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Foreword - Pg. xiii

xiii Foreword I always knew I was a writer. From the time I first learned to wield a pencil, I've been scribbling stories, driven by a passion to see my words on paper, cheered on by loving parents and teachers who assured me that yes, I certainly had talent and was sure to be a published author. So years later, imagine how shocked I was when I carefully bundled up my first novel, sent it off to New York publishers, and promptly got back a rejection. And then another rejection. And another. I am telling you about my sorry early years as a novelist to make a point: Raw talent and passion are not enough to make one a good writer. Most successful authors, if they are honest with you, will admit to some pretty shaky starts in their careers, some dark moments when they despaired of ever seeing their words in print. But with time and perseverance, these same writers eventually learned the art of stringing words together. They learned that writing well is not automatic, that even "born" storytellers must learn how to make their words sing. Here is where this book comes in. Whether you are drafting a business report or composing a letter to a friend, whether a novel burns inside you or a deadline looms for a college term paper, the lessons on these pages will help you nurture your own writing skills. These skills will surely serve you well, both professionally and personally. Through writing, our thoughts, our feelings, may endure. The spoken word fades at once into silence; the written word is meant to last. May we all learn to make our words sing. Tess Gerritsen Tess Gerritsen is the New York Times Bestselling author of the medical thrillers Gravity , Blood- stream, Harvest, and Life Support. She has been praised by critics around the world as "tops in her genre" ( USA Today ) and "the reigning champion of the medical thriller" ( San Jose Mercury ). She lives in Maine.