Hi Everyone,

As you read this, I am busy working on a new book. It’s been months in the making, gathering information, doing research, conceiving of and refining the outline, and now here I am, pounding away on my 1946 typewriter that I love. Including children’s books, poetry, nonfiction, and novels, it will be my 128th book.

And if you imagine me looking tidy and intellectual, sitting at my desk, think again….or ‘romantic’ and eating bon bons, the truth is very different than that. I bundle up in wool nightgowns, bathrobes, and old sweaters, or heavy wool jogging suits with hoodies to keep me warm, and pound away for 18 to 20 hours at a time, day and night. I forget to comb my hair, and don’t really care, I don’t bother to dress because I don’t go out. My only concession to civilization is to toss myself into the bath at the end of my working ‘day’, which can easily end at 5 or 6 am, after starting in the morning. I rarely if ever take a break, I eat my meals at my desk.  And long before I finish work, my back is aching, my hands are hurting, sometimes my fingers even bleed from typing if I stay with it for a long time.  I have ice mittens that I wear sometimes after work, for my aching hands.  I dont take calls or read messages or mail while I’m writing. I plunge myself totally into the story for weeks on end. And that’s only the first draft. After that, I spend up to 2 years refining and editing the book, adding more research (even on contemporary stories), which is why I work on several books at once—otherwise you’d have a several year wait for each book, instead of publishing three a year.

I always get excited by the story, and it’s the only thing that seems real to me while I work. I love the characters and getting into their minds.  My editor says I ‘channel’ the people I write about.  And the reason why people say they couldn’t put a book down is because I don’t put it down while I’m writing it either. I just keep at it until the first draft is done—‘stealing it from the stone’ as Michelangelo said about his statues. And you can be sure that if you cry while you read them, I cried while I wrote them. And sometimes I laugh out loud at a funny part. It’s very intense work, and the hours and days fly by.

So if you’re wondering what I’m doing, that’s what I’m up to right now. Working on a book, and I hope you love it when it’s finally finished and I do all the editing on it, which will be a long time from now. Stay tuned……another story coming up!!!

Love, Danielle

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8 Comments so far
  1. CAROL OLIVER October 2, 2012 11:59 am

    Hello Danielle,

    Thank you for this story….I always wonder about your writing….and knowing that you
    cry and laugh, when writing…and me doing
    the same thing when reading…I would still
    like to find the few books I still need to complete my keeper collection….can never find the Poems,or childrens books…but always looking when Antiquing…any suggestions..?.and congrats on Book #128….also…I quote you so often…on Paris…and San francisco…and have
    learned soooo much about both…
    Thank you
    Carol O. in Southern Cal.

  2. Lorraine October 3, 2012 4:45 pm

    Good Luck Danielle!! You are truly amazing to be able to cloister yourself like this for so long, particularly with your large family that I know you so love to be with or speak with. We will look forward to the book. Love, Lorraine

  3. Anthony Duckery October 9, 2012 8:21 am

    Hello Danielle,
    I love writing, and hope to someday become as talented as you. I see romance as an avenue to express what I feel is lying asleep within me. I’d like to thank you for the inspiration, and here’s something to think on…I have yet to read one of your books…I’m starting today with your novel,”Summer’s End”.

  4. Larry October 9, 2012 4:01 pm

    I just came across a photo of you while reading an article on yahoo. You’re pretty hot.

  5. Barb October 9, 2012 8:04 pm

    I am trying to send you a email on your website and every time i hit send, it says my email is invalid. I include the @***.com part so i don’t know what the issue is. Screen name is correct too.

  6. Thina October 12, 2012 7:33 am

    Hello Danielle
    Congratulations on book #128. You are truly a hard worker. I can’t even begin to imagine what it feels like to work for 18 to 20 hrs at a time.

    Have you ever thought of coming to visit South Africa? I’d love to see you talking about something, anything, on my South African TV screen.It is a beautiful country, please come visit. Thank you for all the lessons you have taught me through your books.

    Love, Thina. South Africa.

  7. Theresa Brown October 13, 2012 5:31 pm

    Hi Danielle,

    I love your books I first starting reading your books when I was a teenager the first book of yours I read was Changes which I really enjoyed then I started reading your other book my favourite story is Wanderlust I love that story I loved the leading characters Audrey and Charles I actually came to care about them and hoped that the story would have a happy ending when Audreys grandfather died I actually had tears in my eyes because I really liked the relationship between Audrey and her grandfather he was a brusk man with a heart of gold.
    I also really liked Vi and James they were almost like comic relief if you will but Violet was a true friend who helped Audrey through some of the most difficult times in her life.
    My second favourite book is Family Album I loved reading about the Ward family their ups and downs was a wonderful read.
    And last but not least Five Days in Paris is a really nice story I loved the two main characters.
    At the moment I am reading Happy Birthday and am really enjoying the book.

    Thank you for bringing us these great stories,
    With very best wishes,

    Theresa Brown,
    Edinburgh, Scotland

  8. Randyl Johnson January 10, 2013 6:14 pm

    Hi Danielle ~ I haven’t been keeping up with these wonderful Blogs so I started reading back through them and found this answer to the question I asked tonight, January 10, 2013. Words cannot express how much your writing reaches inside my heart and brings forth powerful, wonderful and sometimes tumultuous feelings but really healing in the end. Thank you for sharing so much and for your honest, sensitive writing. I have a long way to go myself in ‘Letting My Light Shine and Not Hiding It ‘Neath the Bushel’. Thank you for inspiring me and giving me courage. Love, Randyl Johnson