October 10th – Nora Roberts

“The most important thing in writing is to have written. I can always fix a bad page. I can’t fix a blank one.”

Nora Roberts

Author Nora Roberts was born Eleanor Marie Robertson on October 10th, 1950, in Silver Spring, Maryland. She was the youngest of five children. She married young, and was constantly searching for a creative outlet with crafts and other projects. Then, during a blizzard in 1979, while she was snowbound with her three and six-year-old, she decided to try her hand at writing novels.

She wrote several manuscripts and received multiple rejections before her first novel, Irish Thoroughbredwas published in 1981.

Today date, Roberts has published more than 225 novels. Although mainly writer romance,  she also writes police procedural novels, releasing about one a year, under JD Robb. Her other pseudonyms include Jill March and Sarah Hardesty. 

Her novels have spent 861 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, including 176 weeks at number one. Roberts was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. 

She met her second husband, Bruce Wilder after she hired him to build bookshelves. They married in 1985. Together they own an independent bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland, called Turn the Page Bookstore. The couple also owns a boutique hotel where they host author nights.

Roberts reportedly writes eight hours a day, even on vacation. She credits her dedication and work ethic to her Irish Catholic upbringing, and it has gotten her enormous results. Her 1996 book Montana Sky was her 100th published book, and 2012’s The Witness her 200th. She first hit the bestseller list in 1991, ten years after her first book was published. Between 1991 and 2001, she had 68 bestsellers on the New York Times list. Since 1999 every one of her novels has been a bestseller – that’s over 124 novels! Twenty-nine of those debuting at the number one spot. 

Many of her novels have been adapted into TV movies as well. In 2007 Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people. 

Lesson from Roberts

Work. Work. For forty years Roberts has published an average of 5 books a year. Although she’s known as a mega-bestseller, she wouldn’t have gotten there without her consistent and extraordinary output. 

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