One of my favorite authors is medical-thriller novelist Tess Gerritsen, whose continuing series’ characters Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles have inspired the hit TNT network television show “Rizzoli & Isles.”
Since 2005 Gerritsen has also written a blog that focuses primarily on matters related to creative writing and publishing but also covers a wide range of other topics like travel, creepy scientific facts, personal essays, and just really interesting stuff. I buy Gerritsen’s novels for the suspenseful mystery plots and the ongoing development of her main characters (even though the gory descriptions of crime scenes are often hard to read). But I follow her blog because Tess Gerritsen, the person, has a warm, honest voice that makes her posts seem like newsy letters from a friend.
This week I have looked forward every evening to reading updates on Gerritsen’s blog from her “Great Indiana Public Libraries Tour.” When a librarian from Bartholomew County, Indiana, asked Gerritsen last year if she’d be interested in visiting her library, Gerritsen wondered if any other libraries might like her to speak while she was in the area. A few days later she had her answer, when the librarian got back to her with a list of 20-plus libraries.
The result is a two-week, 23-stop tour speaking and signing books, happening right now at Indiana public libraries across the state.
What a smart librarian to have approached Gerritsen with this idea! And kudos to Gerritsen for spending what surely must be an exhausting two weeks driving from town to town, attending two or three events in a day. She has drawn large crowds at every stop and has sold hundreds of books.
As a lifelong Midwesterner, I can assure you that readers Gerritsen interacts with this week are thrilled by the opportunity to meet her in person. Bestselling authors just don’t get to our neck of the woods that often, especially once you go beyond the main cities. The goodwill being generated by this tour is an investment far outweighing the costs associated with travel and time that Gerritsen may expend.