Waterstones Nottingham held an evening event to promote The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen and Before I go to Sleep by S. J. Watson. I went in a strictly non-BookThing capacity because I am a huge fan of Tess Gerritsen.
I was a little disappointed the only books of Tess’s to buy were copies of the new one. I had expected at least the opportunity to buy back catalogue books and was hoping to get a new copy of The Surgeon to get signed, as it was the first book I’d read by Tess Gerritsen. My own copy is a little tattered now from re-reading!
Anyway, I was happy to get The Silent Girl, I can’t wait to read it and was also intrigued by the premise of Before I go to Sleep by S. J. Watson.
S. J. Watson (aka Steve) was the first to speak and his personal story of how he became a published writer was fascinating. From working a fairly high responsibility job within the NHS and realising if he didn’t try and achieve his dream of being a writer now, he never would. He took a much more junior role part time and devoted the rest to writing. He enrolled in a writing course run by the Faber Academy and didn’t actually know what he wanted to write about, just days before the course started. Inspiration hit in the form of an obituary that led him to think… what if? Before I go to Sleep is the result of that ‘what If’ and by all standards has been a huge success. The icing on the cake has to be that it’s been acquired by Ridley Scott’s production company. Wow. The premise alone has me wanting to read it and will post a review here when I do.
Tess Gerritsen is an amazing lady. From her career in the medical field to the number of books she has written I almost expected her to be about seven feet tall. She is actually quite a bit shorter and very warm and funny to listen to. She spoke about where her ideas came from and the genres she has written in. She spoke quite a bit about her new book The Silent Girl and that it was a book that she had wanted to write for a while, but hadn’t felt the time was right. I think perhaps this book might be the most personal for her, as it touches on her parents culture and stories she was told by her mother when she was a child. I honestly could have listened to her talk all day but time soon ran out and there was a brief Q&A session that answered most of the questions I also had. Apparently, despite my best efforts to appear normal, I did squeal when she mentioned that the Rizzoli & Isles TV series would be airing on the Alibi Channel in the UK in September. I’d been doing so well up until that point!
I did get to ask a question and even managed to not trip over my words. My question was: You’ve successfully written across three genres; Romance, Medical Thriller and a Crime Serial. How easy did you find the transition?
Her reply was interesting in that she herself found it easy to make the transitions, but because she’d chosen to use the same pen name for all her work, some fans of one genre found it hard to read in another. She jokingly said she’d had some stern letters from her crime fans who had ‘discovered’ her older romance novels.
I wouldn’t say I have read everything she has written because I could have easily missed something but I do find her personal ‘voice’ is strongly present in anything she writes and that is what I find so attractive about her work. It’s powerful and engaging and always leaves me wanting more.
All in all it was a great evening and while it was an absolute pleasure to meet both authors, it made my day to talk to Tess Gerritsen. Apologies for the blurry photo!
Stay tuned to twitter and here for news of a signed copy give-away of The Silent Girl!
[Edit – oops, Steve, not Simon, sorry!]