Nora Roberts is an American bestselling author of more than 200 romance novels.
Eleanor Marie Robertson a.k.a Nora Roberts was born on 10 October 1950 in Silver Spring, Maryland. 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 any story as a child. She attended a Catholic school. During her sophomore year in high school, Roberts transferred to a local public school, Montgomery Blair High School.
Roberts married Ronald Aufdem-Brinke 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. In 1983, the marriage ended in divorce.
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, that was undergoing renovations when it was destroyed by a fire in February, 2008. After 3 million dollars in renovations, Inn Boonsboro opened on February 17, 2009
Roberts began to write during a blizzard in February, 1979 while housebound with her two small boys. She submitted her manuscripts to Harlequin, the leading publisher of romance novels, but was repeatedly rejected.
In 1980, a new publisher, Silhouette books, came into picture and 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 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. Despite the large number of books she had produced, Roberts did not have real success until 1985, when she released Playing the Odds, the first novel in her MacGregor family series. The book was an immediate bestseller. Sequels followed, and romance readers began to associate her name with multigenerational sagas.
Roberts was instrumental in helping shift the romance novel away from virginal, eighteen-year-old heroines and superficial male portrayals. Her early heroines were much less passive than the norm. Her novels also featured a more in-depth characterization of the hero, because "the books are about two people, and readers should be allowed into the heads and hearts of both." The years spent writing category romance helped hone her ability to create realistic characters. The category romance's short page count forces writers to be able to "paint" their characters "quickly and clearly in a short amount of time." 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. Despite her hardcover success, Roberts has continued to release single-title novels in paperback. Unlike many of her peers who have crossed from category romance to single-title, 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."
Many of Roberts's novels deal extensively with families. Roberts believes that her sense of family is an important part of her life and how she developed. Because family is so important in her life, it is also often reflected in her books. Her "characters come from somewhere, and where they come from, good or bad, has a large part in forming who they are and who they can become."
Roberts has also written romantic suspense novels in the pseudonym J.D.Robb. The popular "In Death" series are written using this pseudonym.
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. Roberts sued Dailey and Dailey acknowledged the plagiarism and blamed it on 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.
In January 2008, 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.
References - wikipedia.org