Hi Everyone,

I don’t usually have a lot of spare time to watch TV, because I’m always working. And evenings and night time are the best time for me to work, without interruptions, although I write during the daytime too. But my strong suit is not relaxation—I’m much better at working. I’m one of those awful people who, the moment I sit down for 5 minutes, think of all the things I should be doing, and always feel I should be working. With four or five books in progress at once, I can always think of work I need to do. And when I run out of work (editing, writing, making notes on a new outline, or doing a re-write), I then immediately get antsy and start sorting out closets and getting rid of stuff, or reorganizing something, or cleaning out the refrigerator. And I’m always dragging a set of galleys around on vacation, and pull them out of a beach bag, dog eared, at the beach, to make final corrections before a book is printed. The hardest thing for me to do is just lie or sit around and do nothing, or sit peacefully and watch TV at night. It’s as if an alarm bell goes off in my head the minute my behind hits a chair, and I instantly think of something else I should be doing. (I’m sure it’s very annoying, but I get a lot done). After bringing up 9 children, and chasing after them when they were younger, while continuing to write books, now that the kids are grown up, I still have a lot of energy for other projects and more time than I used to. When the kids were little, I never got time to sit around either (they had to be fed, bathed, chased around, have scraped knees attended to, games to play, and toys to constantly pick up). So you get the picture, I’m not great at sitting around and relaxing!!!

For a couple of years now, I’ve heard about the British TV series ‘Downton Abbey’, from my kids, friends, and several colleagues (my editor, and assistants). Hmm…I thought. That’s nice. And when would I have the time to watch that? Probably in another lifetime, or after I write 50 more books, and reorganize all my closets and fridge again. A friend even gave me a set of DVD’s of the show for Christmas and said I ‘had’ to watch it. And of course, since getting them, I haven’t had time, with all of my kids home for Christmas, and I’ve been doing the groundwork for a new book. But Paris in January is cold and rainy, and it has been freezing cold, my work was done, I was taking a 2 week break from work, and suddenly found myself with time on my hands on cold winter nights. And my closets were tidy, and my fridge clean…..so I took out the DVD’s of Downton Abbey, and thought I’d watch an hour of it, to pass the time and check it out. That hour turned into five hours the first night, as I sat glued to the TV, engulfed in the story, totally mesmerized by it. I had fallen in love! And I went to bed at 5 am. (What people claim I do to them with my books!!!) With some embarrassment, I watched another segment after breakfast the next morning, and came home from an afternoon out, and turned it on again. I watched 11 DVD’s of it in about 3 days, Seasons 1, 2 and 3, and sat glued to it, totally in love with the characters and the story, the subplots, the nuances. It takes place from 1912 (and opens the morning after the sinking of the Titanic), and where I left off is in the 1920’s, after the First World War, and I wanted to beg for more when the last segment ended, with the end of Season 3. Okay, I will admit it, I’m addicted. What’s more, everyone I spoke to, claimed to be equally so. One of my daughters said she stayed up all night to watch it, much as I did. Half a dozen friends claimed the same. I have never enjoyed anything so much, and every night as I sat down to watch the DVD’s, I felt like I was meeting up with friends (an aristocratic multi-generational English family, and the army of their ‘servants’ downstairs, who all blend into one rich, fascinating whole.). I have totally loved it, and wanted to share with you that I’m obsessed with it, like so many others. It’s a fabulous show!! I didn’t move an inch, had no urge to clean my closets, never even thought about my refrigerator. When my children called while I was watching, I shamelessly told them I was ‘busy’, and then finally confessed to what I was doing, and they all laughed. I am truly addicted to it by now, and thoroughly loving it!! You might want to check it out, you may enjoy it too. I just love it!!!!) it is fabulous distraction and great fun!!!

Love, Danielle

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14 Comments so far
  1. Bonnie January 21, 2013 6:20 pm

    Hi Danielle!
    Just logged on and saw your note here. Talk about obsession…

    I keep thinking about your book named, Jewels. I hope you write another big, fat, juicy saga like that story! I loved the tv mini-series, too. 🙂

    Best wishes on your writing. You are very, very talented.

  2. Lisa Hoskin January 22, 2013 8:26 am

    I hope you managed to get the 2 Christmas Specials as well as they were a vital part of the whole story and fabulous to watch.x

  3. STELLA ANN January 22, 2013 4:49 pm

    I love it too. It’s fun at our age that we can stay up all night if we want to. Happy New Year. Stella

  4. Slava ,Ukraine Kiev. January 23, 2013 1:13 am

    Hello Respected Daniella thank you for your books!Îñîáåííî did a book influence on me the “Long road of domoy”khotel to specify for you the,glavnaya heroine of book Gabriella exists?ýòî on the real events?îãðîìíîå thank you for an answer, and Health to you and your children!

  5. happycomposer January 23, 2013 3:09 am

    Organizing closets and refrigerator . You must be very clean and well-organized person. It is so fun to read your blog and all of your books. .I have been collecting your books and love all of them. You and your books are very inspiring. True artist! ! by:happy composer

  6. Lynda Jackson January 23, 2013 7:06 pm

    I have always known of you and have seen and read your books; but today I came across your story of your beautiful son Nick and was deeply touched. What a fierce love you have for him and how brightly your light of love for all your children shines! So happy to know that about you and to hear of Yo Angel. My son struggles too so I understand. My heart is also heavy for the homeless – always scanning the streets to circle back around with a small gift or food sometimes sharing a smile and a name. Like you I agree homelessness is often related to mental illness. My prayer for those suffering with mental illness is to find peace. So nice getting to know you. God Bless You In All You Do.

  7. Erika January 25, 2013 3:11 am

    Hi Danielle

    Since many years I love to read your books in English. I hardly can wait for a new one to arrive.
    Thank you so much for them.

    All the best for you and greetings from Switzerland

  8. Mike Reid January 27, 2013 5:02 pm

    Hi Danielle – well I must say that after reading your blog today – I’ll give the Downtown Abbey a try & I’ll get back with you tomorrow on the results – it should be fun & exciting – thanks Mike

  9. Euna Chawatama January 27, 2013 5:15 pm

    Hi Danielle,
    It’s good to hear from you and how addicted you are into your work, I mean writing. You just taught me something today that I should cut off more of Tv if I want to be a successful writer like you. I have also developed some addiction in watching some movies hence it steals my time in writing, but I would rather encourage you to enjoy what you have missed in the past. You have done a tremendous job by continuously writing.

    On a different note, I met someone recently, she is now a friend. She has a seven year old daughter called Danielle. At first I thought its just a name she gave to her daughter. It was when the family visited me, and the husband was screaming to his daughter when he noticed my library was swimming with your books. Then I had to ask the father whether his daughter’s name has to do with you, Danielle? “Yes,” the father answered with a lot of excitement. “Danielle Steel is my wife’s favourite author,” he said with a wide smile on his face. I told the family you were my favourite and we were both laughing. After some few weeks having visited the same family, I noticed that their daughter Danielle was a good writer even at seven years old. I was very much impressed with her work. The creativeness, the coherence of the story and the endings of the stories, so beautifully laid out. she likes writing romantic stories of Prince Charm and the Princes.

    I just thought I should share with you this for your namesake. Stay Blessed, Always loved and cherished.

  10. Barbara Gonzales January 28, 2013 1:16 pm

    Ms. Steel
    2 words x a million…… Thank you – Thank you!
    Thank you for the wonderful books. Keep them coming. Many have gotten me through some very difficult times in my life. All inspire me to love and to think that one day I will be loved the way God intended me to be.
    My two oldest children live near San Francisco – it is a beautiful city. My son Luis lives in Martinez and Monique in Concord, she travels daily to the City for her work. She is a social worker dedicating her life to helping kids and young adults. – I’m going to let her know about your foundations. I am sure she would love to lend a helping hand (when her time permits). One day when I come up for a visit with the kiddos – I hope we have a chance meeting….. I just love the Pier and always try to get into the city.
    My best to MS. Steel – you are gifted, talented and gorgeous.

    FYI: Some of my favorite books are Zoya and Crossings. I read them when I pregnant with my youngest. I cried through the entire books

  11. Diane Goldie January 28, 2013 3:13 pm


    sorry to not hear back from you…makes me sad….!
    having a cup of tea or a coffee and chatting would be great! Are you still great friends with Vitoria Leonard?
    How is she and what is she doing?
    How are you and how is your heart these days!
    with great admiration ……


  12. Zeljana February 14, 2013 10:34 am

    Being the person that I am, TV bores me, especially the idea of a series. I haven’t been engulfed in a series since I was much younger. Then one night, I randomly flipped to Downton Abbey, and like you, I was in love!!!

    I am glad you enjoy the show as well. And best of luck to you on your next novel! I am looking forward to it. I LOVE your historical novels, and I am eager to read more of them!

  13. Marilyn March 1, 2013 2:00 pm

    Dear Danielle,
    I have never written to an author before but years ago I bought one of your first paper back books and from that point on I was hooked. I would finish one and get another. I am almost 74 yrs old and I cannot get enough of ur books. Recently my local library had a sale which included your books and since I don’t remember most of them I bought all the ones they had. My husband cannot understand why people would read a book more then once, but being married almost 53yrs in may I gave up explaining why to him. I hope you continue writing cause it comforts me. I read your book about Nick and understood what u went thru as I had a similar problem with my daughter who is now 44 yrs old and finishing a rehab program in New York and I admit to being an enabler but I now know that was wrong. She got in with the wrong crowd yet my husband and I touched it out.
    She is almost done with the program and will live in a supervised apt setting and she agrees to that, THANK GOD.

    WE live near Orlando and its best she makes her own life. Once a yr she flies here for a visit. We had to buy a safe and I think u know the reasons why.

    You are a remarkable woman for the help I have given your son and I feel very bad as to what ultimately happened to him.

    U have many children but I only have my daughter. I did not mean to go on about all I said but mainly to tell you that I look up to you.

    What I would like to know is how you think of what to write about.

    I hope someday you visit maybe Barnes and Noble near my area so I can have the utmost pleasure of meeting you in person.

    God Bless you for all your wonderful help .

    Marilyn Katz

    Plz do not use my last name.
    Thanks for taking the time to read this letter. YOU ARE THE BEST.

  14. kashif March 19, 2013 4:35 am

    i think agricultural steel sheds are the best for preventing farms.