Best-selling writer coming to Norway

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NORWAY – Chilling, suspenseful, thrilling. A New York Times best-selling author who is regularly described with shivery adjectives like these will visit Norway next week.

Dr. Tess Gerritsen, a former physician who now writes medical mystery novels for a living, will visit Norway Memorial Library Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. to speak to readers.

She will be the second author invited for a new library series called Fireside Chat, which aims to provide a more intimate setting for author talks. (The fire is actually candles set up in the library’s fireplace, just to warn those who are expecting some cozy crackling and popping.)

Gerritsen will speak about the origins of her stories and the topics that have inspired her novels.

“Readers are often interested in where the characters come from,” Gerritsen wrote in an e-mail, answering to a reporter query. “Do I know them? Are any of them me? Also, they love hearing about how authors come up with the ideas for their stories.”

Beth Kane, the reference and information services coordinator for the library, said she wanted to bring in a writer who’s very well known.

Gerritsen also lives in Camden, and Kane said readers appreciate authors who have Maine connections.

Some of Gerritsen’s popular books are “Harvest,” “Surgeon” and “Mephisto Club.” But she’s written many more books, including some early romance novels.

Gerritsen earned a medical degree in 1979, but after receiving a surprising first-place award in a story contest, she started writing more seriously. Her first nine books were romantic thrillers, according to her online biography.

And when she wrote “Harvest” in 1996, it hit The New York Times best-sellers list and she sold its film rights to Paramount/Dreamworks.

“She has a couple of characters I like,” Kane said. “Jane Rizzoli who is a police officer and Maura Isles who is a pathologist, and they are strong woman characters. I’ve enjoyed any one that I’ve read.”

Gerritsen wrote that she enjoys meeting readers anywhere, but traveling to spots in Maine is easy and convenient for her.

“And I find Maine readers are so supportive of local authors,” she said.

Her books have hit a spot with doctors, nurses, therapists, but also because, as Gerritsen put it, people love to be entertained and they also love to be scared.

“I try to do both,” she wrote.

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