Danielle Steel

Biografie şi Bibliografie

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Danielle Fernande Dominique Schuelein-Steel (born on August 14, 1947 in New York City, New York) is an American romantic novelist and author of mainstream dramas.

Best known for her mainstream drama novels, Steel has sold more than 550 million copies of her books (as of 2005). Her novels have been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 390 consecutive weeks[1] and 22 have been adapted for television.

Biography

Early years

Danielle Fernande Dominique Schuelein-Steel was born on August 14, 1947 in New York, NY. Her parents were John Schulein Steel, a descendant of the founders of Lowenbrau beer and Norma da Câmara Stone Reis, the daughter of a Portuguese diplomat. Steel spent much of her early childhood in France, where from an early age she was included in her parents' dinner parties, giving her an opportunity to observe the habits and lives of the wealthy and famous. Her parents divorced when she was seven, however, and she was raised primarily in New York by her father, rarely seeing her mother, who had moved to Europe.

Steel started writing stories as a child, and by her late teens had begun writing poetry. A graduate of the Lycée Français de New York, class of 1965, she studied literature design and fashion design, first at Parsons School of Design in 1963 and then at New York University from 1963-1967.

Becoming a novelist

In 1965, when she was only 18, Steel married banker Claude-Eric Lazard While a young wife, and still attending New York University, Steel began writing, completing her first manuscript the following year, when she was nineteen. After the birth of their daughter, Beatrix, in 1968,[8] Steel became a copywriter for an advertising agency, then worked for a public relations agency in San Francisco. A client was highly impressed with her press releases and encouraged her to concentrate on writing books.

After nine years of marriage, Steel's relationship with Lazard ended. Shortly before their divorce was finalized her first novel, Going Home, was published. The novel contained many of the themes that her writing would become known for, including a focus on family issues and the impact of actions taken in the past on events of the present or future.

Personal turmoil

Steel married again, enjoying a jailhouse ceremony with Danny Zugelder. The marriage ended quickly and Zugelder was later convicted of a series of rapes. Steel married her third husband, heroin-addicted William Toth, the day after her divorce from Zugelder was final, while she was 8 1/2 months pregnant with Toth's child. This marriage ended within two years, and Steel successfully petitioned to have Toth's parental rights to their son Nicholas terminated.

Drawing on her own personal romantic difficulties, Steel wrote Passion's Promise, about a socialite who falls in love with an ex-con, after the demise of her second marriage. Shortly after she divorced Toth, Steel released Remembrance, in which the husband is a heroin addict.

Happier times

Still optimistic about finding love, Steel married for the fourth time in 1981, to vintner John Traina. Traina subsequently adopted Steel's son Nick and gave him his family name, and Steel adopted his two sons Trevor and Todd. Together they had an additional five children, Samantha, Victoria, Vanessa, Maxx and Zara.

Coincidentally, beginning with her marriage to Traina in 1981, Steel has been a near-permanent fixture on the New York Times hardcover and paperback bestsellers lists. In 1989, she was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having a book on the New York Times Bestseller List for the most consecutive weeks of any author—381 consecutive weeks at that time. Since her first book was published, every one of her novels has hit bestseller lists in paperback, and each one released in hardback has also been a hardback bestseller. During this time Steel also contributed to her first non-fiction work. Having a Baby was published in 1984 and featured a chapter by Steel about suffering through miscarriage. The same year she also published a book of poetry, Love: Poems.

Steel also ventured into children's fiction, penning a series of 10 illustrated books for young readers. These books, known as the "Max and Martha" series, aim to help children face real life problems: new baby, new school, loss of loved one, etc. In addition, Steel has authored the "Freddie" series. These 4 books address other real life situations: first night away from home, trip to the doctor, etc.

Determined to spend as much time as possible with her own children, Steel often wrote at night, making do with only four hours of sleep, so that she could be with her children during the day. Steel is a prolific author, often releasing several books per year. Each book takes 2 1/2 years to complete, so Steel has developed an ability to juggle up to five projects at once, researching one book while outlining another, then writing and editing additional books.

Nicholas Traina

In 1993 Steel sued a writer who intended to disclose in her book that her son Nick was fathered by William Toth instead of her then-current husband John Traina, despite the fact that adoption records are sealed in California. A San Francisco judge made a highly unusual ruling in ordering the lawsuit sealed and kept secret after its filing. The order was later overturned by the California Supreme Court, who ruled that because Steel was famous, her son's adoption did not have the same privacy right, and the book was allowed to be published. At the time, none of her children with Traina knew that Nicholas had been adopted. Steel blamed this fight, and other revelations published in the biography written by Lorenzo Benet and Vickie L. Bane, for the breakup of her marriage to Traina. Following their divorce, Steel used her experience to write Malice, about a happy marriage which is destroyed when the tabloids discover the wife's secret past.

The son at the center of the lawsuits, Nicholas Traina, committed suicide in 1997 as a result of bipolar disorder and drug abuse. Traina was the lead singer of San Francisco punk bands Link 80 and Knowledge. In honor of his memory, Steel wrote the nonfiction book His Bright Light, about Nick's life and death. Proceeds of the book, which reached the New York Times NonFiction Bestseller List were used to found the Nick Traina Foundation, which Steel runs, to fund organizations dedicated to treating mental illness. To gain more recognition for children's mental illnesses, Steel has lobbied for legislation in Washington, holds an annual fundraiser (known as The Star Ball) in San Francisco, and serves on the Advisory Council of the Center for the Advancement of Children's Mental Health at Columbia University.

1997 - present

Steel married for a fifth time, to Silicon Valley financier Tom Perkins, but the marriage lasted less than two years, ending in 1999. Steel has said that her novel The Klone and I was inspired by a private joke between herself and Perkins. In 2006, Perkins dedicated his novel Sex and the Single Zillionaire to Steel.

After years of near-constant writing, Steel took a four-month break in 2003 to open an art gallery in San Francisco. The Steel Gallery of Contemporary Art exhibited the paintings and sculptures of emerging artists, especially those whose work Steel collects. The gallery subsequently closed June 4, 2006.

In 2006 Steel reached an agreement with Elizabeth Arden to launch a new perfume, Danielle by Danielle Steel. The new fragrance, made of mandarin, jasmine, orchid, rose, amber and musk scents, is available only in selected stores. The target audience for the fragrance is readers of Steel's novels, and she believes that the new scent reflects her characters, saying "Fragrances represent so many aspects of life that my characters experience - commitment, love, and emotion."

Steel lives in San Francisco, but also maintains a residence in France where she spends several months of each year and a beach house in La Californie near St. Tropez. Despite her public image and varied pursuits, Steel is known to be shy and because of that and her desire to protect her children from the tabloids, she rarely grants interviews or public appearances. Her San Francisco home was built in 1913 as the mansion of sugar tycoon Adolph B. Spreckels.

Writing

Going Home

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 frequently " the world of the rich and famous."

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 relationship. 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 discover their true loves.

Steel has been criticized for making her books overly redundant and detailed, explicitly telling the story to readers instead of showing it to them. This sometimes has the effect of making the readers feel like they are on the outside looking in rather than living the story.

To avoid comparisons to her previous novels, Steel does not write sequels. Although many of her earliest books were released with initial print runs of 1 million copies, by 2004 her publisher had decreased the number of books initially printed to 650,000.

Twenty-two of her books have been adapted for television, including two that have received Golden Globe nominations. One is "Jewels," the story of the survival of a woman and her children in World War II Europe, and the family's eventual rebirth as one of the greatest jewelry houses in Europe. In the late 1990s, Steel refused to sell the film rights to her novels to companies that intended to market them for television, preferring to work towards a film contract. Columbia Pictures was the first movie studio to offer for one of her novels, purchasing the rights to The Ghost in 1998. Steel reversed course in 2005, reaching an agreement with New Line Home Entertainment to sell the film rights to 30 of her novels. New Line is expected to adapt the books as television movies or for the direct-to-video market.

In 2002, Steel was decorated by the French government as a "Chevalier" of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, for her contributions to world culture.

Bibliography

Novels

1973     Going Home     
1977     Passion's Promise     
1978     Now And Forever     
1978     The Promise     Based on the screenplay by Garry Michael White
1979     Golden Moments     
1980     Season Of Passion     
1980     Summer's End     
1980     The Ring     
1981     Palomino     
1981     To Love Again     
1981     Remembrance     
1981     Loving     
1982     Once In A Lifetime     
1982     Crossings     
1983     A Perfect Stranger     
1983     Thurston House     
1983     Changes     
1984     Full Circle     
1985     Family Album     
1985     Secrets     
1986     Wanderlust     
1987     Fine Things     
1987     Kaleidoscope     
1988     Zoya     
1989     Star     
1989     Daddy     
1990     Message From Nam     
1991     Heartbeat     
1991     No Greater Love     
1992     Jewels     
1992     Mixed Blessings     
1993     Vanished     
1994     Accident     
1994     The Gift     
1994     Wings     
1995     Lightning     
1995     Five Days In Paris     
1996     Malice     
1996     Silent Honor     
1997     The Ranch     
1997     Special Delivery     
1997     The Ghost     
1998     The Long Road Home     
1998     The Klone and I     
1998     His Bright Light     
1998     Mirror Image     
1999     Bittersweet     
1999     Granny Dan     
1999     Irresistible Forces     
2000     The Wedding     
2000     The House On Hope Street     
2000     Journey     
2001     Lone Eagle     
2001     Leap Of Faith     
2001     The Kiss     
2002     The Cottage     
2002     Sunset in St. Tropez     
2002     Answered Prayers     
2003     Dating Game     
2003     Johnny Angel     
2003     Safe Harbour     
2004     Ransom     
2004     Second Chance     
2004     Echoes     
2005     Impossible     
2005     Miracle     
2005     Toxic Bachelors     
2006     The House     
2006     Coming Out     
2006     H.R.H.     
2007     Sisters     
2007     Bungalow 2     
2007     Amazing Grace     
2008     Honor Thyself     
2008     Rogue     
2008     A Good Woman     
2009     One Day at a Time
2009     Matters Of The Heart

Non-fiction

    * Love:Poems (1984)
    * Having a Baby (1984)
    * His Bright Light

Children's books

Max & Martha series

    * Martha's New Daddy (1989)
    * Max and the Babysitter (1989)
    * Martha's Best Friend (1989)
    * Max's Daddy Goes to the Hospital (1989)
    * Max's New Baby (1989)
    * Martha's New School (1989)
    * Max Runs Away (1990)
    * Martha's New Puppy (1990)
    * Max and Grandma and Grampa Winky (1991)
    * Martha and Hilary and the Stranger (1991)

Freddie series

    * Freddie's Trip (1992)
    * Freddie's First Night Away (1992)
    * Freddie and the Doctor (1992)
    * Freddie's Accident (1992)

Filmography

   1. The Ring (1996)
   2. Full Circle (1996)
   3. Remembrance (1996)
   4. No Greater Love (1996)
   5. Mixed Blessings (1995)
   6. Zoya (1995)
   7. Vanished (1995)
   8. Family Album (1994)
   9. A Perfect Stranger (1994)
  10. Once in a Lifetime (1994)
  11. Message from Nam (1993)
  12. Star (1993) (TV)
  13. Heartbeat (1993)
  14. Jewels (1992)
  15. Secrets (1992)
  16. Daddy (1991)
  17. Palomino (1991)
  18. Changes (1991)
  19. Fine Things (1990)
  20. Kaleidoscope (1990)
  21. Crossings (1986)
  22. Now and Forever (1983)
  23. Safe Harbour (2003)

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