|Nora Roberts - Continued|
…of this was intentional and how much was serendipitous?
Nora Roberts: It was very intentional. I wanted to take the reader on a trip to Ireland, and I took myself there -- as I sat at the keyboard. Once the story was begun I was in Ireland, and the tone of the book, I hope, reflected that.
Crescent Blues: Do you plan to employ this technique again? Are there other narrative experiments you'd like to try?
Nora Roberts: I've just finished another trilogy set in Ireland. The Gallaghers run a pub in a little village on the coast of Waterford. As for narrative experiments… you know, I just never think about it very much. It's something that just comes out of the story.
Nora Roberts: They do? Really. I have to laugh. Personally, I can't stand oatmeal.
Crescent Blues: What, if anything, would you like to say about the plagiarism suit against Janet Dailey?
Nora Roberts: That I'm relieved it's basically over. It was a difficult period, and the hardest thing I've dealt with in my professional life.
Crescent Blues: Which of your characters has struck the deepest chord with readers? What do you think makes this character/these characters so compelling?
Nora Roberts: I can't be sure of this. Certainly Eve and Roarke touched a chord. Daniel MacGregor's another favorite. I hope the reader finds them compelling because they -- the characters -- have something to say.
Nora Roberts: This was Silhouette's idea, not mine. So it's really their venture. I have my own Julia, and she's gorgeous. They've done such a wonderful job on the doll. I couldn't be more delighted with her.
Crescent Blues: What other collectibles (if any) do you plan to authorize in the near future? Do you have long-term goals in this area?
Nora Roberts: It would really depend on the idea broached to me, and how it was implemented. I don't have any particular goals in this area.
Crescent Blues: Has your incredible productivity ever been a problem for you or your publishers?
Nora Roberts: It is a bit of a problem, scheduling-wise. The main reason I agreed to take another name was due to marketing and scheduling. My publishers, both Putman/Berkley and Silhouette have been terrific in working together to try to schedule the books in a way that keeps everyone happy.
Crescent Blues: How has the romance-writing field changed since you started your career? Do you believe it's easier or harder for romance writers starting out today?
Nora Roberts: It's changed a great deal. When I started Silhouette was brand new, and kicking major butt in the market. Every major house started their own category line in the early 80's. It was certainly easier to break in. But those lines didn't last, so many who published couldn't find a new home.
It's never easy. A writer has to be tenacious and suck in the rejections.
Nora Roberts: I'd start sooner.
Crescent Blues: Do you feel there was anything about your early days as a writer that you got exactly right?
Nora Roberts: I still don't know if I get anything exactly right.
Crescent Blues: You have a great track record for befriending and helping new writers. Do you feel this to something the romance genre encourages? Or do you think it's more gender- than genre-based?
Nora Roberts: I do think romance writers tend to be the most generous in the business. Part of this may very well be that we are mostly women, and women tend to share. Romance Writers of America (RWA) was formed to help nurture and support new and aspiring writers.
Crescent Blues: If you could, what advice would you give someone who's just discovered they want to write?
Crescent Blues: Is there anything you'd like to add?
Nora Roberts: I never miss a change to plug my husband's store. Turn The Page opened three years ago. It's really a nice little store -- and they mail order. E-mail TTPageBC@aol.com. They carry a very solid variety of books.
Jean Marie Ward
Click here for Crescent Blues review of The MacGregor Grooms.