Born: Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein-Steel
August 14, 1947 (age 67)
New York City, U.S.
Pen name: Danielle Steel
Alma mater: New York University
Genre: mainstream, romance
Danielle Steel is an American novelist currently the best selling author alive and the fourth bestselling author of all time, with over 800 million copies sold. Based in California for most of her career, Steel has produced several books a year, often juggling up to five projects at once.
Steel’s novels have been translated into 28 languages and can be found in 47 countries across the globe.[The books, often described as “formulaic,” tend to involve the characters in a crisis of some sort which threatens their relationship. Many of her characters are considered over-the-top, making her books seem less realistic.The novels sometimes explore the world of the rich and famous and frequently deal with serious life issues, like illness, death, loss, family crises, and relationships. Also, there are claims that her popular story lines are based from the events of her life like having two ex-cons ex-husbands and other events that she kept hidden from the public.
Despite a reputation among critics for writing “fluff” Steel often delves into the less savory aspects of human nature, including incest, suicide, divorce, war, and even the Holocaust.As time has progressed, Steel’s writing has evolved. Her later heroines tend to be stronger and more authoritative, who, if they do not receive the level of respect and attention they desire from a man, move on to a new life.In recent years Steel has also been willing to take more risks with her plots. Ransom focuses more on suspense than romance, and follows three sets of seemingly unconnected characters as their lives begin to intersect.Toxic Bachelors departs from her usual style by telling the story through the eyes of the three title characters, men who are relationship phobic and ultimately discover their true loves.
Since 1981, Ms. Steel has been a permanent fixture on the New York Times hardcover and paperback bestseller lists. In 1989, she was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having at least one of her books on the Times bestseller list for 381 consecutive weeks. But Guinness was premature. The fact is that one or more of Ms. Steel’s novels have been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 390 consecutive weeks.
Twenty-one of Ms. Steel’s novels have been adapted for television, each earning high ratings and critical acclaim, including two Golden Globe nominations for JEWELS, a four-hour mini-series that starred Anthony Andrews.
In addition, Ms. Steel is the author of the “Max and Martha” series of books for young readers. They are ten illustrated storybooks written to comfort the young as they face problems, such as a new stepfather, new baby, new school, loss of a grandparent, and other crucial dilemmas in a child’s life. She has also written the “Freddie” books, four of them, about real-life situations in children’s lives, like a visit to the doctor and the first night away from home. Ms. Steel has also written nonfiction, HIS BRIGHT LIGHT, about the life and death of her son Nicholas Traina, released by Delacorte Press in September 1998 and immediately jumped to the New York Times Non-Fiction bestseller list and “Having a Baby.” She has also written a book of poetry entitled LOVE: POEMS BY DANIELLE STEEL.
In 2002, Steel was decorated by the French government as an Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, for her contributions to world culture.
She has additionally received:
Induction into the California Hall of Fame, December 2009.”Distinguished Service in Mental Health Award” (first time awarded to a non-physician) from New York Presbyterian Hospital, Department of Psychiatry and Columbia University Medical School and Cornell Medical College, May 2009.
Outstanding Achievement Award for work with adolescents from Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco, May 2003.
Service to Youth Award for improving the lives of mentally ill adolescents and children from the University of San Francisco Catholic Youth Organization and St. Mary’s Medical Center, November 1999.
Outstanding Achievement Award in Mental Health from the California Psychiatric Association”Distinguished Service Award” from the American Psychiatric Association
Steel’s Top Ten
1. Big Girl.
2. The Kiss.
5. Thurston House.
6. The Promise.
7. The Ranch.
9. No Greater Love
Even the most perfect lives can be shattered in an instant. In this moving, emotionally charged novel, Danielle Steel introduces readers to an unforgettable cast of characters striving to overcome tragedy and discover the inner resources and resilience to win at life again.
Read an interview with Danielle Steele here
Bio culled from various sources.