Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

10/17/22, Writing…

Posted on October 17, 2022

Busy writing stories! Back to you soon!

9/6/22, Sailing into Fall

Posted on September 6, 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend, to celebrate the end of summer, and now we all get back to ‘real life’ in the fall. The summer vacation is over, kids are back in school, and the pace will pick up quickly as we slide into September. I love the fall, the energy, and the excitement of getting back to work!!!

In the fashion world, everyone involved in fashion is preparing the shows for Fashion Week, which I always say is really fashion month, since it begins in New York, then moves on to London, Milan, and Paris at the end of the month, with a week in each city dedicated to the designers of each country, with fabulous shows on the runway. Preparations are happening now with fittings on the models, and the final touches on the collections. Two of my daughters, Vanessa and Victoria are hard at work on their shows, working incredibly long hours, to show fashion editors and buyers the collections for next season. It’s an exciting time in fashion, and happens twice a year, in fall and Spring. And the Haute Couture shows are in June and July. It’s always exciting to see the new collections, and what each designer is showing for next season. It’s a dazzling way to start the fall, with runway shows by all the big designers, and new ones, and parties to celebrate the event!!

And I’m working on a new book, which will keep me busy, and get the fall off to a good start.

My new book “The Challenge” has been out for two weeks, and was #2 on the New York Times bestseller list this past Sunday. I love that book, and hope you’ll love it too, about the rescue of 7 young teens lost on the most dangerous mountain in the US, and the daring rescue to find them and bring them home, and the impact on their families and the town of Fishtail, Montana, as even the National Guard is brought in to try to save the missing kids. I hope you’ll find time to read it. And my next book will be out in October, “The High Notes”, about a young girl with an incredible voice, who began her singing career at twelve, in bars, in the dusty small towns in Texas, and her arduous climb to success. It’s a behind the scenes look at the hardships of the music business, and what it takes to reach fame and stardom. And I hope you love that book too.

Have a great week as we sail into the fall. I hope it’s a great week for you and gets the season off to a great start!!!

lots of love, Danielle

8/29/22, Ready for Fall!!!

Posted on August 29, 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re enjoying this very last week of summer before Labor Day and summer will be officially over!! I’m flying and travelling, and things have definitely calmed down compared to a month ago, when airports were jammed and it was utterly crazy trying to get anywhere. I think the kids going back to school has brought people home and calmed things down.

I have a mountain of work on my desk for the fall, and am ready to roll up my sleeves, get to work and hit the typewriter. It will be nice to settle down. I’ve been running into heat waves everywhere I travel, and am ready for cool fall weather somewhere!!! And now I’m ready to tackle all the projects I didn’t do this summer and have been saving for the fall, and now here we are.

It’s not a subject anyone wants to hear anymore, but Covid is still out there, among us, it was rampant among my employees this summer, some light cases and some bad ones, all among people who had been vaccinated and bolstered, so we can’t ignore it yet, and I still wear a mask when in crowds, and travelling, and I eat outdoors. Everyone has to find their own comfort level, and the right balance for them personally. I hope the day comes soon when it’s no longer an issue and a dim memory for all of us.

I hope the summer gave you a much needed rest, some fun, that you got beach time or mountain time, or just some peaceful time, so that you’re ready to face the fall with new energy, and excitement about some new projects. I hope it’s a fantastic fall for you, so bye bye Summer until next year…..and I hope the coming months will be great for you and for all of us!!!

love, Danielle

8/1/22, It never gets old!!

Posted on August 1, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that all is well with you as the second half of the summer gets started on August 1st. I hope you have some fun plans for the month ahead, days off, or a vacation, and a break from work.  Back from my week of vacation with three of my kids, I’ve been working on three books, as I often do, at different stages. And I finished one of them on Sunday, which was so exciting. It always is!!!

 

Writing is arduous and solitary. Not lonely because the characters in the books keep you company, but you have to be alone to do it. I can’t work with any kind of noise, distractions, or interruptions. If something interrupts me, it stops the flow of the story, and it can take me a day or two even to get back “in the groove”. And when I finally finish the book, it’s an AMAZING feeling—like flying. Writing is like climbing a mountain, it is hard work. And sometimes you feel like you’re crawling up the mountain and you’ll never make it. Along the way, there are some beautiful views, of sunsets and sunrises, or peaceful moments in the middle of the night, when the story is just the way you want it to be, and you’re on top of the world. And four hours later, you have four flat tires and you’re at the bottom of a ravine, and you can’t see your way up the cliff again, and you think you’ll never make it. It’s a rocky path along the way.

 

So when you do make it, and you finish that last sentence on the last page, you feel as though you just made it to the summit of Everest. YOU MADE IT!!! It’s the most incredible feeling and it never gets old. I love it, and I hope you love the book I just finished!!! Now on to the next one….there is always another mountain to climb. I love the challenge!!! Have a great week full of victories and fun moments and things you love to do!!

 

Enjoy these last days of summer!!

 

lots of love, Danielle

7/26/22, Hard at Work!

Posted on July 26, 2022

 

Hard at Work on a new book for you!! Have a great week and hopefully some time off to relax and have some fun!!!

Love, Danielle

 

6/28/22, Catching up!!

Posted on June 28, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you are all doing well, and I owe you an apology, for not writing the blog for several weeks. I’ve been on the road again, threw a wedding for my daughter, whose wedding was cancelled three times during the pandemic, which was heart breaking at the time, and we finally managed to do it now, and it was a beautiful wedding, in a see thru tent with the ceiling covered with tiny lights that looked like stars, and beautiful flowers everywhere. They were married under an arch of exquisite white flowers, and she was a gorgeous bride. And it was wonderful to see all my children in one place, which is difficult to achieve these days.

 

And I did some house work and got our house in order for the wedding. And then spent a week in New York, for meetings and took some time off. And after that I had two books to edit, and I’ve just come up for air now—-so I haven’t been idle while not writing the blog. And this weekend I played hookie when I finished editing, and had The BEST time watching the new Downton Abbey movie, “The New Era”, all the familiar faces were there (except Lady Mary’s husband, Henry Talbot, played by Matthew Goode). It was like meeting up with old friends. I loved this movie even better than the first one after the series ended. Downton was the first series I fell in love with, and I was crushed when it ended after six years. It is so beautifully written, researched and acted, and perfectly balanced among the actors and many subplots. It’s a wonderful show, and I highly recommend the movie. I liked it so much, I watched it again the next day. SOOOO Much Fun.

 

And now it’s back to work for a while. Have a wonderful week!!! I hope you have some vacation time planned. I just finished a new book, and might even take some time off myself before starting the next one. And my new book comes out today “Suspects”, it’s a spy book and a thriller, full of intrigue, and I hope you love it!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

5/31/22, Mort Janklow

Posted on May 31, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

There have been some hard events in these last days. The tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, and on a more personal level, my beloved friend and extraordinary literary agent, Morton Janklow, who really built my career, for forty years, passed away peacefully in his sleep last week. Yesterday would have been his 92nd birthday. After publishing my first book at nineteen, I met Mort a few years later, and he became my agent, my champion, my mentor and close friend, and a father figure to me. He helped me build a remarkable career. He was brilliant, kind, warm, funny, erudite, eloquent dignified and a gentleman, with a deep love of family and the publishing world he shared with me. He worked until the very end, and I will be forever grateful for the years we shared, and all that he did for me. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him, and so very much by me. I thought you might be interested in the NY Times obituary about him. I will miss him forever, personally and professionally.

 

with much love, Danielle

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/25/books/morton-l-janklow-dead.html?referringSource=articleShare

 

 

10/25/21, ‘Harvard Business Review’

Posted on October 25, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

I thought you might enjoy this interview, which just came out.

Have a great week!!

love, Danielle

https://hbr.org/2021/11/lifes-work-an-interview-with-danielle-steel

 

10/18/21, Nose to the Grindstone

Posted on October 18, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week last week. I am crazy busy, writing. Just finished a set of galleys, then worked hard on a new outline. Now I’m doing a rewrite for a second draft, after which I’m going to write a first draft for another book. All back to back. It is a LOT of work. But I love doing it, which helps!!!

 

Yesterday, was the Paris marathon, with thousands of people crowding the streets, no one wearing masks. It was unnerving seeing them, and wondering if an event like that will start a new wave of Covid. It seemed so incredibly irresponsible, despite their enthusiasm. It just seems too soon for a huge crowd like that with no precautions.  And one of the big art shows in Paris opened today. I would love to go, I go every year, but I don’t think that’s sensible either, so I’m not going. I still think we need to be careful, and big crowds still don’t feel smart.

 

I’m not taking time to play right now, with so much work to do. It’s nose to the grindstone time, and I hope that by next week I’ll have lots of work done. Have a terrific week, and I hope you’ll have some fun this week.

 

love, Danielle

9/14/21, Old Friends, New Friends

Posted on September 14, 2021

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’re doing well, the Fall is off to a good start, that the summer brought you some fun and relaxation, time to just forget all your problems and do things you enjoy, and now the kids are back in school, you’re back at work, and I hope you’re busy with some exciting projects and plans. And in many places, countries and cities, the acute phase of the Covid crisis is easing a little, due to vaccines, masks, and sensible practices that have become routine for us, and are easy to maintain.

 

In many, many cases, these long Covid months have separated us from people we love, and want to spend time with. I was separated from my children by an ocean and a continent, and the fallout and dangers of Covid 19 for fifteen very long months. With restrictions, curfews (at 6pm in Paris for a while), and lockdowns, my world and my social life dwindled to nothing, and is still very limited, in terms of who I see, and how much I go out, and only outdoor dining. Many people are still not back in their offices, and are working remotely, people have moved away from the cities where they lived and worked before the pandemic, so there seem to be fewer people in our lives. There are also fewer social activities and opportunities to meet new people with reduced social lives, but in spite of that I have been struck by renewed contracts with people I haven’t heard from in a long time, who suddenly surfaced to inquire how I am. And by sheer happenstance, I have connected with new friends who are a real gift in my life, and were totally unexpected. Unexpected romances and relationships have started in the same way too for many people. Life does go on, even if temporarily on hold and different than it was before.

 

Work, professional activities and our jobs still bring us into contact with new people, even if only on line. Particularly in the creative fields, we are all starving for contact with other humans and experiences, which we need to fuel our inspiration to create, whether it be music, art, design, or literary. Every artist, designer, or writer I have spoken to is suffering from their diminished opportunities for inspiration from a broader world. I struggle with it myself, my life is much quieter and more isolated than it was before Covid. We are all anxious for that to improve, whether creative or not, but I think people in the arts are really feeling the lack of daily stimuli.

 

The flip side of that quiet coin is that we are doing less in the world, in order to be careful and mindful of Covid. Every day requires decisions from us of what is worth the risk, and how much. It’s a movable marker that changes day by day. And I certainly see fewer people, and do fewer things outside my home now, in order to be responsible. With fewer activities, I have written more, but I also have more time to reach out to people I know, on line, or respond to people who’ve reached out to me, whom I might not have taken the time to correspond with before. But with a little more time, and hungry for that human contact, I’ve been more open to new connections, which in some cases have turned out to be a real blessing in my life, and enrich it immeasurably. It’s particularly fun to ‘meet’ other creatives, in a variety of fields. And I’ve met all of them by accident because of Covid, so the experience hasn’t been all bad, and some of my already existing friendships have deepened in the stressful war-time atmosphere that has impacted us all.

 

At the beginning of the pandemic, a museum in another country contacted me, with time on their hands too, they had gone through their archives to ‘clean house” and discovered that my grandfather had loaned them a small painting for an exhibit many years ago, which somehow got forgotten, never got returned, and was still at the museum. My grandfather had died shortly after, no one knew about the loaned painting, and they never claimed it. It wasn’t valuable, but it belonged to his heirs, which was me. They contacted me and offered to return it to me. I didn’t fall in love with the painting when they sent me a photo of it, and decided to donate it to the museum since it had already been there for years. They were very pleased and the curator who had made contact is a lovely woman, and we’ve had a wonderful correspondence that has gone on for a year. In non-covid times, I would never have taken the time to get to know her. Buried under mountains of work, meeting deadlines, travelling constantly to see my kids, I would have made a fast decision about the painting and let it go at that. Working from home, the curator had time too that she wouldn’t have had otherwise. It has been a lovely exchange now for a year, and we hope to meet one day.

 

And I did a crazy thing, during one of the lonely lockdowns in France. My favorite series cheered me late at night when I was anxious and lonely. One of them is a British show that I have loved for years. The sound of the actors’ familiar voices was comforting, alone in my apartment for 77 days. I did something I’ve never done before. I researched the woman who created it and writes the show, got her address from a friend who works in TV in London, and wrote the first fan letter I have ever written, to tell the writer how much the show has meant to me. I would NEVER have done that in normal times. But suddenly, living daily with a lot of anxiety and fear, we are more open and more vulnerable, more emotional, and aware of things we paid no attention to before. It had never occurred to me before to write to the creator of that show, although I’ve loved it for a decade and watch it faithfully. But suddenly, in the craziness of the pandemic, it seemed okay to reach out, so I did on a sudden impulse one night. Much to my astonishment, she answered me the next day, and she had been reading my books since her teens. We had a powerful mutual admiration for each other, had a million things in common, and she has become a fantastic friend, although we still haven’t met. Our birthdays are even one day apart. She writes me hysterically funny letters, and our shared view of the literary world and the world of TV has given us a lot of laughs. She is a kindred spirit, and I adore her. Wow!!! Imagine if I had never written to her. She is a huge gift in my life!!

 

And along the way, I did a collaboration with a young Irish fashion designer, whom I’ve admired for years, and presto magic a new mutual admiration was born, across miles and generations. We did a podcast together, and the collaboration was a wonderful experience!!! Right there, I had three new friends, without ever leaving my house or meeting them. And then a fourth, an artist in Germany sent me a pastel portrait of my late son Nick as a gift (because she had spare time too), which really touched my heart, and we have corresponded too. She is incredibly talented and a lovely person, and she is currently working on a project for me, that I plan to give my children at Christmas.

 

And in addition to that, an artist in San Francisco whom I have admired for years, but haven’t seen in a long time, reached out to me. I have many many of his paintings in my home, but we had lost touch. He wrote to me out of the blue, and said what a hard time he was having painting in the pandemic, and what a challenge it was to create in a vacuum, isolated from people and the world as we know it. I answered immediately and shared that it was hard for me too. (All the people in the arts who have written to me have said the same). I shared my own experiences with him by email, and the exchange helped both of us, and inspired us. I was SO happy to have heard from him, and so grateful that he’d written to me.

 

So even though we are alone more, and spend more time at home, and the pandemic has been isolating for many people, even most people,—-flowers pop up through the snow and ice, and bring spring back into our lives in the frozen winter we have lived for eighteen months. Email has certainly helped us reach out to others, this would all be a lot worse without it. (I accidentally spilled a glass of water into my computer a week ago, and I panicked at the loss of contact for 3 days. The internet is a huge blessing right now, and keeps us connected to others and the broader world.)

 

I am so grateful for these friendships that have appeared, flourished, and the old ones that have survived or been reborn. we are social animals and need other humans, but in the midst of the silence, the darkness and at times the loneliness, some wonderful friendships (and even romances) are born. And I am SOOOO grateful for that, and for the old and new friends in my life.  And I am certain that these friendships will last much longer than Covid, and be stronger than they would have been, because of it. So some good has come of the challenges of the Covid crisis after all!!!Have a wonderful week!!!

 

love, Danielle