Nora Roberts (born Eleanor Marie Robertson on October 10, 1950) is an American bestselling author of more than 213 romance novels. She writes as J. D. Robb for the in Death series, and has also written under the pseudonyms Jill March and for publications in the U.K. as Sarah Hardesty.
Nora Roberts was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. As of 2011, her novels had spent a combined 861 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list, including 176 weeks in the number-one spot.
Life and career
Early yearsRoberts was born on October 10, 1950 in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. She is of Irish descent as both of her parents have Irish ancestors, and has described herself as "an Irishwoman through and through". Her family were avid readers, so books were always important in her life. She attended a Catholic school and credits the nuns with instilling in her a sense of discipline. where she met her first husband, Ronald Aufdem-Brinke. They married, against her parents' wishes, in 1968, as soon as she had graduated from high school. in 1983.
PresentRoberts met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, a carpenter, when she hired him to build bookshelves in July 1985. Her husband owns and operates a bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland called Turn the Page Books. He also works as an adult content photographer and videographer.
The Wilders also owned the nearby historic Boone Hotel, which was undergoing renovations when it was destroyed by a fire in February 2008. It opened as the Inn BoonsBoro in 2009; the suites were inspired by and named for literary romantic couples with happy endings.
Roberts once stated: "You're going to be unemployed if you really think you just have to sit around and wait for the muse to land on your shoulder." She then writes a short first draft that has the basic elements of a story. After finishing the first draft, Roberts goes back to the beginning of the novel. The second draft usually sees the addition of details, the "texture and color" of the work, as well as a more in-depth study of the characters. She then does a final pass to polish the novel before sending it to her agent, Amy Berkower.
She often writes trilogies, finishing the three books in a row so that she can remain with the same characters. When possible, she does the same with the "In Death" books, writing three in a row before returning to contemporary romances.
Roberts does much of her research over the Internet, as she has an aversion to flying.
BeginningShe began to write during a blizzard in February 1979 while housebound with her two small boys. Roberts states that with three feet of snow, a dwindling supply of chocolate, and no morning kindergarten she had little else to do. While writing down her ideas for the first time, she fell in love with the writing process, and quickly produced six manuscripts. She submitted her manuscripts to Harlequin, the leading publisher of romance novels, but was repeatedly rejected. Roberts says,
"I got the standard rejection for the first couple of tries, then my favorite rejection of all time. I received my manuscript back with a nice little note which said that my work showed promise, and the story had been very entertaining and well done. But that they already had their American writer. That would have been Janet Dailey."
Dailey would go on to be embroiled in a plagiarism scandal in which she eventually confessed to stealing some of Roberts' work.
In 1980, a new publisher, Silhouette books, formed to take advantage of the pool of manuscripts from the many American writers that Harlequin had snubbed. Roberts found a home at Silhouette, where her first novel, Irish Thoroughbred, was published in 1981. She used the pseudonym Nora Roberts, a shortened form of her birth name Eleanor Marie Robertson, because she assumed that all romance authors had pen names. She reached the hardcover bestseller lists with her fourth hardcover release, 1996's Montana Sky. Roberts has continued to release single-title novels in paperback. She still occasionally writes shorter category romances. Her attachment to the shorter category books stems from her years as a young mother of two boys without much time to read, as she "[remembers] exactly what it felt like to want to read and not have time to read 200,000 words."
Her agent, Amy Berkover, convinced the publishers to allow Roberts to write romantic suspense novels under the new name.
After publishing 18 novels in the "In Death" series, Putnam published the nineteenth, Divided in Death first in hardcover. The book became Roberts' first bestselling novel of 2004.
As of September 2014, Roberts has published 39 books in the "In Death" series with more scheduled.
She wrote a story for a magazine titled "Melodies of Love" under the pseudonym Jill March. and between 1991 and 2001, she had 68 New York Times Bestsellers, counting hardbacks and paperbacks. The New York Times did not review any of those novels. In 2001, Roberts had 10 best-selling mass-market paperbacks, according to Publishers Weekly, not counting those books written under the J.D. Robb name. In September 2001, for the first time Roberts took the numbers 1 and 2 spots on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list, as her romance Time and Again was number one, and her J.D. Robb release Seduction in Death was number two.
Since 1999, every one of Roberts's novels has been a New York Times bestseller, and 124 of her novels have ranked on the Times bestseller list, including 29 that debuted in the number-one spot. As of January 24, 2013, Roberts's novels had spent a combined 948 weeks on The New York Times Bestseller List, including 148 weeks in the number-one spot. As of January 9, 2009, 400 million copies of her books are in print, including 12 million copies sold in 2005 alone. Her novels have been published in 35 countries.
A founding member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), Roberts was the first inductee in the organization's Hall of Fame. As of 2012, she has won an unprecedented 21 of the RWA's RITA Awards, the highest honor given in the romance genre.
Two of Roberts' novels, Sanctuary and Magic Moments, had previously been made into TV movies. In 2007, Lifetime Television adapted four Nora Roberts novels into TV movies: Angels Fall starring Heather Locklear, Montana Sky starring Ashley Williams, Blue Smoke starring Alicia Witt, and Carolina Moon starring Claire Forlani. This was the first time that Lifetime had adapted multiple works by the same author. Four more films were released on four consecutive Saturdays in March and April 2009. The 2009 collection included Northern Lights starring LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian, Midnight Bayou starring Jerry O'Connell, High Noon starring Emilie de Ravin, and Tribute starring Brittany Murphy.
TIME named Roberts one of their 100 Most Influential People in 2007, saying she "has inspected, dissected, deconstructed, explored, explained and extolled the passions of the human heart." Roberts was one of only two authors on the list, the other being David Mitchell. In April 1998, Dailey settled the case. Roberts donated the settlement to various literary causes including the Literacy Volunteers of America (now ProLiteracy).
Roberts joined the chorus strongly criticizing fellow romance writer Cassie Edwards, who had lifted many passages from much older sources (many in the public domain), without giving credit, forcing Edwards out of the business.
Roberts has been included repeatedly on the Giving Back Fund's annual lists of the most philanthropic celebrities, with the bulk of her donations going to the Nora Roberts Foundation. The foundation financially supports organizations that promote literacy and the arts, assist children and engage in humanitarian efforts.[http://norarobertsfoundation.org/] The Foundation also endowed the Nora Roberts Center for American Romance at McDaniel College, which supports academic scholarship on the American romance novel, with special emphasis on the literary qualities and significance of the romance. Roberts has made other charitable efforts such as auctioning her jewelry.
BibliographyMany of Roberts' novels have been, or will be, reissued. To avoid confusion, all of Roberts' new releases include a logo that is a circle with the initials "NR" inside, indicating that the book has never been published before.
- Magic Moments: 1989
- Sanctuary: 2001
- Angels Fall: 2007
- Montana Sky: 2007
- Blue Smoke: 2007
- Carolina Moon: 2007
- Northern Lights: 2009
- Midnight Bayou: 2009
- High Noon: 2009
- Tribute: 2009
- Carnal Innocence: 2011
Lifetime Movie ChannelSeveral of Roberts' books have been adapted into made-for-TV movies and aired on Lifetime.
The 2007 Collection featured:
- Angels Fall
- Montana Sky
- Carolina Moon
- Blue Smoke
The 2009 Collection featured:
- Northern Lights
- Midnight Bayou
- High Noon
Peter Guber's Mandalay TV and Stephanie Germain Prods. produced the eight adaptations.
As Nora Roberts
Golden Medallion awardsGolden Medallion awards were awarded by the Romance Writers of America.
- The Heart's Victory: 1983 Golden Medallion for Best Contemporary Sensual Romance
- Untamed: 1984 Golden Medallion for Best Traditional Romance
- This Magic Moment: 1984 Golden Medallion for Best Contemporary 65–80,000 words, shared with Deirdre Mardn's Destiny's Sweet Errand
- Opposites Attract: 1985 Golden Medallion for Best Short Contemporary Romance
- A Matter of Choice: 1985 Golden Medallion for Best Long Contemporary Series Romance
- One Summer: 1987 Golden Medallion for Best Long Contemporary Series Romance
- Brazen Virtue: 1989 Golden Medallion for Best Suspense
RITA AwardsRITA Awards are awarded by the Romance Writers of America.
Quill awardsQuill awards are awarded by the Quills Foundation.
- Angels Fall: 2006 Book of the year
- Angels Fall: 2006 Romance
- Blue Smoke: 2007 Romance
- Survivor in Death: 2006 RITA Awards Romantic Suspense winner
- New York to Dallas: 2012 RITA Awards Best Romantic Suspense winner
*Little, Denise and Laura Hayden, The Official Nora Roberts Companion, Berkley Books, 2003, .
- Lennard, John, 'Of Pseudonyms and Sentiment: Nora Roberts, J. D. Robb, and the Imperative Mood', in Of Modern Dragons and other essays on Genre Fiction (Tirril: Humanities-Ebooks, 2007), pp. 56–86.
Category:1950 births Category:20th-century women writers Category:21st-century women writers Category:20th-century American novelists Category:21st-century American novelists Category:American expatriates in Ireland Category:American paranormal romance writers Category:American people of Irish descent Category:American romantic fiction writers Category:American science fiction writers Category:American women novelists Category:Pseudonymous writers Category:Living people Category:People from Silver Spring, Maryland Category:People from Washington County, Maryland Category:RITA Award winners Category:Novelists from Maryland Category:Women romantic fiction writers Category:Women mystery writers Category:Women science fiction and fantasy writers
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