When you think romance novels, you probably think of a few things - covers with people kissing, maybe a pretty lady swooning into the beefy arms of Fabio. Maybe they're in a castle or on a farm or in cabin in the woods, but no matter where they are, you just know that true love will win in the end. That could be why people love romance novels so much! There's a happy ending in store, no matter how tough things get for our hero and heroine.
And if I asked you to think of a romance author, you might think of Nicholas Sparks or Danielle Steel, or even Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters if you're old school. But if you're from Maryland, you probably think of Nora Roberts. You've seen her books everywhere -- bookstores, grocery stores, your mom's bedside table. But did you know....
1. Her name isn't actually Nora Roberts.
The author we know as Nora Roberts was born Eleanor Marie Robertson -- not too far off the more famous moniker, huh? According to Wikipedia, she chose Nora Roberts because she assumed romance authors used pen names. (Another method to choose your romance author pen name -- use your middle name and the name of the street you grew up on. What's yours?)
Born in Silver Spring, Roberts lived in Keedysville and now resides in Boonsboro with her husband. And in fact...
2. She's living her own romance novel, right here in Maryland!
According to her website, Roberts met her second husband Bruce when she hired him to build some bookshelves. Seriously, unless he was a vampire or a duke or something, we can't imagine a more picture-perfect meeting for a romance writer! Now, she and Bruce run a bookstore and two restaurants in Boonsboro. Coolest of all is the Inn BoonsBoro, the hotel that Roberts bought and added her own touch to -- a fire that razed the place before opening couldn't even keep her down! The inn is featured in some of her books, and if you choose to stay, you can step into one of her stories for yourself.
3. She's written a lot of books -- like, a lot.
Planning to read her entire body of work? Well, get crackin'! Roberts is the author of more than 200 titles, and she's not stopping anytime soon. Her 2017 releases include Come Sundown and Year One -- and her older works are being re-printed, too! Now, it's easier than ever to catch up on all her trilogies and related series. (We bet they'll have a copy or two of her reads at that bookstore in Boonsboro!)
(A must read! Photo via Nora Roberts website)
4. And she wrote all those books thanks to serious dedication!
You don't build up a portfolio like that by being lazy! Roberts writes for eight hours a day, same as any full-time job -- except she even writes when she's on vacation, too! Now that's a writer who truly gives her craft all that she has. And that hard work pays off -- she's spent 1,045 total weeks on the NYT bestseller list, according to her website. That's 20 years! 20 years of being a NYT bestseller! Hey, Marylanders just know how to rock that hard.
5. Want to follow in her footsteps? You can!
Maybe now you're thinking, "This sounds like an amazing job -- I want to be a romance author, too!" But how do you get started? Where should you go? Well, look no further than McDaniel College -- the home of the Nora Roberts Center for American Romance. No, it's not a place to find a date (at least, that's not its purpose, though you could always meet the love of your life there!). Thanks to the Nora Roberts Foundation, you could become an academic expert on the art of writing romance literature. How cool is that? Thanks, Nora Roberts!
All photos via Pexels unless otherwise credited