Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Nora Roberts: She Suffers From Writer's Blockbuster

That was the way Padgett Powell described Stephen King, but it could just as easily describe romance novelist Nora Roberts, who has published some 166 books under various pseudonyms. The New York Times does a polite profile of her, which mentions the fact that she's not interested in literary acclaim, which is a lucky coincidence since she'd never get literary acclaim. (Why? Because critics are prejudiced against her chosen genre or because she's nothing more than workmanlike when it comes to writing. You might be able to guess by Roberts' comment that she would NEVER write a sad ending.) There's one doozy of a mistake: the NYT claims Roberts is the most prolific romance novelist of all time, having written more books than Sidney Sheldon, Harold Robbins, Judith Krantz and Danielle Steele combined. Big deal that she's written more than all of them - those are fancy, best-selling authors who churn out one a year or even less. In genres like mystery, romance and sci-fi, authors have churned out five or ten a year for years at a time. But 166 books as a record? Please. As surely everyone will write in to tell the Times, Dame Barbara Carltand is the Queen of Romance. She wrote 723 books and sold more than a billion copies. The Guinness Book Of World Records says she is the most published author of all time. Check back in with Nora Roberts in 40 years and if she maintains her current pace she'll START to come close to Cartland.

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