go to college to learn how to write fiction. Nor does one need a masters in creative writing or anything else that formal. What I did was read a lot of novels. Reading’s been a habit of mine since I was a kid. Most of the published writers I know weren’t formally trained in writing, they just started doing it, driven by passion. One thing we writers all have in common is that we’re voracious readers.

  13. writeforlove
    writeforlove says:

    thanks tess- at least i have the reading part down- i’ve been reading before i could see and nothing excites me more than a great story.

    now i just need to stop being a scaredy cat and get my butt moving on my own.

    thank you for responding. 🙂

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