Oh boy, where to start with this fabulous woman? You already know she’s a NYT Bestseller – an international supernova with TEN Medical Suspense novels under belt-but did you know she also wrote NINE Romantic Suspense novels as well? And you also know Tess is a physician – but I gotta tell you -that mock autopsy she did with Doug Lyle at ThrillerFest was a show stopper!
Not only is Tess Gerritsen one hell of a stunner – which is easy too see – (so let’s just all get over our envy) – she is also warm, generous with her thoughts (check out her blog) – an Edgar nominee- has a terrific laugh and a wicked sense of humor. I had to keep that in mind whilst I read her latest – VANISH – because that’s what she did to my sleep. It vanished. I had to finish the book in one evening! I now have new wrinkles around my eyes thanks to Tess. What the hell. But I’ll make Tess pay – she owes me a drink next year at ThrillerFest. But wait! There’s more! Her latest-keep-you-up-all-nighter – THE MEPHISTO CLUB – will be out on August 29th and is already making huge waves with the critics. I’ll be sure to limit myself to one chapter each night so I can get some sleep. Yeah, right.
EE: So, Tess – tell us at what point in your career did you find it necessary to kick of those Manolo’s and switch to Nike’s?
TG: I’m too cheap to buy Manolo’s. I’m a girl who’s favored bare feet since I was a kid, and would probably break a leg if I tried to wear a shoe with a heel taller than 3 inches. You’ll be able to recognize me as the gal with the ugliest but most comfortable shoes in the room.
Okay, that spy is off the payroll. She told me…well, anyway – you looked pretty stylish in Phoenix.
EE: Is it true you listen to Perry Como whilst you write? Do his soothing tones help you conjure such mayhem?
TG: You’re thinking of my mother.
Whoops, there goes another spy!
EE: Okay, here’s an easy one: What is your favorite retreat? And what do you do there?
TG: My own head. And I do everything there. Not all of which I can talk about.
Really. Hmmmm. Oh, we’ll really have to have that drink!
EE: Everyone has a Walter Mitty dream, what’s yours? 75,000 words or less. I normally say to keep it clean, but after that last answer-I’m intrigued.
TG: Brad Pitt decides Angelina Jolie just isn’t hot enough for him anymore, and then his gaze meets mine across the room, and… No, honestly, I’m already living my Walter Mitty dream. I still can’t believe I’m getting paid so well just to make stuff up.
Aw, shucks – you had me going there. But hey, if you’re happy?
EE: Word on the street is that Orlando Bloom is after you to star opposite him in the next ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Quest for Tess’. When do you see your calendar clear to begin?
TG: Five minutes ago. (Will I get to keep the sex scenes?)
There’s a slight problem – it’s a bit iffy at this point. But I think I’ve got everyone conviced you can keep them as long as you promise to get back to work on your next thriller. See, the powers that be are afraid you might run off with Orlando…but not to worry, okay? I’m on the case.
EE: Rumor has it that your medical colleagues asked you to stick to writing suspense thrillers because your beauty is too distracting in the OR. Well, Tess?
TG: The real reason my medical colleagues think I’m a natural-born thriller writer is because they’ve seen what I look like after a night on call. That was pretty scary for them.
Oh, will you listen to her? Doesn’t she ever look in the mirror? I’d kill to look like her!
EE: So, about that little tete-a-tete you and Alex Kava had with Dominick Dunne at ThrillerFest last month? Wanna explain? Alex hinted that it had to do with body parts and take-out containers – and something to do with next year’s ThrillerFest. How about it?
TG: I have no recollection of such events. Why doesn’t anyone believe me?
Okay, okay – mum’s the word. My lips are sealed. Zip. Zip. I’ll call you later, okay?
EE: Suspenseville is abuzz about that bunch of good looking new writers surrounding you at the bar in Phoenix. I mean, all that laughter? Surely you all weren’t talking about those take-out containers.
TG: Those good looking guys were writers? I thought they were cabana boys.
Uh, well – actually they were writers – but in disguise as cabana boys so their wives wouldn’t catch on. Like I said – I’ll call you.
EE: I understand you have a habit of dunking croissants in your espresso. Is this before you add lemon, or just with cream?
TG: What, do you think I’m a savage?
Hell, there goes another spy down the tubes.
EE: Okay, forget the stuff those incompetent spies told me – tell me who would be your ideal panel mates.
TG: Neil Nyren, M.J. Rose, and Jason Pinter. They know everything there is to know about the business of publishing. All I’d have to do is sit back and let them talk.
Now that’s what I call good planning. Verrryy astute. I like that in a woman. Maybe I should get a seat in the front row?
EE: I hear that you plan to do a duet with Michael Palmer at next year’s ThrillerFest Gala. Care to tell us what song are you two working on?
TG: Michael knows what I sound like. So he’ll stand on stage with his hand over my mouth and it’ll be his solo.
Um, I hate to break this to you, Tess – but that ain’t what he’s planning. I hear he has a Nelson Eddy-Jeanette McDonald type of thing in mind – and he’s working on ‘Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life’ as your duet. Kinda apropos for two doc’s doncha think?
EE: Whispers are rampant that your publisher has hired two bodyguards to escort you on your next book tour to keep the dozens of male fans at arms length. Care to comment?
TG: The first thing I’m going to do is fire the bodyguards. How dare they try to keep me away from my male fans?
Right! My thoughts exactly! The cretins!
EE: Okay, Tess – I’ve been easy on you, but now we want to know which writer would you love to have all to yourself in a cozy oorner of the bar at the next ThrillerFest?
TG: Joe Finder. But he already knows that. Maybe that’s why he keeps avoiding me.
I think he’s just shy. But ohh…he is such a hunk!
EE: Now here’s a real dumb question, but what the hell. What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
TG: I’d be dead.
I know that every writer reading this will understand that.
EE: On a lighter note -who would be your ideal book tour mate?
TG: Joe Konrath. I want to watch the consummate salesman at work. Besides, he already knows where all the bookstores in the country are located. But since I’m not a big fan of lice, I get to choose the hotels.
And I’d bet that Joe would be so thrilled to have you with him -he’d even spring for the bill if the publisher balked at Five Star accommodations! Right, Joe? Hello? Joe? I think we lost him Tess.
EE: We’ve heard you’re a genuine gourmet cook, so invite for us – six guests – who would they be – and what would you serve?
TG: Do they have to be living people? Because Cleopatra and Helen of Troy would certainly be on my dream list. But if they have to be living, then I’d choose journalists. Journalists have always been my heroes. I want them to explain to me what the hell is going on in the world. I’d invite Seymour Hersh, Christiane Amanpour, Helen Thomas, Paul Krugman, and David Gregory. And as a sixth, I’d add David Letterman, just to make sure we laugh once in awhile. What would I cook? Are you kidding? I’d have it catered, so I wouldn’t miss a single word!
Hey, I can whip up a great spread for you. I’d even keep my lips zipped if I could hover in the hall and listen in. You set the date, send out the invitations – and I’ll conjure up a menu. Call me, okay?
And that, boys and girls – is the one and only Tess Gerritsen. Mark your calendars for August 29th and pick up THE MEPHISTO CLUB! Oh, almost forgot – Tess has a short story in THRILLER as well.
Thank you, Tess – for joining in the fun and for being such a good sport!
Tess, Welcome to Murderati! What a great interview, ladies. I agree about the dream panel, as long as Tess is still on it.I am YOUR biggest fan, Tess, and can’t wait for the new book to come out.Best,JT
Welcome, Tess. And I’m looking forward to THE MEPHISTO CLUB.
Wow, I’m quite flattered Tess, thanks! Though I’d have to say Neil and M.J. have probably forgotten more about publishing than I currently know, but I’ll do my best to pull my weight should the four of us ever be on a panel together (hey…there is this little shindig called ThrillerFest next summer…)
Thanks, Tess — sounds good to me! Jason, set it up and I’ll be there!
I finally had the pleasure of meeting Tess in person at TFest last month, after having known her via email for years. She is just as wonderful, charming and elegant as you’d imagine. (And, of course, you already know she’s a damn fine writer.)
I’ve decided that when I grow up, I want to be Tess.
Uh, David? Could you claify that?
Well, okay, I want to be the male version of Tess… Lee Child, I suppose.
Handsome, slender, debonair, charming and successful.
But, darling! You ARE all that!
Remember my Murderati blog about being so star-struck at meeting an author I admired that I wouldn’t say a word? Or I’d gush?
Tess Gerritsen = gush.
I’m not sure about my husband Gordon. He’s such a Tess Gerritsen fan, he’d probably keep silent and gush at the same time 🙂
Hugs,Deni, looking at the bookshelf that has every single Tess Gerritsen thriller, starting with a signed first-edition of Harvest.
Ooohhhh, could you imagine a Tess-Jason-Neil-MJ panel at Thrillerfest next year? What a great idea!
They may have to start taking reservations for that panel…
I met Tess at TFest also! She’s sooooo cool!
I’m with you, Beatrice. I was so honored to be able to meet Tess at TF and not put my foot in my mouth. I think I just kept my mouth closed after I said, “I am a huge fan, I’ve read everything of yours.”
how do u do it, every week a high quality, fact-filled, fun interesting interview. if u keep this up i wouldn’t doubt u landing your own t.v. show. it seems many writers like to listen to music while they write, aparently it works. keep up these wonderful interviews.
I have to agree with Beatrice and Allison – it’s so easy to be star-struck with Tess – but I hope you’ve noticed how down to earth she really is – and how much fun!
And Vito? Thanks for the compliment, but it’s not me – honest – all the credit goes to my fabulous guests! Their distinct personalities prompt the questions – I just follow their lead. But, uh – if you’re in TV land, give me a call, okay? We’ll talk.
What a fun, clever interview! Nice work. I hope the panel-of-our-dreams is created from this!