Nora Roberts, 2007
|Born||Eleanor Marie Robertson|
(1950-10-10) October 10, 1950 (age 67)
Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
|Pen name||Nora Roberts|
|Genre||Romance, fantasy, suspense|
|Spouse||Ronald Aufdem-Brinke (1968–1983, divorced)|
Bruce Wilder (1985–present)
Nora Roberts (born Eleanor Marie Robertson on October 10, 1950) is an American bestselling author of more than 225 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
Roberts 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. 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 Boonsboro, Maryland. Roberts' husband worked at his father's sheet-metal business before joining her parents in their lighting company. She gave birth to two sons, Dan and Jason. Roberts became a homemaker and would later refer to this time period as her "Earth Mother" years. Roberts spent much of her time doing crafts, including ceramics and sewing her children's clothes. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1983.
Roberts 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 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.
She is an ardent baseball fan, having been honored by the local minor league baseball team Hagerstown Suns several times.
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."
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.
Between 1982 and 1984, Roberts wrote 23 novels for Silhouette. They were published under various Silhouette imprints: Silhouette Sensation, Silhouette Special Edition and Silhouette Desire, as well as Silhouette Intrigue, and MIRA's reissue program. In 1985, Playing the Odds, the first novel in the MacGregor family series, was published. The book was an immediate bestseller.
In 1987, she began writing single title books for Bantam. Five years later she moved to Putnam to write single title hard covers as well as original paperbacks. 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."
Roberts and her career were featured in Pamela Regis' A Natural History of the Romance Novel. Regis calls Roberts "a master of the romance novel form, because she "has a keen ear for dialogue, constructs deft scenes, maintains a page-turning pace, and provides compelling characterization."Publishers Weekly once talked about her "wry humor and the use of different narrators, two devices that were once rarities" in the romance novel genre.
Roberts had long wanted to write romantic suspense novels in the vein of Mary Stewart, but, at the urging of her agent, she concentrated on classic contemporary romance novels while she built a following of readers. After moving to Putnam in 1992, the publishing company quickly realized that they were unable to keep up with Roberts's prolific output. They suggested that she adopt a second pseudonym so that they would be able to publish more of her work each year.
Her agent, Amy Berkover, convinced the publishers to allow Roberts to write romantic suspense novels under the new name. Her first romantic suspense novel was published in 1995 under the pseudonym J.D. Robb. The initials "J.D." were taken from her sons, Jason and Dan, while "Robb" is a shortened form of Roberts. She first decided to use the pseudonym D.J. MacGregor, but right before publication, she discovered that this pseudonym was used by another author.
As J.D. Robb, Roberts has published a series of futuristic science fiction police procedurals. These books, all part of the "In Death" series, feature NYPSD Detective Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke and are set in a mid-21st century New York City. Despite the emphasis on solving a crime in each of the books, the overall theme of the series is the development of the relationship between Eve and Roarke. When the "In Death" series began, neither Roberts nor her publisher acknowledged that she was in fact the author. They hoped to allow the series to stand on its own merits and build its own following.
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.
Roberts has also been known as Sarah Hardesty. When the "Born In" series was released in Britain it carried that name instead of Nora Roberts. She has since changed publishers.
Roberts in 1996 passed the hundred-novel mark with Montana Sky and in 2012 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
Main article: Nora Roberts bibliography
Many 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.
Lifetime Movie Channel
Several of Roberts' books have been adapted into made-for-TV movies and aired on Lifetime.
The 2007 Collection featured:
The 2009 Collection featured:
Peter Guber's Mandalay TV and Stephanie Germain Prods. produced the eight adaptations.
As Nora Roberts
Golden Medallion awards
Golden 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 Awards are awarded by the Romance Writers of America.
- Night Shift: 1992 RITA Award for Best Romantic Suspense
- Divine Evil: 1993 RITA Award for Best Romantic Suspense
- Nightshade: 1994 RITA Award for Best Romantic Suspense
- Private Scandals: 1994 RITA Award for Best Contemporary Single Title
- Hidden Riches: 1995 RITA Award for Best Romantic Suspense
- Born in Ice: 1996 RITA Award for Best Contemporary Single Title
- Born in Ice: 1996 RITA Award for Best Romance of 1995
- Carolina Moon: 2001 RITA Award for Best Romantic Suspense
- Three Fates: 2003 RITA Award for Best Romantic Suspense
- Remember When – Part 1: 2004 RITA Award for Best Romantic Suspense
- Birthright: 2004 RITA Award for Best Contemporary Single Title
- Tribute: 2009 RITA Award Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
Quill awards are awarded by the Quills Foundation.
- Angels Fall: 2006 Book of the year
- Angels Fall: 2006 Romance
- Blue Smoke: 2007 Romance
As J.D. Robb
- Survivor in Death: 2006 RITA Awards Romantic Suspense winner
- New York to Dallas: 2012 RITA Awards Best Romantic Suspense winner
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- ^ abNuckols, Ben (August 22, 2006), "Nora Roberts, 9-to-5 storyteller: Her writing output and sales are huge, her work is routine", The Record (Bergen County, New Jersey), p. F07
- ^ abNuckols, Ben (August 7, 2006). "For Romance Titan Roberts, Writing Novels is a 9-to-5 Job". WTOP News. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
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- ^Regis, p 159
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- ^"Chonological list of In Death Series". http://www.jdrobb.com/books/allbooks.php. http://www.jdrobb.com/.
- ^Regis, p 184.
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- ^"RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award". Romance Writers of America. 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
- ^"RITA Awards: Past Winners". Romance Writers of America. 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
- ^Andriani, Lynn (January 29, 2007), "Romance Blossoms Between Nora Roberts and Lifetime", Publishers Weekly, archived from the original on September 29, 2009, retrieved August 9, 2007
- ^ abHolt, Karen (May 14, 2007), "Roberts, Mitchell Make Time's List", Publishers Weekly, archived from the original on September 28, 2009, retrieved August 9, 2007
- ^Wilson, Jeff (July 30, 1997), "Romance novelist Janet Dailey apologizes for plagiarism", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
- ^Standora, Leo (August 27, 1997), "Romance Writer Janet Dailey Sued", New York Daily News, archived from the original on August 1, 2009, retrieved November 18, 2008
- ^"All About Romance: A 2001 Update in the Janet Dailey/Nora Roberts Plagiarism Case". Likesbooks.com. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- ^"All About Romance: A 2001 Update in the Janet Dailey/Nora Roberts Plagiarism Case". Likesbooks.com. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- ^"Plagiarism paid for", The Victoria Advocate, April 17, 1998, retrieved November 18, 2008 [dead link]
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- ^Memmott, Carol (July 12, 2005), "Prolific Nora Roberts publishes 159th novel", USAToday, p. 04D.
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- ^ abRITA Awards: Past Winners, archived from the original on September 18, 2012, retrieved November 25, 2012
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- Regis, Pamela (2003), A Natural History of the Romance Novel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 183–184, ISBN 0-8122-3303-4
J.D. Robb Books In Order
Publication Order of In Death Books
Publication Order of In Death Short Stories
Going under the pseudonym of J.D. Robb, the author Nora Roberts, born Eleanor Marie Robertson, is an American writer of fantasy, romance and suspense novels, as she holds a both long and illustrious legacy behind her with over 209 books under her belt and counting. Going under the names of Jill March as well, and Sarah Hardesty for her U.K. based publications, she has a number of brands and labels which she uses to put out her various different series and franchises. One major name that she uses is her J.D. Robb pen-name, which she uses to put out her ever popular ‘in Death’ series of ongoing novels.
Early and Personal Life
Born on the 10th of October in 1950, Nora Roberts was brought up in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she was born and raised, as she was the youngest of five children, their family being of Irish descent, something which has always stayed with her throughout her life. Keeping her family close to her, she came from a long line of avid readers, as they all spent much of their time being engrossed in literature, with a talent for writing, which was something she started to develop later on in her adult life. Making up a lot of stories in her head, she had a strong gift telling tales and creating rich vibrant worlds in her imagination.
Attending a Catholic high-school, discipline was an extremely prominent factor whilst growing up, as she was surrounded by nuns from a very early age, who would instill in her this sense of authority, something which she was to reflect upon in her writing later on. Moving on to attend Montgomery Blair High School, she transferred over to a more traditional public local school, where she was to meet her first husband Ronald Aufdem-Brinke, who she would be married to for a number of years. Graduating she went on to spend much of her time as a home-maker with her husband who she married in the year of 1968, just after they had both graduated.
Moving to live in Keedysville, Maryland, with her husband, Nora Roberts became a home-maker as he went on to work in his father’s sheet-metal business, before going to join her parents and work in their lighting company, during which time they had two sons; Jason and Dan. Whilst undertaking her role, she also maintained a passion for arts and crafts, working with children’s clothes and ceramics, all of which allowed her to find a creative outlet and build a sense of who she was. Then, in 1983, they ended their marriage, as she then met her second husband Bruce Wilder, a carpenter who she married in the July of 1985.
It was in 1979 though, that she was to start writing, as she begun to write a number of manuscript ideas one day completely out of the blue. After this she was addicted and, following that, proceeded to submit her work to a number of publishers who, having turned her down the first few times, proceeded to give her a contract after so many tries. The rest is history, as she writes to this present day, whilst managing a lot of her research online, as she also follows baseball, along with working for a number of charities as well.
Finding a home within the Silhouette publishing house, Eleanor Marie Roberston then shortened her name to Nora Roberts to create a more easily digestible brand identity. Taking on a lot of the rejected manuscripts from Halequin publishing, Silhouette provided her with an outlet to publish her debut through. In 1981, the following year after Silhouette had formed, they published Roberts first novel ‘Irish Thoroughbred’ and her fate was thus sealed.
With big screen adaptations of her work, as well as a long-running relationship with the Lifetime Movie Channel, she has now gained a level of worldwide success that many writers dream of. Translated into a variety of different languages, she’s gaining more and more fans everyday, as her appeal builds both nationally and internationally. Not showing any signs of stopping soon either, she has a lot more books planned on the horizon, something which she will continue to do as her writing career grows from strength-to-strength.
Vengeance in Death
First published in 1997, this was to mark the sixth installment in the ‘In Death’ franchise for Nora Roberts, a series that was released under the name of J.D. Robb. Once again featuring Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the NYPSD ‘New York City Police and Security Department’, it carries on from where the last left off. As an ongoing series it is easy to pick-up as a stand-alone novel, but it still maintains many of the elements that her loyal readers have come to know and love the franchise for.
With only a fine line traditionally connecting both genius and madness, it appears that this time the connection is murder, as a killer is on the loose. This particular mad genius likes to stalk his prey whilst taunting the police in the process and, not only that, he is highly skilled with technology. All of this combined ensures that this killer needs to be stopped and, after one victim is found dead at home with another killed in an abandoned apartment, Eve Dallas must learn the secret connecting them both and catch the killer before it’s too late. Who could be the murderer out for blood? Why exactly are they connected? Just what can be found in the vengeance in death?
Conspiracy in Death
Initially published in 1999, this was the eighth title release in the long-running ‘In Death’ series, continuing the adventures of Eve Dallas. Carrying on in the same style and tone as before, it gives its readers exactly what they’re looking for, with its now firmly established premise. The characters themselves also manage to resonate with their audience, as they’re also well grounded now, having been provided with their back-story in previous books.
On the streets of New York, Eve Dallas must track down a highly methodical killer with the help of her trusted sidekick Peabody. This particular series of murders are connected through the precision with which they enacted, leaving the victim having a vital organ almost surgically removed it seems. Not only that a fellow cop has been found dead as well, a death which Eve Dallas finds herself inextricably linked to. Why are these murders happening? Who could be carrying them out? What is behind the conspiracy in death?Book Series In Order » Authors »