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Meet the Author: Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel
With over 60 best selling novels to her credit, Danielle Steel is perhaps one of the most well known and prolific writers today. In addition to her books being widely read in over 28 languages and 48 countries, she has also been a permanent fixture on the New York Times bestseller lists since 1981. To date, twenty-one of her books have been adapted for television. Her most recent novel is titled Second Chance.

Q&A with Danielle Steel

Q: Where do you get your ideas for writing your popular novels?

A: This is one of the hardest questions for any writer to answer. A book begins with an image or character or situation that I care about deeply. Over weeks and months - it's a long process! - of taking notes and writing scenes, I become immersed in this world. At that point, ideas begin bubbling up almost of their own accord. The world gradually takes shape, the characters become real, and suddenly I'm just a bystander in the unfolding drama.

Q: When did you start your writing career?

A: I started writing stories as a child. In my late teenage years, I developed a real passion for it, and wrote a lot of poetry. I completed my first novel when I was 19 years old.

Q: How did you get your first book published?

A: The usual way through a long series of rejections, revising my manuscripts, and kept trying again and again. Finally I was fortunate enough to find a good agent.

Q: Can you name an author you really admire and/or what's a favorite book?

A: Well, I always go back to the classics. I love French literature. Colette is a special favorite of mine. At the moment, I'm enjoying John Grisham quite a bit.

Q: If you have any pets, what are they?

A: I have FIVE miniature Brussel Griffon dogs, one rabbit, one parakeet, and a Vietnamese pot bellied pig named Coco! What a zoo!

Q: What's a favorite book that you have written?

A: This always changes! It's often the last book I've written, just because I become so involved in it. Right now, MESSAGE FROM NAM, FIVE DAYS IN PARIS, and KALEIDOSCOPE stand out.

Q: Do you write sequels?

A: No, I never do sequels . They're an invitation to unfavorable comparison, and I've got too many new stories to tell?

Q: Are your books based on real people and/or your life?

A: Never on real people, and virtually never on my own life. I prefer to create fiction, and not be bound by "real" people in my work.

Q: How long does a novel take for you to write?

A: From beginning to end, the entire process takes about 2 1/2 years.

Q: Did you study writing in school?

A: No, never did. I studied literature design and fashion design. Who knows, maybe I missed out on something important - then again, maybe not!

Q: How do you make time to write books and still keep a family?

A: This is a hard one. I don't sleep! My kids are more precious to me than anything. I'm with them all day, and I write all night.

Interview Date: July 2004
Profile and questions compiled by Rosanne L., Matthews Branch Library

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