Tess Gerritsen on the business of writing

Posted on Posted in Business

Tess Gerritsen was interviewed in 2008 by Sandra Rutton in SpineTingler Magazine about the very real and personal decisions writers take when framing their story.

It was a long interview but this part resonated with me:

I think the only way one can survive as both an artist and a working writer is to limit the number of risks you take. You have to give the readers what they crave, the books they’ve come to expect from you. But every so often, just for yourself, write a book you need to write.
Otherwise you’ll get to the end of your career and look back with regret on all the projects you didn’t write, but dearly wanted to

 For me this interview frames the very real decision making dilemma writers face;

  • there are storylines and crime fiction scenarios which the author is passionate about and wants to communicate to the readers
  • she has to frame those stories into a format and tell them the best way she can
  • she has studied the market and recognised the framework of crime fiction tropes which seem to be common to the bestselling work by popular authors – but they are the style she writes in.
  • she want to be a contracted, working, professional author. She also wants to express her personal voice.
  • she knows that literary agents and publishers run a business to make money and to do that they need to sell consumers something they need and want/ or will want.

Time to bite the bullet and get down to create a product which can appeal to a wide audience and will make itself irresistable to the market – and STILL retain a unique and special voice.

Better get to work.

3 thoughts on “Tess Gerritsen on the business of writing

  1. I’ll admit that crime writers scare me. Something about their subject matter that makes me think they must be very terrifying people! So it’s so nice to learn that they’re just writers like the rest of us, doing a job and trying to do it well.

  2. You are most welcome Lacey. I had the pleasure of meeting Tess at a book signing once in London and she is lovely as well as super intelligent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *