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Oct 22, 2019

International and New York Times bestselling author, Tess Gerritsen, dropped by to chat with me about the role of luck in finding success as a writer, where she draws inspiration for her thrillers, her love-hate relationship with writing for the screen, and her unique creative process.

“Make every single chapter feel that somebody is off balance, that something is not right. That is what propels readers to read the next chapter.” – Tess Gerritsen

The award-winning author graduated from medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, and began her writing career in earnest while on maternity leave from her work as a physician.

She published her first romantic thriller in 1987 and never looked back. Her books have since topped the charts in both the US and abroad, and sold more than 30 million copies in 40 countries.

Tess has now written 28 novels, including the acclaimed Rizzoli & Isles series (which inspired the TNT TV series of the same name starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander), as well as both romantic suspense and medical & crime thrillers.

Though she's been dubbed the “medical suspense queen,” her latest novel, The Shape of Night, is a departure in genre that Tess describes as an "erotic psychological thriller" with both supernatural and Gothic elements.

Publishers Weekly said of the book, “This supernatural thriller from bestseller Gerritsen ranks with the best of her crime fiction. . . .[A] magnetic haunted house story [that] will keep readers riveted from the very first page.”

And #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner wrote, "Gerritsen is at her atmospheric best in this spine-tingling tale of a lone woman, an old house, and all the secrets everyone tries to hide.”

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In this file Tess Gerritsen and I discussed:

  • Her winding journey to bestseller and a "ten book" overnight success
  • Why she prefers to pen novels over writing for Hollywood
  • Navigating the mysteries and fairy dust of the publishing industry
  • Tricks to master storytelling in any genre
  • The secret to writing drafts that will never get lost in the cloud
  • And her creativity hacks for beating writer's block

Show Notes: