Billy Burke to play Gabriel Dean

Okay, I promised the announcement and here it is!

Billy Burke, who’s making headlines these days for his work in the “Twilight” films (where he plays Bella’s father) has been cast as Gabriel Dean.

He’s a wonderful new addition to a powerhouse cast. Spread the word!

And we have a Gabriel Dean!

I’ll share the news as soon as it’s officially announced. But trust me, they’ve got a great actor for the part, and I’m really excited.

Lorraine Bracco joins the cast of “Rizzoli”

Yet another terrific actor has joined the cast of the TV pilot “Rizzoli.”

I’ve long been a fan of Lorraine Bracco, so I’m delighted to learn that she’ll be playing Jane’s mother, Angela. If the pilot gets picked up for a series, I hope they’ll let her develop along the same character arc that’s been spinning out in my books. Because after her husband leaves her, Angela comes into her own — a wild new woman in low-cut dresses and spike heels. I can’t wait to see Lorraine in the part!

Want to see my office?

My house, office, and very messy desk show up on this video segment from Boston’s TV show, Chronicle. They interviewed me about why I live in Maine.

(Be patient — you have to sit through a 30 second commercial first)

Good morning from Amsterdam

It’s the last day of my Holland/Belgium visit, and I’m sitting in my room at the charming Ambassade Hotel, overlooking the Herengracht canal. This is the hotel where many visiting authors stay, and their library has a vast collection of signed copies, many of them by familiar American names. I’m here because my recent books sales in Holland have taken a sharp upswing and my publisher here, the House of Books, wanted to give my profile an extra push.

It’s taken a while to find success in Holland, and a large part of the reason is my last name. Yes, Gerritsen is a Dutch name — which seems to be a disadvantage when you’re trying to sell thrillers in Holland. (David Baldacci had the same problem in Italy. It seems writers are never respected in their own countries.) So it’s been a slow start, but my books are finally starting to sell well here.

My visit has been busy. The night I arrived, we had an elegant meet-and-greet with readers from around the country, some of whom traveled for hours to attend. Then it was on to the Antwerp Book Fair, which was packed with thousands of attendees browsing and buying books. Finally, it was back to Amsterdam for interviews with magazine, newspaper, and online reporters.

One question that almost every one of the journalists asked was about fictional violence against women, a topic that’s been burning up online discussion sites around the web. “Why do so many women authors write about crimes against women?” they asked. “How do you feel about it?” I don’t think I could give a better answer than Steve Mosby did on his blog site, except to add that male writers have been writing such books for decades, and isn’t it odd that only now, after women writers started doing it, it’s become controversial?

I love discovering the differences in bookselling around the world, and one of the surprising things I learned while here is the Dutch and Belgian indifference to autographed copies. Bookstores really don’t want authors to drop in and sign books, because an autograph may actually diminish the book’s value! I heard one story about a customer who bought a book, discovered it was autographed, and returned it to the store. “But it’s signed by the author,” the bookstore told her.

“I don’t want it. I want a clean copy!” the customer answered.

So if you’re an author, don’t expect to do drop-in signings in Holland.

Yes, it’s a romance novel. Please stop bashing me over it.

Nicholas Clee at the London Times helpfully notes that my most recent paperback release in the UK, PRESUMED GUILTY (a RITA nominee for best romantic suspense novel, by the way), is making some readers furious. Or so it appears on the site:

The reviewers at Amazon who suggest that Tess Gerritsen’s Presumed Guilty resembles a Mills &Boon novel have hit the nail on the head. It is a Mills & Boon novel. Before making a lucrative transition to medical thrillers, Gerritsen wrote romantic suspense novels for Harlequin, Mills &Boon’s US counterpart. Mira, a Mills &Boon imprint, has been taking advantage of her current success by reissuing them. Presumed Guilty first appeared in 1993.

I have no control over when my old romance novels come back into print. I apologize that they have been re-packaged to look like my more recent thrillers. And yes, I know that many of you are angry at me, personally, for having this atrocity committed against you. You’re certainly letting me know how angry you are.

But please. The next time you pick up one of my books, check the copyright date. If it was published prior to 1997, it is most definitely a romance novel. (With the exception of HARVEST, which was my first thriller, and published in 1996.) I’m growing a little weary of the readers who read one of my old romance novels, pronounce all my books trash, and tell the world that there’s no way my thrillers could possibly any good. And let loose with a string of insults.

Yes, I’ve heard them all.

This issue comes up every time one of my old romance novels gets re-released. Readers buy the book, discover it’s a romantic suspense novel, and feel the need to tell me how horrible I am for having perpetrated this crime against them, the consumer.

I have worked very hard over the course of the past 12 books to establish myself as a thriller author. That’s twelve books over thirteen years in which my focus has been on crime and mystery, thrills and science. And yet all it takes is a re-release of a single romance novel to unleash the jeers and the ignorant comments that, based on the reading of one romance novel published 16 years ago, my entire body of work is surely “trash”. As an author, it’s heartbreaking to know that these readers will never pick up my science thriller Gravity or my crime novel The Surgeon or my Edgar-nominated thriller, Vanish. And they will loudly proclaim to anyone who cares to listen that all my books are to be avoided like the plague.

If you hear a reader complaining that they read their first Tess Gerritsen novel and it was a romance and utter trash, please please please do me a big favor and set them straight. Send them a link to this blog post. Explain to them that I started off my writing career as a romance author, and then switched to thrillers. And that they shouldn’t write me off because of the romances. I would truly appreciate your help.

And readers everywhere, please check the publication dates. My thrillers are all post- 1996. Anything before then just might be a romance.

Not that reading a romance novel is going to kill you. (Although, judging by some of the comments, some readers seem to think so.)