Q&A with bestselling author, Danielle Steel

Q & A

Q&A with bestselling author, Danielle Steel

One of the world’s favourite storytellers and billion copy bestseller, Danielle Steel, shares about love, family and her work.

You’re the bestselling living fiction author – why do you think readers love and connect with your books so much?

‘I think I deal with the issues that worry and plague us all and that we care about. The loss of a loved one, illness, work, divorce, worries about our children, the challenges we face daily. The subjects resonate with people who are struggling with real life, as we all do. The characters come alive for them and the situations. We all have similar problems, and I try very hard to give people hope that they will make it through their hard times too. There is a universal quality to my themes. I write about the things I care about and others do, too.’

You’ve written over 200 books – which one means the most to you and why?

‘My non-fiction title His Bright Life means the most to me. It’s an extraordinarily personal account of my son Nick’s life including his battle with bipolar disorder, and his tragic death aged 19.’

You keep lots of sentimental items on your writing desk – tell us about them and why they’re so special to you…

‘The typewriter I bought for $20 at the start of my career, plus a collection of home-made gifts from over the years. The items on my desk are special to me because they are either sayings I love, or most of them are from my children; special gifts.’

In what ways did growing up as an only child play a part in your desire to have a big family yourself?

‘I love big families. I had an extremely lonely childhood as an only child growing up alone with my father.’

You had your first child when you were nineteen and your last when you were forty – how did your approach to motherhood change over the course of twenty years?

‘I became more flexible. You get more patient as you get older. I tried to adapt and accept their differences, and not impose my wishes on them.’

What’s the hardest thing about motherhood?

‘It’s not being able to protect them from the hard things in life, and not being able to fix things for them as adults.’

What do you think is the most important life lesson you’ve taught your kids?

‘The most important lessons I’ve taught my kids are persistence, perseverance and working hard. I think work is VERY important.’

Were there any storytellers in your family? Have you inherited your talent?

‘There aren’t any storytellers in my family; I didn’t inherit the talent. Many of them are artistic though, and three work in fashion.’

Between your own busy work schedule and all your family being busy and doing things all over the world, how do you make sure as a family that you get to spend quality time together?

‘It takes effort and organisation! We try to spend holidays together and a vacation every year, and I visit them often. We live in five cities in two countries. It’s a challenge but time together is so important.’

Thankfully, her ‘Rockstar Bus’ makes gatherings logistically easier…

‘I got the bus when I was commuting between San Francisco and Los Angeles for work (for my TV movies and mini-series) and would take my kids with me. Then I kept it for short distance trips and ski trips; now I use it to go to LA and to visit them in three cities in California. I love it!’

Describe what a perfect day would involve for you?

‘Simply being with my kids and the people I love.’

Second Act, the powerful new novel by Danielle Steel, is out now in hardback and ebook.

Danielle Steel book: Happiness

For your chance to win a free copy of Danielle’s latest releases, Second Act and Happiness, along with a £200 Sophie Allport voucher and £300 Spaseekers voucher, click here.

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