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Tess Gerritsen

I was crushed to hear that author Tess Gerritsen has decided to stop blogging for a while. As you can tell from the short list on my sidebar, hers is a blog I gladly recommend to my readers. After visiting it on a weekly-or-so basis for a couple of years (at least until recently, when my world went south), I became convinced that she is a genuinely wonderful person – intelligent, sensitive, compassionate, talented, generous, charming and honest. And pretty funny too.

Her blog posts usually served several functions: to give a glimpse of her as a person and as a writer; to chronicle the evolution of her current work in progress, from genesis to title to marketing plan; and to allow us an inside view of the publishing biz. Anyone who is an aspiring author, or a published but struggling one, or even a bestselling author like Tess, could find camaraderie, advice, and a kindred spirit. And readers could also enjoy that inside view of a different career, while also having their appetites whetted. Especially fun for readers is/was the fact that Tess tries something different with almost every book, and from reader reactions, it appears that for each one of those books, there’s a dedicated subgroup of Tess Gerritsen fans that regard that particular book as her very, very best. In other words, something for everyone.

Very cool.

I’m leaving the link up in the sidebar, partly in hopes that Tess will start blogging again soon, but also so that you can find it if you haven’t yet discovered it on your own. Take the time to read a few months’ worth of posts, and I defy you to remain unimpressed. In addition to all of the qualities I listed above, you’ll find she’s also very brave – brave enough to have put herself out there, trusting that the genuineness of her words would touch us. And they did.

So I don’t agree with those who say that closing her blog is a sign of weakness or a lack of courage. Are you kidding me?

And for those who call her thin-skinned, well, you know how I feel about that. It’s one of my favorite qualities in an author! *

So read her blog. Oh, and of course, read her books and find your own favorite!

* I ranted about the “thick-skin” issue back in June of 2006. Since then, I’ve gotten even more ranty about it because those who demand that quality of us are so truly short-sighted, and sometimes hypocritical. You want an author with a thick skin? One who doesn’t react deeply – maybe even overreact – to life’s hurts? You want our writing to be sensitive, moving, etc? So, how do you expect us to find that within ourselves if we were so tough? Sheesh… I for one don’t want to read the work of a truly thick-skinned author. Be thin-skinned, but ultimately resilient. Feel it deeply, then recover as quickly as possible. That’s the most that can be asked.

P.S. As you know, I’m not a paid member of livejournal. The free membership only offers limited links on the sidebar. At first, I was bummed about that, but I’ve come to appreciate it, because as time goes on, I find I don’t want to recommend blogs – even ones that I personally visit and enjoy daily – unless I feel comfortable with their regular commenters as well as the bloggers themselves. There’s just too much volatility and obnoxiousness in some communities, and while I can choose to visit (and leave quickly or watch with morbid fascination when it gets ugly) I would hate to refer one of my readers to a volatile blog on a day when something ugly just happens to be unfolding in the comment section. So I’m actually grateful to livejournal for limiting me (and of course, grateful that they host me for free at all!)



Apr. 23rd, 2008 06:09 am (UTC)
I completely agree with you!
So sad that Tess closed down her blog. I can't bear the kind of Internet bullying that some commenters perpetrate - and it's not just on Tess's site, sadly. There's so much vitriol out there.

I also agree that an author needs to be thin-skinned. If we weren't, we wouldn't be able to write with depth and sensitivity. I really feel for Tess. Must be so hard to deal with all that flaming.

Sigh. Oh well. Here's hoping people start to value kindness in commenting :) And thanks for a great post.
Apr. 24th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
Re: I completely agree with you!
It is sad, isn't it?

We're witnessing a bizarre cultural phenomenon where some commenters feel so free to be -- well, just as you said, vitriolic.

So yes, let's hope the pendulum starts to swing in the other direction soon. I actually enjoy spirited debate, conflicting opinions, and biting humor when done with intelligence and finesse. But good grief, what we're seeing is often far removed from that.

Thanks for stopping by!


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