A doctor and crime novelist
Tess Gerritsen graduated as a doctor in 1979. She gave up practising medicine to focus on writing fiction. Nowadays, she is an acclaimed novelist of bestsellers and has sold about 10 million copies worldwide. Klaus Morales finds out how she got there
Both, actually. As a child, I was a born storyteller, always writing fiction and spinning wild tales. But I was also insatiably curious about biology, and spent many hours exploring a canyon by my house, hunting for lizards and snakes. I've ended up using both interests throughout my life.
I left medicine to be at home with my children. Yes, it was wrenching, after all the years I'd worked to be a doctor. But we simply couldn't find adequate child care, and I had been yearning to write my first book, and this seemed the best way to combine the two. My background as a doctor has definitely enriched my storytelling. I often bring up medical themes, or use doctors in my novels. I can bring an extra level of realism to the autopsy and emergency room scenes, and I think my readers appreciate it.
I have a huge personal