Nora Roberts

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Nora Roberts : biography

October 10, 1950 –

Success

Roberts is remarkably prolific—in 1996 she passed the hundred-novel mark with Montana Sky and in 2012 she doubled that with The Witness. In both 1999 and 2000, four of the five novels that USA Today listed as the best-selling romance novels of the year were written by Roberts. Her first appearance on the New York Times Bestseller List came in 1991, 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.Regis, p 184. 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 twenty-nine 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. In 1997 she was awarded the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, which in 2008 was renamed the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. 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.

Victim of plagiarism

In 1997, another best-selling romance writer, Janet Dailey, admitted to repeatedly plagiarizing Roberts’ work. The practice came to light after a reader read Roberts’ Sweet Revenge and Dailey’s Notorious back-to-back; she noticed several similarities and posted the comparable passages on the Internet. Calling the plagiarism "mind boggling," Roberts sued Dailey. Dailey acknowledged the plagiarism and attributed it to a psychological disorder. She admitted that both Aspen Gold and Notorious lifted heavily from Roberts’ work. Both of those novels were pulled from print after Dailey’s admission. In April 1998, Dailey settled the case. Although terms were not released, Roberts had previously indicated that any settlement funds should be donated to the Literacy Volunteers of America.

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.

Sources