Nora Roberts

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Nora Roberts bigraphy, stories - Romance novelist

Nora Roberts : biography

October 10, 1950 –

Nora Roberts (born Eleanor Marie Robertson; October 10, 1950) is an American bestselling author of more than 209 romance novels. She writes as J.D. Robb for the "In Death" series, and has also written under the pseudonym Jill March. Additionally, some of her works were published in the UK 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 Bestseller List, including 176 weeks in the number-one spot.

Life and career

Personal life

Early years

Eleanor Marie Robertson was born on October 10, 1950 in Silver Spring, Maryland, the only daughter and 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".Irish Times May 12, 2007 Her family were avid readers, so books were always important in her life. Although she had always made up stories in her head, Roberts did not write as a child, other than essays for school. She does claim to have "told lies. Really good ones—some of which my mother still believes." She attended a Catholic school and credits the nuns with instilling in her a sense of discipline. During her second year in high school, Roberts transferred to a local public school, Montgomery Blair High School, 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.

The newly married couple settled in Keedysville, Maryland. Roberts’ husband worked at his father’s sheet-metal business before joining her parents in their lighting company. She stayed home with their sons, Dan and Jason. Calling this her "Earth Mother" years, Roberts spent much of her time doing crafts, including ceramics and sewing her children’s clothes.

Present

Roberts met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, a carpenter, when she hired him to build her bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Her husband owns and operates a bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland called Turn the Page Books. 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 romantic couples from books.

Roberts once stated that "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 concentrates on one novel at a time, writing eight hours a day, every day, even while on vacation. Rather than begin with an outline or plot summary, Roberts instead envisions a key incident, character, or setting. 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. Her trilogies are all released in paperback, as Roberts believes the wait for hardcover editions is too long for the reader.

Roberts does much of her research over the internet, as she has an aversion to flying.

Writing career

Beginning

She 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."Regis, pages 183–184