The Washington Times-Herald

September 28, 2013

Gerritsen ready to meet local readers

Author to speak Oct. 5

By Lindsay Owens Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald

---- — Tess Gerritsen, author of "The Bone Garden" and whose books inspired the hit TV show "Rizzoli and Isles" will be making her way through Indiana beginning Monday. Gerritsen will be speaking at the Washington High School Auditorium on Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. as the final event for "One Book One Community." She said she has always wanted a to do a tour of libraries. The event is free and open to the public.

"I love libraries and I always told my husband that I'd like to do a driving tour and visit smaller libraries that typically don't get a chance to meet authors," said Gerritsen during a phone interview Wednesday. "The Bartholomew County Public Library had invited me to speak and I had asked their librarian Mary Clare Speckner if there were other libraries in the area that may be interested in a speaking event while I was there."

The response was overwhelming. In just a matter of days over 20 requests from Indiana libraries and one from Kentucky arrived.

"I really wanted to make sure that the libraries we visited were all smaller libraries. Mary Clare helped to organize the touring stops, travel arrangements and the driving route," said Gerritsen.

"The Bone Garden" was chosen as the selection for "One Book One Community" several months ago and since then community members have had a chance to discuss the book in a group setting on multiple locations, attend forensics presentations with Heidi Haas, a Forensic Scientist with the Indiana State Police Laboratory and listen to Dr. Lisa Rosner discuss her book "The Horrid and True Story of the Burke and Hare Murders" which Gerritsen's "The Bone Garden" is loosely based.

Gerritsen said she was really pleased that the Washington Carnegie Public Library had chosen "The Bone Garden."

"It's very different from the rest of my books," said Gerritsen. "I wanted to do a story in a time when medicine was in turmoil. Doctors didn't have all the technology we have today. This book was kind of a window into the way they thought about the processes of practicing medicine."

Many of the descriptions of the medical practices and conditions in the book are very graphic and Gerritsen said one description in particular, an amputation, was based off a Civil War era medical text book.

"That book went into a lot of detail as to how to perform the amputation. The mark of a good surgeon was to be as quick as possible to prevent as little suffering as possible," said Gerritsen.

Prior to the author talk at the high school auditorium, fans are invited to attend the author dinner in the Carnegie Library meeting room. Tickets for the author dinner are $25 and must be purchased at the library in advance. The dinner, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, will be from 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

During the author talk, Gerritsen will not only be discussing "The Bone Garden" but also the ideas that inspired her books and the TV show. "I'll also be discussing the writing process and people are free to ask questions," said Gerritsen.

"The overall goal of 'One Book One Community' is to develop a community built around the shared experience of people reading and talking about the same book," said Washington Carnegie Library Director Teresa Heidenreich. "Bringing people together to discuss ideas in books can play an important role in breaking down the barriers between people, cultures, economic and educational backgrounds."

Heidenreich said this was the second year for One Book One Community. "Last year Michael Koryta was our inaugural One Book One Community author and feedback on the program was encouraging," Heidenreich said.

When the time came to chose a book for this year, Heidenreich said she had caught word of Gerritsen's plans for a book tour in Indiana. "We made the cut of libraries Tess agreed to visit and we can't thank her enough for her support of small public libraries."

Plans are already being for the 2014 edition of the community reading initiative. "We plan to up-scale the project and try to get an author that will appeal to a wider age group. My dream at this point is to get in contact with an international bestselling author of both adult and youth fiction so we can involve youth and teens in the community. Keep your fingers crossed," said Heidenreich,

To learn more about the programs offered at the Washington library or to learn more about Tess Gerritsen, visit www.washingtonpubliclibrary.org or call 254-4586.