In recovery after the UK

It was an exhausting and exhilarating week in the UK. While I was there, I blogged about it a bit using my Blackberry (I’m not a good two-finger typist, so that was a challenge) and you can read about it here, on the Transworld Publishers site: .

The trip certainly started off on a high note. While on the flight over, on British Airways, one of the male flight attendants came up to my seat and very hesitantly said, “I’m sorry to disturb you, but may I ask you a question?” And I thought: Uh oh. What did I do wrong now? Then he said, “We noticed your name on the passenger list. There’s a very famous writer by that name, and the crew was wondering if it’s you?”

This has never happened to me before. Ever. (Of course it meant that I had to be on my best behavior for the rest of the flight!)

The tour was a blast (as you’ll see in the Transworld blog). And last Tuesday afternoon, I had a wonderful bit of news: KEEPING THE DEAD will debut on the London Times hardcover bestseller list at #2 — right after John Grisham.

14 replies
  1. techiebabe
    techiebabe says:

    It was great to see you in London on Thursday – thanks for making it over. I’m impressed you remembered me (although with a name like mine I suppose it’s not that surprising) and I am really enjoying Keeping the Dead. I suppose Thursday was a bit unusual for you – as the event was with Dennis Lehane as well, who seemed to suggest he hadn’t met you before that night – I was hoping for a talk and reading some excepts but the interview format was quite interesting. I was embarrassed not to have read Dennis’s work yet – but The Given Day is now in my reading pile, just as soon as I’ve finished yours!

    I emerged from the event into snow, which was a surprise (especially as I’d not brought a coat) – I wonder if you still think our weather is glorious? Admittedly crisp, blue-sky winter days are beautiful here, but the niggling snow we’ve had lately is rather annoying.

    I hope you had a safe trip home, and you’ll be back in the UK again soon!

  2. techiebabe
    techiebabe says:

    Me again (sorry).

    I had a question which I didn’t dare to ask at the bookstore.

    How did you feel to turn up to the event in Borders to see your book on display with “Half Price” stickers all over it?

    Personally I thought I should feel bad for you. I was also a bit annoyed… I had considered buying the book for half price at a supermarket but I didn’t feel that would be something I could bring for signing; it wouldn’t be fair to the bookstore which was hosting you. So I asked my husband for permission to buy your book at full price when I went along – of course he said yes, but I wanted to run it by him first, because books are so much cheaper elsewhere.

    So then to turn up and find it was half price in the bookstore too… I was pleased I suppose, as it saved me money, but I felt awkward asking you to sign something with a half price sticker on it – particularly as it was the week of release, rather than being remaindered!

    One of the most important things I learnt as a self-employed person is “be proud of your price”. In effect, don’t devalue yourself, people should pay for the quality that you give them and for the effort you put in. So I felt you’d been devalued by those stickers.

    (Maybe I analyse too much?!)

    So if you don’t mind me asking – how did it make you feel to see those stickers on your books? Did it matter?

  3. Tess
    Tess says:

    the 50% off sticker is actually quite a GOOD thing for an author to see in the UK. It doesn’t change my royalty earning at all, since it’s the bookstore that takes the smaller profit when they discount heavily. A deep discount is an indication that the store expects to sell tons and tons of the book, and indeed, the sales figures do go up mightily when the book goes into discount.

    (Whenever Harry Potter went on sale, it was usually offered at a 50% discount as well.)

    So don’t feel at all bad about your book having that sticker! It was so nice to see you — and yes, I certainly did remember you. How could anyone forget your brilliant name?

  4. techiebabe
    techiebabe says:

    Oh, it’s good to know that the discount neither hurts your pocket nor offends you.

    You’re probably right about Harry Potter – but I’m afraid I always buy that from supermarkets (mainly because it’s easier for me to get to my local supermarket and I want to get a copy at midnight when it’s released!)

    I shall settle back and enjoy the rest of your book with no guilt whatsoever! Thanks for the quick reply.

    Oh, and I suppose it’s predictable that people always remember me; if it’s not the name it’s the red hair or the wheelchair. I just have to behave myself so I don’t get remembered for the wrong things! 😉

    Lovely to meet you and glad you’re safely home.

  5. Abe
    Abe says:

    Hi Tess,

    Welcome back to The States. You see, you’re quite popular even on a flight. Congrats. One thing though. Why are you right behond John Grisham? Doesn’t “Gerritsen” come BEFORE “Grisham?”
    Anyway, welcome back. We missed ya!
    PS. How did Fred enjoy the trip? Did he get recognized, too?

  6. Kyle K.
    Kyle K. says:

    Congratulations on getting #2!!! That’s so exciting! You’ll be #1 soo enough! I’ve always loved your British covers, the way that they all have a similar look and feel to them… and the one for Keeping the Dead is really awesomely creepy!

    Did you have a traditional English breakfast for me?! Can’t wait until I get back there again!

    Ooh, that must have been so much fun to have them recognize you on the plane! We all know who you are, too! 😀

    Welcome back!

  7. therese
    therese says:

    The trip sounds wonderful, something to dream about, from the flight to the trains. I love touring Europe by train, so much to see!

    It’s great to meet your reader friend, Flash Bristow, that is a name to remember. I like redheads and wheelchairs. 🙂

    I hope to hear Fred’s story in person, and plan The Keepsake/Keeping the Dead as my reward for when I finish a screenplay I have to do for my class.

  8. Snappers
    Snappers says:

    Dear Mrs. Gerritsen,
    I found this blog just recently and when I saw that you actually replied I could not help but send a message to you.
    I was first introduced to your work at about 15-16 years of age and from then on (I am now 19) have eagerly anticipated new work. I have absolutely loved the build up of suspense and fear, as well as the great detail that allows me to build my own strikingly real images from every novel of yours I have had the pleasure of reading. I particularly enjoy the work that follows Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Isles. I just finished reading ‘Keeping the Dead’ – absolutely amazing. I should be revising for my exams but procrastinating comes easy particularly when reading one of your novels.
    Congratulations with your success so far and I only hope the best for you and your writing!!! I dread the time you decide to stop producing these novels.
    Wow – I can’t believe that you may actually read this. I have come to build this sense of aura around you as I have done with J.K Rowling.
    Thank you for taking the time to read my post. 🙂

  9. Tess
    Tess says:

    Thanks all for the nice comments! And Snappers, thank you for posting on the blog!
    Kyle, I did indeed have several English breakfasts. I don’t know how anyone could manage to stay slim on them. I watched my publicist Sam, who’s skinny as a rail, devour eggs, bacon, sausages and toast soaked in grease.

  10. wendy roberts
    wendy roberts says:

    Fabulous news about Keeping the Dead! Congrats! I was surprised to read about your British Airways attendant … I’m surprised this doesn’t happen to you every single day.

  11. IServeTheCat
    IServeTheCat says:

    Welcome back to the States!

    You said you are taking a year off, but then you have said you are working on your next book. Does that mean there will be a new book this summer? Or just the paperback of Keepsake this year and a new hardback next year?

    Either way, I have a space on the shelf for it. I hope you are still having a lot of fun writing it! 😀

  12. jackspar
    jackspar says:

    Legitimate work-at-home program sponsors should tell you – in writing – what’s involved in the program they are selling. Here are some questions you might ask a promoter:

    * What tasks will I have to perform? (Ask the program sponsor to list every step of the job.)
    * Will I be paid a salary or will my pay be based on commission?
    * Who will pay me?
    * When will I get my first paycheck?
    * What is the total cost of the work-at-home program, including supplies, equipment and membership fees? What will I get for my money?

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