Danielle Steel moves into the fashion world

Danielle Steel  Credit: Facebook
Danielle Steel set her new book in the world of fashion.
Credit: Facebook

The fashion world is the setting for the latest book by bestselling novelist Danielle Steel, a prolific author who continues to produce several books a year.

“First Sight,” which appeared in mid-July, is the story of Timmie O’Neill, who has created a ready-to-wear fashion empire after a difficult childhood and a past she wants to forget.

Steel, 65, who has written nearly 100 adult novels and a number of children’s books, spoke to Reuters about the book, her career and how she managed to write while raising nine children:

What was the inspiration for “First Sight”?

I’m always looking to write about different things. I had never written in depth about a woman involved with a married man, so that started the idea, and then I got interested in writing about the challenges of working in the ready-to-wear fashion industry. I particularly like writing about people who overcome difficulties or tragedies and turn their lives around. After a terrible childhood, Timmie O”Neill makes something wonderful of her life. All of that appealed to me, and it inspires people to think that others can do that.

What appealed to you about Timmie?

What interested me about Timmie was her overcoming a painful childhood and tragedy as an adult and, in spite of that, she creates a remarkable life for herself. One can’t help but admire that.

How have your characters evolved to match the times? Would somebody like Timmie have been accepted at the start of your career?

Somebody like Timmie would undoubtedly have captivated readers at the start of my career, but when I first published at 19, I wouldn’t have had the insight to write about her and understand her motivations well myself.

My books have moved forward with the times in that relationships are different now, and some of the challenges people face are different in a world of more liberated women, relationships harder to find – as witnessed by the proliferation of computer dating – and harder to maintain for a multitude of reasons. Family units are more unusual with a wide variety of options. It is common for single people to adopt children now and raise them on their own, or have children out of wedlock, which wasn’t nearly as common or acceptable 20 years ago. And women are under enormous pressure now, with big jobs and enormous stress they didn’t have 20 or 30 years ago. These are challenging times, in many ways, for families, men and women, and individuals, in a far more uncertain world.

How have you changed as a writer?

Life teaches all of us new views and perspectives, if we are willing to learn the lessons life doles out to us. My approach to writing is still the same: Put bottom in chair, and keep it there for 20 or 22 hours straight, and keep at it until you drop, to get the best out of oneself, and get the story and all its nuances on the page. I have always worked very hard, and still do, perhaps harder as I strive to get better and write better with each book. Fortunately the challenge of telling the story, and doing the very best I can, is still fun to me.

You’ve been quite prolific. How did you manage to accomplish so much?

I don’t sleep a lot and never did. Fortunately I don’t need a lot of sleep or I could never have had nine children and written as many books. I’m also willing to sacrifice my personal time for my children and my work. I rarely, if ever, have lunch with friends and don’t go out socially when I can be with my kids or am writing.

Advice for aspiring writers?

My best advice for young writers, or anyone in any field, or just in life, is perseverance. Keep at what you’re doing, try not to get discouraged, keep going no matter what. I always remind young writers that my first book got published fairly easily, but no one bought the next five books I wrote.

I kept writing, and from my seventh book on, the books started to sell, slowly at first, but with a forward momentum. If you really want to be a writer, you have to harden yourself to rejection, keep trying to improve, learn your craft and keep writing. As in anything, persistence wins the prize.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

National

PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.