Danielle Steel Danielle Fernande Steel is a romance novelist who has been and continues to be very successful in her career. To know Steel better, it is important to look at her background, family values, literary works, awards, and foundations she has created. Danielle Steel was born on August 14, 1947 in New York City. She is the daughter of John and Norma Schuelin-Steel. Steel is an only child whom lived alone with her father from the age of six. She “was a serious child, read constantly, was a good student, and was several years ahead in school, and wound up in college at fifteen” (“About Danielle”).
Steel now resides in San Francisco and Paris. She “leads an extremely private family-centered life” (“About Danielle”). In fact she hates doing TV appearances. Steel has a very strong interest in emerging contemporary artists. She had a contemporary art gallery for four years, where she would show and sell the work of emerging adults. Steel loves fashion and does interior design every chance she gets. It is inevitable that she loves to keep busy. Steel is bi-lingual in English and French. She also speaks Italian and Spanish.
Steel is not computer savvy and only uses her computer for email. She does all of her writing on a 1946 Olympia typewriter. Steel completed her primary education in France. She attended Parsons School of Design in 1963 and attended New York University from 1963 to 1967. She trained as a fashion designer, but never worked in that field. Before Steel’s writing career blossomed she worked at a firm and was vice president of public relations. She was also a copywriter for an advertising company in San Francisco from 1973 to 1974.
Among these jobs, she was also a French and creative writing teacher. Steel says, “At a time in my life I had very little money; I held down three jobs and wrote at night” (“About Me”). Danielle Steel has been married three times and has nine kids, five daughters and four sons. Her first marriage was at age seventeen, and her first child was at age nineteen. She was married to her second husband, which is the father of eight of the nine children, for seventeen years. Her third marriage was for eight years. Steel is now divorced and is not a big fan of it.
She states that she is a “great believer in making marriage work if you undertake the commitment, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way” (“About Me”). Steel’s first priority is her family, and she cares most about her children. She states, “You can’t beat the relationship between parent and child, even if that relationship can be a bumpy road at times, or seem to be disappointing at times” (“About Me”). Steel and her children remain to have a very good relationship, which she believes was strengthened after one of her sons passed away for suicide at the age of nineteen.
As stated before, Steel has been very successful in her writing career, she has written one hundred and seven books. Her eighty-three novels that have been published fall under romance novels. She has also written two series for children. The “Max and Martha” series includes ten books and the “Freddie” series includes four books. Steel also wrote five books in the beginning of her writing career that were never published. She wrote her first novel, Going Home, at age nineteen. Her latest novel, 44 Charles Street, was published this year. Over 580 million of her books are in print in twenty-eight languages in forty-seven countries” (“Danielle Steel”). There has also been more than twenty film versions of her books produced. Most of Steel’s novels have made the bestseller list. These novels deal with subjects that touch on the most pressing issues of real life, such as “kidnapping, incest, mental illness, suicide, death, divorce, adoption, marriage, loss, cancer, war, among others” (“About Danielle”). Steel’s storylines are fairly predictable and always have a happy ending.
The characters in the novels are “vulnerable yet strong, suffering yet hopeful, and sophisticated yet simple” (“Danielle Fernande Steel”). Steel often works on five books at a time and spends two or three years researching and developing a single project. Among writing novels and children books, in 1984 Steel also wrote a book of poetry entitled Love: Poems by Danielle Steel. She is also coauthor of a nonfiction book called Having a Baby. In 1998, Steel wrote a memoir of her son called His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina.
This “memoir of her son recounts the nineteen turbulent years of Steel’s son’s life – a life of manic depression, drugs, and ultimately suicide” (“Danielle Steel”). Steel is also contributor of articles and poetry to numerous periodicals, such as Good Housekeeping, McCall’s, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Cosmopolitan. Steel has been acknowledged for many accomplishments in her career, including being named “into the Guiness Book World of World Records for having at least one of her books on the New York Times bestseller list for 225 consecutive weeks” (“Danielle Fernande Steel”).
In fact, many of her books made this record. In 2002, Steel was “decorated by the French government as an officer of the distinguished Order of Arts and Letters, for her lifetime contribution to world culture” (“About Danielle”). This rank of order that she was awarded was the second highest rank. With the inspiration of one for her sons, Steel has founded two foundations. One of the foundations called Nick Traina Foundation was created shortly after her son’s death. Proceeds from her book, His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina, go to this foundation.
Steel says, “We wanted to add our efforts to suicide prevention and the prevention of child abuse, another cause that has always been important to me, to protect children” (“About Me”). Her son was a dedicated musician, so this foundation also assists organizations that help musicians that are struggling with a mental illness. The second foundation Steel founded is called Yo! Angel! , which was created to assist the homeless. This foundation provides help in the form of new clothing, tools, bedding, food, and hygiene supplies.
They have served over three thousand people each year and have been doing so for ten years. Steel is in the process of “forming and organizing a coalition of groups that work with the homeless” (“About Me”). This coalition is called Bridge of Hope. Danielle Steel is a marvelous woman, from being married three times, raising nine children, losing a son at a young age, writing a hundred books to forming foundations to assist others. What more could this woman possibly do?