Interview with Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is one of the most successful authors at present. With every new book she gets more fans, even here in Germany. It was a great honor for me that she answered my questions.

Isolde: Nora can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your life?

Nora Roberts: I was born and raised in Maryland, and was the youngest of five. And the only  girl. I have two sons--and four dogs. I live in a rural area of Maryland now, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Isolde: You are my all-time favorite author. And I am not alone, there are millions of other Nora Roberts fans out there. Why do you think your  books are so successful?

Nora Roberts: I hope it's because I tell a good, entertaining story. I write relationship books, books about people. And about love. To me, relationships, emotions, and the rush of feeling when falling in love are fascinating to write about.

Isolde: Finally after a long time "Naked in Death" will be translated into German. Then this book first came out in America what were the reactions from your fans? Were they shocked because this book was so different from your other work? Or were they happy that you gave them such a great start of a new series?

Nora Roberts: When we first began to publish the In Death series in the States, we didn't announce that J.D. Robb and I were the same person. It wasn't what you'd call a deep secret, but both my publishers and I wanted the series to build on its own. And we were pleased when the series found a readership.

As readers have discovered we're the same person, I haven't met with shock. In fact, there are many who read the Robb books without having read a Roberts, and who tried me because they enjoyed the In Death series.

From the feedback I get from readers, many like both types, and some prefer one over the other. That's just the way I'd hoped it would work.

Isolde: I have to admit I love Eve and of course Roarke the heroes of the "in Death" series. I don't want to live without them anymore so please tell me there is no end in sight for these fantastic books!

Nora Roberts: Rest easy. There's no end in sight. I really enjoy writing the In Death series and have no plans to end it.

Isolde: Why does the "in Death" series take place in such a "near" future?

Nora Roberts: I wanted to build a world, one that wouldn't be--at its base--so much different than ours. With the toys and technology I can illustrate that no matter what, human nature remains the same. We still love, hate, kill, protect and so on. We still need relationships and contact.

Isolde: Do you want our future as you describe it in the series?

Nora Roberts: I'd sure like to have the first AutoChef off the assembly line. And I wouldn't mind trying some of that body sculpting, or living to 120 or so, and still looking pretty good. I'd also love to see a parent who decides to stay home and raise his or her children be paid as a professional parent.

Isolde: The crime in the "in Death" books is always very cruel. Do you have nightmares when you write these kind of stories? Or do you simply like to kill people on paper? ;-)

Nora Roberts: Killing people on paper can be very satisfying. It often perks me up after a long, hard day.

Isolde: Maggie and Rogan from "Born in Fire" reminded me a lot of Eve and Roarke.  Did you do this on purpose?

Nora Roberts: No. I don't really see too many similarities. Both men are Irish and wealthy, both women are tough-minded and come from troubled childhoods. But Rogan was born to wealth while Roarke made his--anyway he chose. Eve's past was much more traumatic than Maggie's--Maggie had a loving father, and always had a home, a sister, friends. Maggie's an artist while Eve's, well, a kind of soldier.

Isolde: I love to read your trilogies. Will you continue to write books in series?

Nora Roberts: I hope to, as I enjoy the form. I like being about to tell connecting stories with different central characters and a common thread.

Isolde: Then you create your heros do you have living persons in mind?

Nora Roberts: No, never.

Isolde: Do you get a lot of e-mail from other countries? How you do stay in contact with your fans?

Nora Roberts: I do yes, and it's great fun. The internet's a wonderful way to communicate. E-mail's allowed me to have contact with readers all over the world. I don't know what I did without it.

Isolde: I was glad to hear that some of your earlier work will be re-published because these kind of stories are hard to find. What was the reason for it? Why did you write new stories for the "Night Tales" and the "Irish" series?

Nora Roberts: Silhouette is reissuing my older books primarily due to reader demand. They're very hard to find, and costly. There's a new generation of readers who want the books, and Silhouette's re-publishing them at reasonable prices. I wrote the spin-offs because it's fun for me to go back, visit the characters--and speak to the fact that happy-ever-after doesn't end with marriage. I really enjoy telling the stories of the sons and daughters of my original characters. It's a nice continuity.

Isolde: You wrote such wonderful books that I simply can't ask you questions about all of them or this interview would never come to an end ;-). "Honest Illusions" was so wonderful because you wrote about these unique relationship between Roxanne and Luke. "Divine Evil" was so great because it was such a dark and fascinating novel and "Born in Fire" was simply wonderful because of Maggie and Rogan, the heroes. I always wish your books would never end. Is it hard for you to write the end of such a wonderful book or are you glad the work is finished?

Nora Roberts: I have to say, I'm always delighted when a book's finished. I love the writing process, but by the time I'm wrapping up a book, I'm ready to move on.

Isolde: Do you know in how many countries your books are sold?

Nora Roberts: I don't, exactly. I do know they're published world-wide--all over Europe, Asia, in South America, in Israel. This summer I'm visiting Helsinki and Prague for small book tours.

Isolde: I've heard that your books were also made into movies. Can you tell us what stories these were?

Nora Roberts: This Magic Moment was made into a TV movie called Magic Moments. At the moment scripts are in the works for Sanctuary and The Reef. CBS will film them as TV movies.

Isolde: Can you tell us how your typical working day looks like?

Nora Roberts: Most days, if all goes well, I write six to eight hours. I take time out here and there for e-mail and message boards. Then I cook dinner. I might go back and do more mail, or write if a book's really moving for me. Then I'll plop down with a book or in front of the TV.

Isolde: What are your favorite books and authors?

Nora Roberts: I have so many. Mary Stewart remains my all time favorite. But I grew up in a family of readers and books have always been a part of my life. I love Patricia Gaffney's work, and her The Saving Graces is very special. Elizabeth Berg, John Sandford, Sue Grafton, Lawrence Block and on and on.

Isolde: What are your plans for the future?

Nora Roberts: The next book is always my biggest plan.

© Isolde Wehr, April 2000, Die romantische Bücherecke

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Dieses Interview entstand im April 2000 zwischen Isolde W. und Nora Roberts für:

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