in the news

Rizzoli and Isles meets Sontag

Gerristen_Sontag.pngThis week I met an author whose series of novels inspired a successful TV drama that spanned 7 seasons with a total of 105 episodes. The author was Tess Gerristen, and her series of medical crime thrillers inspired the TV show, Rizzoli and Isles. Gerristen shared thoughts on what has inspired her writing and how she’s turned these sparks of inspiration into compelling stories.

During Gerristen’s talk, she spoke of getting inspiration from reading newspapers, exploring her interests, and exploring things outside of her area of interest. When something intrigues her in one of these settings, she asks herself “what if” questions. She then turns her creative answers to these “what if” questions into fictional books that have sold over 25 million copies in 40 countries. Here is a three-minute video snippet from her talk as she shares the inspiration for her newest book (and perhaps the last in her Rizzoli and Isles series), I Know a Secret.

Gerristen’s success with medical crime thrillers proves the validity of the admonitions to follow your dream and to write what you know. It also validates authors’ experiences of writing out of their pain. As a child, Gerristen dreamed of one day writing her own Nancy Drew novels. Her Chinese immigrant and Chinese-American parents, however, prompted her to choose a medical career. She graduated from Stanford with a BA in anthropology and then studied medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Afterward, she established a successful practice as an internist. While on maternity leave, Gerristen entered a statewide short story contest and won first place and $500 for a story that focused on a young man reflecting on a difficult relationship with his mother. Gerritsen claims the story allowed her to deal with her own childhood turmoil, including the repeated suicide attempts of her mother.

Gerristen’s first published books were romantic thrillers published by Harlequin Intrigue. Her writing career really took off, however, after she wrote her first romantic medical suspense novel, Harvest, marking her debut on the New York Times bestseller list at number thirteen. Five years later, she wrote The Surgeon, introducing the detective Jane Rizolli. Her next ten novels paired Rizolli with the medical examiner Dr. Laura Isles. The final episode of the TV Rizolli and Isles series aired September 5, 2016, hinting that the medical examiner, Maura Isles (played by Sasha Alexander) will take a break from the medical field and try her hand at writing. Gerristen makes an appearance in this final episode as a writer who helps Maura Isles establish herself in the literary field.

Gerristen shared that a possible eight-episode TV series may surface in the near future featuring Maura Isles as a writer (once again played by Sasha Alexander) who becomes involved in a medical mystery while writing a mystery story when vacationing in Italy. Alexander’s husband, Edoardo Ponti, son of Sophia Loren, will direct the series. Gerristen shared that she’s written what’s called the “Bible” for all eight episodes, and one show includes an appearance by Sophia Loren.

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Categories: authors, books, events, in the news, inspiration, writing tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Lines between Past and Present Fade

 

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Today I read in the news that, “Several days of civil unrest have rocked Poland as hundreds of thousands of people across the country protest the government’s bid to replace Supreme Court judges and the EU threatens to intervene.

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My YA historical fiction novel, Rising Hope, tells the story of six Polish teens who find hope, despite great loss, when their Boy Scout and Girl Guides troops fight alongside the Polish Underground Army against the Germans during WWII, culminating in the 1944 Warsaw Rising. Book two will follow the book’s fictional characters as they join a spy network NIE, during the Cold War, a resistance effort against the newly installed Communist government in Poland.

For the sake of Poland and its long struggle for freedom, I hope the current leaders listen to the protestors. After Poland overthrow Communism, it created a new constitution that called for courts and tribunals to constitute a separation of power, independent of other branches of power (Chapter VIII, Article 173). Political opponents, rights groups and the EU say that the changes the current ruling party has proposed will “undermine the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary, a fundamental democratic principle” (UK’s Express).

For those wanting more background, the Express explains, “Since being elected in 2015, PiS [meaning Law and Justice, the current majority party in Poland] has tightened government control over courts and prosecutors, as well as state media, and introduced restrictions on public gatherings and the activity of non-governmental organisations.

“Last week, parliament passed another bill that ends the terms of current members of the National Council of the Judiciary, one of the main judicial bodies, and gives parliament powers to choose 15 of its 25 members.

“Political opponents, rights groups and the EU say the changes undermine the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary, a fundamental democratic principle.”

What do you think? Let me know.

Categories: books, current events, in the news, Poland | Tags: | Leave a comment

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That Ranch Life

A Donkumentary of City-Turned-Country Livin'

Blissful Scribbles

Musings through the journey of writing my first novel

ACFW - DFW CHAPTER a.k.a. DFW Ready Writers

"Nothing happens unless first a dream." Carl Sandburg

Bay Area Writing Group

Northern California Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers

Letters to Noah

Spoken words are fleeting, but written words last beyond a lifetime.

Sontag Writing Dreams

"Nothing happens unless first a dream." Carl Sandburg

marsha ottum owen

I make Children's Books

Under His Wings

"Nothing happens unless first a dream." Carl Sandburg

Cathleen Armstrong

"Nothing happens unless first a dream." Carl Sandburg

A Writer's Diary

Author, Educator, Consultant