Hi Everyone,

I’ve been having a very busy summer, and in the past few weeks a good one, after a very bumpy late spring. I shared with you that we lost my beloved stepmother, my late son’s best friend, and even my daughter’s much loved little dog. We had one more big loss and heartbreak, before the summer got off to a decent start. And since I share family events with you, and have talked about our dogs, I wanted to bring you up to date on this too.

The day before my son was to fly to Europe to join me and his siblings on vacation, the dog he has had since he was l0 years old (for l3 years), whom he is inseparable from, loves profoundly, and who bounded around like a puppy until that day—-suddenly, out of nowhere, she got extremely ill (she is the Boston Bull Terrier named Annabelle in the dog section of this website). He was able to save her by getting her to the pet hospital near our home very quickly (he literally picked her up and ran all the way at full speed), and she seemed to be hanging in, and even improving for the next 24 hours. He stayed with her for hours, and was beside himself that she was sick, and only left for Europe the next day because she seemed better (with a warning to me that he would come home if she got worse). He stayed with her at the pet hospital until he left for the airport, and left her with his sweatshirt. She seemed happy, better, and peaceful, ate a big meal, kissed him, and took a nap as he left. And much to our great sadness, and particularly my son’s, she died peacefully in her sleep, as his plane took off. She didn’t suffer, she was healthy and happy until the day before she died, and had a wonderful life with him for l3 years. But we are very, very sad that she is gone. She was the sweetest member of our pet family, and she will be so much missed. (If you’re a dog lover and have read about our dogs, I thought you’d want to know.)

And with that sadness behind us, I hope that all the losses of this spring and early summer have come to an end. More about what we’ve been up to next week. I wanted to tell you about Annabelle.

Much love, Danielle

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21 Comments so far
  1. Avanti Scriven August 6, 2009 1:40 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about Annabelle. I know it must be hard since she was with you for thirteen years. I hope it’s easier knowing she went peacefully and didn’t suffer.

  2. Kimberly August 6, 2009 10:15 pm

    So sorry for your and your son’s loss…. I’ve lost my own beloved pets and it is devastating… After the first two losses, I felt too loyal to have another pet for a long time, but after my last loss, I went and got a new baby right away… I just cannot have a home without a cat (in my cast it’s cats), and I no longer feel you have to be without a pet for a long time to show loyal and honor to your previous pet; I think they know how deeply we loved them and purely they were at the center of our life… I think it’s okay and very fulfilling to start anew with a new baby…

  3. Diana Hanafi August 8, 2009 3:27 pm

    Dear Ms. Steel,

    I have loved and read all of your novels. You have been mine (and my sister’s) favourite author. Every book I have read I just couldn’t put down. I especially love “Mirror Image”, “The Ring”, “Safe Harbour” and more. I especially love when you write family “sagas” as in “The Ring” and “Mirror Image” where there is lots of world history in them.

    Your books have gotten me through difficult times and a better understanding of love and human relationships. Please don’t ever retire and keep on writing. Thank you for bringing me and millions of fans great joy! Diana Hanafi

  4. Jeanne Pinto August 9, 2009 4:36 pm

    After reading Matters of the Heart, I wonder if you might like to start a foundation to educate young people about the danger signs of an abusive partner. In my younger years I came dangerously close to marrying an abusive person. If I had known there was a definite pattern to watch for, I would have ended the relationship so much sooner. I love the idea of protecting others.

  5. Nicole Theron August 10, 2009 7:42 am


    So sorry to hear about poor little Annabelle but at least she was one of those pets that was greatly loved. So many pets in this world are treated so badly by mankind. I also love my Bull Terrier Benji so, so much his my faithful friend in good times and bad. They truly a man’s best friend.

  6. Mayara Malagueta August 10, 2009 4:12 pm

    Seus livros são os mais perfeitos que eu já li.Não outro igual.Cada vez que leio, mais me apaixono por suas histórias.Parece até que os personagens são reais.Acredito que vc seja a maior escrito do mundo.Não me canso de ler seus livros.As vezes deixo de estudar só para lê-los.São demais.Choro de tão emocionantes que são as suas histórias.

  7. Mayara Malagueta August 10, 2009 4:20 pm

    O meu grande desejo agora é ter toda coleção de seus livros . Mas estou chegando lá.Sabe o que mais me impressiona ao ler seus livros? Quando as histórias são estão dando certo como eu esperava eu começo um certo tipo de falta de ar.acho que é .como se estivesse preocupada.o que mais gosto é que sempre que parece estar tudo acabado você vem e cria uma nova esperança.demais isso.todos os seus livros são especiais, mas o que me encantei pela história de vida dos personagens foi o Ânsia de Viver.esse é perfeito.

  8. hsd August 10, 2009 8:36 pm

    Hi Danielle,

    I just wanted to stop by and thank you for sharing with us about your writing habits some time ago. I just realized that I never got around to thanking you for being so gracious. It was fascinating to get a glimpse of your incredible creative process. If there’s one thing your blog tells us about you, it’s how humble you are. I find it incredible that in spite of all your success, you’ve remained so down-to-earth. That’s truly amazing to me.

    One of the things I admire most about you, I would have to say, is your remarkable consistency as a writer. For the last 35 years you’ve just been unreal in your consistency. For me, I know it’s one of my biggest challenges as an aspiring writer, because I write a bit and stop and then write a bit then stop . . . and as I speak to other writers it seems like that’s a big issue for so many. But not only are you consistent, but you consistently produce such an incredibly high quality of work.

    There was something I wanted to ask you, about what you wrote in your blog post about your writing habits- if it’s not too much trouble.

    I was just wondering, how long does it take you to finish an outline for a new book before you sit down to write the first-draft ? 3 months, 6 months ? The problem I’ve noticed with myself, is that I am often afraid to stop outlining because I’m afraid my best thoughts may come if I think about the story a bit longer – so I’m always wanting to post-pone finishing my outline.

    Also, I was just wondering, how long does it take you to finish your first-draft ? I noticed in your blog post, you mentioned that while you’re working on your first-draft you often write for 20-hours a day, and I was just wondering how long (as in how many 20-hour writing days) does it take you to finish your first-draft. 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 6 weeks ?

    And lastly, I noticed that you release more than 2 new books a year and I was just wondering how many first-drafts for new books do you finish in one 12-month period ? You mentioned in your blog post, that you mainly write between Oct – May/June – and I was wondering how many first-drafts for new books (or should I say ‘new book first-drafts’) do you finish during that period ? 2, 3, more than 3 ? (say you write 2 or more, how long do you wait between starting new first-drafts for new books?)

    Please forgive me for the questions – it’s just that you are such a role-model for writing excellence to me, and it is such a rare privilege to hear one of the bestselling authors in history share about her process.

    Thanks so much.

    P.S. Is there one piece of advice that you would give aspiring writers that you wish someone had told you when you started on your career as a writer ?

  9. Dianne Roper August 11, 2009 9:41 am

    I just wanted to say that I started reading your books about a month ago and am so obsessed with them that I am trying to buy every one that you wrote. My daughter has been reading your books for a very long time and told me how much she enjoyed them. I also am so sorry about your son’s pet because I lost mine to cancer and still miss him so much. I have other pets but still does not ease the pain. I want to thank you also for being the person you are, so down to earth.

  10. Zee September 7, 2009 12:28 am

    Hi Danielle,
    I’m very sorry that you lost your beloved dog. We’ve gone through this too. Our dog, a boxer, had a brain cancer and went through numerous brain surgeries after which he lived 5 more years.
    It’s funny that you named your heroine in “A Good Woman” Annabelle after your dog. =)) I wanted to thank you for writing such a beautiful novel. It reflects the life of most women, at least in the East. We still have prejudice and inequality in Central Asia. Your novel made me cry because I can relate to her. I’m not a fast reader since I’m not English speaker but I finished your book in 3 days.
    Thank you again.

  11. Shalini Saigal Taneja September 7, 2009 3:35 am

    I’m sorry to hear about this.. God Bless her!!

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