Master Writers Series: Nora Roberts

As an avid reader as well as an aspiring writer, I am always seeking out other authors in whose novels I can escape into a fictional world of interesting characters and situations and from whom I can learn more of the art and craft of writing. I read and re-read their books both for the story and for insight into the techniques behind the story. As I’ve said before, I’ve learned more from reading these authors’ novels than from any creative writing class I’ve ever attended.

To start the series, I’ve chosen to acknowledge my debt to Nora Roberts. I met her at the first writers’ conference I ever attended in 1984. She was already becoming well-known as a romance writer who had also developed a main-stream following. Already a fan of her books, I became a fan of hers when she graciously. patiently and generously endured the babble of a very green but exuberant new writer.

Nora Roberts (born Eleanor Marie Robertson, October 10, 1950 in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA) is a bestselling American author of more than 209 romance novels. She writes as J.D. Robb for the “In Death” series, and has also written under the pseudonym Jill March. Additionally, some of her works were published in the UK as Sarah Hardesty. Nora Roberts was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Her novels have spent over 800 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, including over 100 weeks in the number-one spot. Over 400 million copies of her books are in print.

Each year, Nora publishes at least three books, one or more in the In Death Series, one or more in a three or four book series and a stand-alone novel. Despite her prolific production, however, she never disappoints. First and foremost, she is a story teller and the stories she tells are always heartfelt and full of interesting three-dimensional characters.

So far in 2012, Nora has published three novels. They are as follows:

The Witness

Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.

Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security systems—and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail’s reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, and her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something—and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.

With a quirky, unforgettable heroine and a pulse-pounding plotline, Nora Roberts presents a riveting new read that cements her place as today’s most reliably entertaining thriller
author—and will leave people hungering for more.

The Last Boyfriend (Book 2 of Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy)

Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family’s construction business with an iron fist—and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers bust on his compulsive list-making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn’t plan for was Avery McTavish…

Avery’s popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation—and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery’s thoughts. But the attraction she’s feeling for him now is far from innocent.

As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of Boonsboro a reason to celebrate. But Owen’s hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected—and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last…

Celebrity in Death (writing as J.D. Robb for In Death Series)

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is no party girl, but she’s managing to have a reasonably good time at the celebrity-packed bash celebrating The Icove Agenda, a film based on one of her famous cases. It’s a little spooky seeing the actress playing her, who looks almost like her long-lost twin. Not as unsettling, though, as seeing the actress who plays Peabody drowned in the lap pool on the roof of the director’s luxury building. Now she’s at the center of a crime scene-and Eve is more than ready to get out of her high heels and strap on her holster and step into the role she was born to play: cop.

If you have not yet read a Nora Roberts novel, I hope you will try one or all of these.

Do you have a favorite author who has been an inspiration and a source of knowledge for your own writing career?

Please share with us.


About Sharon K Owen

I am a fiction writer, a university professor, a copy editor and an online writing teacher. My first Romantic Suspense: Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) was published in 2011 and the second book in the series, Whatever Goes Around, will be published in 2016. My short stories and poetry have been published in Descant, Concho River Review, Iron Horse, American Literary Review, Trinity Writer's Workshop newsletter and collections of Christmas stories. I am blessed with a loving, supportive family, a multitude of friends and the good fortune to share a cozy sanctuary in North Texas with my two cats (Matt and Cinders).

Posted on May 29, 2012, in Uncategorized, Writers, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Suzanne Brockmann. Her books are fast paced (a little more than I pace but I don’t write actions just romances), she weaves together action and romance. Each of her books has a main character, but there are also character arcs that run through several books.

    I don’t know why I haven’t read many Nora Roberts. I love romance and I think her writing is good, I just don’t connect with her characters- well some of them. I read Born in FIre a month or two ago and it was one of those “can’t put it down books.” But the following week I tried to read Blood Brothers, couldn’t get into it. Go figure.

    • Sharon K Owen

      Thanks for responding. I have not read Suzanne Brockmann but am glad to get the recommendation. Always glad to find new writers to follow.

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Celebrity In Death by JD Robb | Story Treasury

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