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Courtesy: The Pin-up Parade

I’m not sure how it is in the rest of the world, but in Holland, women’s thrillers are immensely popular; as a rule, written by women and read massively by the same mostly during the summer months. This genre has been my own cup of tea on occasion, and out of the ones that have been, some I enjoyed more than others, of course.

One of these female Dutch authors is the former lawyer living in Miami Beach, named Tess Franke – – delving from her own experiences in the world of courts and crime with four successful titles to her name so far.

Interesting thing about Tess is not only that she constantly seems to get short-listed for this prize or that and that she thus could be consider one of the top ladies of Dutch crime fiction, but Tess is also a buddy of mine. That is –

When it comes to Tess Franke, some explaining is always helpful. A couple of years ago, during the height of (I believe) her second title, Tess revealed that next to her talents as a lawyer and a writer, she was also a marketing genius. She had supposedly never given interviews with the Dutch press other than in writing. Clearly, her busy schedule balancing a law and writing career and the inconvenient fact that she resides in the United States, was always an acceptable reason for not appearing on any talkshows or Live radio and whatnot.

One day, however – or, so the story of Tesss goes – her Dutch publisher appeared in the media to announced to her adoring fans that Tess Franke is indeed a fictional character herself, by the hand of a friendly giant named Gert-Jan de Vries – a man!

Gert-Jan and I are friends, though I consistently call him Tess. I refuse to do otherwise. What I can say about Tess is that he will never hesitate to support and encourage a fellow scribe with a mix of childlike enthusiasm and the energy of a space-bound rocket, especially when it comes to new ideas regarding the changing world of writing and publishing. This enlightened soul in my life is also the founder of a new platform called Boenda – – a platform for authors to maximize their earnings by selling directly to their readers. And as a writer he is the most prolific one I know.

I am sorry I missed Tess at my book launch last month, but living in Miami, balancing a career as a lawyer and novelist, boss of his own publishing house Gibbon – – writing and ghost-writing all over the place and managing Boenda, I was at peace with his considerate e-mail he sent me explaining why he couldn’t come, but with the promise that he would read my book and that he would say something about it.

Well, she did; Gert-Jan did – Tess:

Claudio, you wrote a women’s book. And to do that one definitely needs balls!

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