Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

For the past several weeks, I’ve been house hunting–publishing houses, that is. While publishing’s a business, a house is still a home, and moving is stressful, complicated–and for a creature of routine like myself–just fraught.
 
Exciting, too, because once you work through the fraught, there are new possibilities, a fresh page, a new start.
 
There were changes in the house I worked with, lived in, was part of for more than twenty years, and with those changes I no longer felt at home there. Home, for me, is the center, the core, personally and professionally, so I need to feel comfortable and in place. I need to fit and feel connected.
 
So it was time to pack up, move on, and take memories of those twenty-plus years of good work with good people with me to somewhere new.
 
But where?
 
I’m fortunate to have had choices, to be able look at the landscape, the architecture, the personality and foundations of what was available to me. Each had its own distinct appeal and advantages, and since I don’t move lightly, all had to be carefully considered–with the invaluable and level-headed guidance of my agent. Amy Berkower of Writers’ House has been my agent since 1980. Not only don’t I make changes lightly, but I know when I have the best and I hold onto it. She knows and understands me, values for me what keeps me content, keeps me happy and creative, is not only my agent but my very good friend.
 
In the end, though we both determined I could do good work and be satisfied settling into other houses, one could be a real home, a place of contentment and creativity, one that suited my wants and needs at this time in my life and career.
 
For those reasons and many others, I’m unpacking my bags in MacMillan–St. Martin’s Press. Their landscape, architecture and personality all fit so well I already feel at home. I already know some of the family, and that’s a path to contentment. I’m looking forward to meeting and making connections to the rest. Best of all, I can now concentrate on the work I’ll do for them, and for you. I like to think, within this new house I’ll create some rooms readers will enjoy visiting, spending some time in.
 
They’ll begin publishing me next year (it takes time to write those books, create those rooms), and I’m looking forward to what my new family and I will do together.  (Note from Laura: there is still work to be done arranging the 2017 schedule.  While I know readers would love to continue with a schedule that’s familiar, there are bound to be tweaks up ahead.  We’ll share as we know what’s what.)
 
Penguin Random House will publish The Obsession this April, Bay Of Sighs in June, Apprentice In Death in September and Island Of Glass in December, as scheduled.  I’m grateful to everyone I worked with there–and to those who continue to work on my books for 2016, and my backlist.
 
Happily, with the move made, I could spend my Saturday with Kayla in the kitchen without the distractions of what should I do, where should I go eking into the day.
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She wanted to learn how to make my red sauce–and she and Logan voted for fudge. My girl learns well, and learns fast. She’s learning the names of herbs and spices–and that no sauce is complete without a good dose of wine.
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Once the red sauce is simmering, it’s fudge time. I don’t have my mother’s recipe, sadly, but I found one on-line that uses Marshmallow Cream–we called it fluff. And when I pulled that out of the cabinet, her eyes lit. Fluff! And the two of us had a little taste from the jar. I was ten years old again. She mixed, she stirred, stirred, stirred until the fluff, the sugar, the evaporated milk–a little salt, if I remember right–were all combined and smooth and boiling. And that’s a LOT of stirring. Add the chocolate, a dash of vanilla. Stir, stir. Pour into a foil-lined dish, and into the fridge it goes. Which leaves the spoon and pot to be licked and scraped–just like I did as a girl in my mother’s kitchen.
IMG_1366
 
It’s not quite my mother’s fudge–a little sweeter, I think–but it’s awesome.
 
The kid also ate a bowl of soup, one of my baker brother’s sourdough English muffins (christened by Laura as J’muffins for my brother Jim). She helped me pick out Easter presents for her younger sibs, helped me sign four tubs of books. Then learned how to make another of her favorite things. Garlic bread.
 
At the end of the day she took home a container of red sauce–just add pasta!–a plate of pretty amazing fudge and a bag of garlic bread. I suspect her family ate as well and happily as BW and I.
 
I think of my professional (and personal, because my work and my house are) change. It happened relatively quickly. I look at my granddaughter, stirring, chopping, creating meals, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with me instead of boosted up in my arms. That’s a gradual change that seemed to take five minutes.
 
And find myself, a creature of routine, not only okay with the changes, but delighted by them.
Nora

86 thoughts on “Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes”

  1. Congratulations and best wishes on your new home! I’m sure you will find the change stimulating. I need a certain routine also. When that routine doesn’t deliver what I need to operate its time to shake up the routine in a direction that does. Any brain freeze that tells me different has me imagining my thumb on a large white reset button. I push down firmly and see a giant You Are Here map with different paths to my goal. Go Team Nora!

    1. Congratulations! I hope you will also revisit who you publish your e-audio books with. Currently, your digital audios are not available to any libraries for lending. I work for the Los Angeles Public Library and we miss you! Very best of luck! You are my favorite author!

      1. I agree with you Peggy. I just retired from the Malverne Pl in NY and was an avid listener to JD Robb. I miss her audio books!

  2. Sweet thoughts about your grandbaby. I can relate. Time marches on when we aren’t looking. She will always hold that precious memory of the time you shared in her heart, as will you.

  3. Congrats on finding a good fit in your new publishing ‘home!’ And, FYI, in my house the standard unit of measure for vanilla (none of that imitation variety) is a glug. No measuring spoon needed. Everything is better with vanilla. Your fudge makes my mouth water for a taste.

  4. Wow, congratulations on the new publishing home! It cannot have been an easy decision.

    (BTW, Fluff and marshmallow cream aren’t the same thing. I live in the city where Fluff is made 😉 )

  5. Congratulations! It’s hard moving your home, even making the decision to move your home…whether it’s your physical home that you live in or the one you work in/with. I’m glad you are feeling good about the change, that helps us feel confident that whatever the changes with scheduling may be, you’ll continue to give us excellent reading! Many thanks!

  6. It sounds like you have made a good choice for you with your team. Congratulations! You are the one writer whose books I read over and over. ……shhhhh…. there are a couple of others but they write in different genre’s….. grins.

  7. Congratulations on your new adventure! I love everything you write and look forward to many more books from Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb to add to my extensive collection!

  8. Congratulations on your new move. Hope it’s what you want. I love all your books, love the mysteries and stand alone books. I need to find a site where the trilogy are in order so I can start with the first book. Loved the brides and Boonboro (sorry about spelling). Anyway enjoyed those very much. Keep on writing.

    1. I think Laura has them in order on Nora’s website. They are certainly complete there. Always so gracious to the readers. Best of luck!

  9. Ms. Roberts, Change is not an easy thing to do. But you have good instincts and trust your people you have the world! I’m so happy you are happy! Thank you for letting us in a little of your thoughts, feelings and process. As a HUGE fan, thank you for entrusting us, your fans, with a little insight to you.

  10. I loved making my fudge, similar to yours, but had to stop as chocolate is a trigger for my migraine headache. A real bummer

    1. Donna–You can also make peanut butter fudge (if you like, or can eat peanut butter.) I’ve also made butterscotch, and a few other varieties…no chocolate needed.

  11. Congratulations! I am so glad you found a “Happy Place” for your wonderful work. It makes all the difference! And thanks for sharing your time with your beautiful granddaughter. YEARS ago I was a 4H leader for cooking, and showed my girls how to make marshmallow cream fudge. This brought back fun memories. 😀

  12. It must be the year for change. Another author I love changed publishers too. I’m glad to have a happy writer. It makes it so much easier for you to write us new books.

  13. Like the Carole King songs…”Where you lead, I will follow” and “You’ve got a friend”… your writing as Nora, J.D and others have helped me through life’s path…it’s joys, challenges and yes, need to escape. Hope your new “homes” provide you with support and nourishment for many years…as we readers appreciate all your writing gives us.

  14. They say a change is as good as a rest. Sometimes the thinking through of the change is more stressful than the change itself, I’m sure that you thought long and hard before you made it, and you will start again with renewed vim and vigour. You appeal to many million of readers worldwide and I’m sure that just because you have moved publishers that your style will change, I’m sure that many others will agree. Carry on the fantastic work you do, from one of many British readers.

  15. As previously stated we will follow were you go.
    Those wonderful memories your granddaughter made will be
    priceless for her and will remind her of what a great day she spent with you. I listen to my nieces talk about those memories they have about my mom their grandma and the memories their kids are making with their great grandma

  16. Nora, Congratulations on your new publishing house. A friend publishes with St. Martin’s Press and the personal attention he has with his editor is something to be envied. I wanted to wish you all the best and lot’s of success in your new home. Blessings, Una

  17. Please reassure us that Eve Dallas it’s not going away like the Macgregors did when you change houses before. Thank you

    1. The In Death crew goes with me. With The MacGregors, I no longer wrote category Romance, and pulling those characters with me into a different area was simply too sticky practically and creatively.

      1. Thank you so much for taking Eve add more with you you ! They’re my most favorite series of all your books and I reread them constantly. You are such a gifted writer and I appreciate all the effort you put into your writing

        1. I agree with everything Jeanette said. I discovered Eve and Roark and all the characters I love in Death one year ago. I am 74. I hope I never run out of books in this series. I read before I go to sleep, again when I wake up at 3:00 A.M. and whenever I am in a place where I know I don’t want to be.
          Thank you J. D. Robb for helping make these years much better than I expected. I’m so happy to have discovered you. Well, you know what I mean. Cheers.

      2. Thank you so much for taking Eve and the gang with you you ! They’re my most favorite series of all your books and I reread them constantly. You are such a gifted writer and I appreciate all the effort you put into your writing

      3. So very glad to hear about you taking Dallas & Co. with you. I am so enthralled by the In Death world you’ve created and hope for many more installments.

        Congratulations on your move. Change isn’t easy but it’s often the smartest choice. Best of luck going forward and thank you for all the pleasure you give us readers.

      4. I’m so glad that there’s no difficulty with the IN DEATH series.
        While I enjoy your books written as Nora Roberts, I LOVE all the In Deaths. I’m getting ready to read the two latest full length books with Eve, Roarke, and company.

  18. Hmmm….Catherine Coulter changed from there, too. Hope you’re very happy with all the changes! Lots of good memories of making fudge.

  19. There is not much more stressful and time consuming than moving house. I wish you well and happy with your move Nora and lots of happy times spent with your family..it is lovely to read about your cooking time..keep well Christina x

  20. Congratulations on finding your new home!
    There are always a few glitches when moving to a new place but a happy author us a prolific author so we your audience will be patient while waiting for new adventures.

  21. Home is a comfortable place to be. Congratulations on finding your happy place and finding these changes suitable for your days ahead. Love your thoughts on paper! Blogs and Books are awesome. Continued successful adventures personally and professional. ?from a forever fan

  22. Nora, until last year I sold your books as part of Penguin’s Inside Sales team. I am sorry you are leaving but understand it’s not the same House.

  23. Congratulations on your move. Your peace of mind and harmony with such an important member of your team is reassuring to readers like me. I hope that you are receiving the editorial attention you deserve!! I hope this does not bode much change in your association with your audio book publisher. Susan Ericksen is superlative in her dramatization of Eve and your stories. I get many hours of enjoyment re-listening to the In Death bools on CD. Thanks for sharing your integrity and talent.

  24. I would have been a total certifiable mess if I had that on my mind and had books to write and a life to live all in one package. I’m sure there are more things I have missed, but we will pile those into living life. Wow. I bow to you.

  25. Good luck in your new home, sounds like an adventure. I love your books no matter who you are with. Just finished The Lair, loved it. Reading an oldee Hot Ice, can’t put it down.

  26. While change is something we deal with from time to time, continuity brings best memories. The time you are spending teaching your granddaughter in the kitchen, sharing your memories of your mother and her recipes, will always stay with her. Imagine her in the future, recalling your time together to her granddaughter……priceless! Best wishes in your new “home”.

  27. Congratulations on the move. It takes courage to admit that you need to move. I was doing a job I loved, but after five years, it took time and guts to admit that i didn’t respect the people that I was working for, and change jobs.That was five years- not twenty. Making that decision must have been gut wrenching. Now it’s on to bigger and better- imagine Eve leaving her detective job, and moving on to chief. But that’s a long way off. So congrats- and what a relief that the ID gang is coming along. You would have had a revolt on your hands, if you left them behind. More like a revolution.

  28. Change is sometimes hard, but almost always good. I wish you happiness with your new publishing house, and more books for me to devour! Kayla is learning so much in your kitchen. These times with you will bee favored memories.

  29. Wow that fudge looks amazing! I am a baking nut and love cookies, cakes, muffins, bars, fudge and any treat! Looking at those pics makes me think I’ll need to go dip into my batch of peanut butter oat chocolate bars, or steal a few frozen girl scout cookies from the freezer! All the best to you and yours, enjoy!

  30. Congrats and good luck. Change is never easy but as long as the books keep coming, your fans(US) will always be behind you and enjoy new whatever comes our way. Love the fudge…yum!! The relationship between you and your granddaughter is to be cherished and the memories she will always have will stay with her always…..

  31. Best of luck with your new publishing home. They are lucky to have you and we are lucky to have your books to enjoy. I just finished reading Brotherhood in Death and loved it. I always enjoy Dennis Mira appearing in any of the books. As usual, I pick up the previous book in paperback and reread it before reading the nearest one from the library. 🙂

    I make marshmallow creme fudge too, although I use the recipe on the jar – or it used to be on the jar – where you add the marshmallow creme after boiling the sugar/milk mixture for five minutes. Then you add the chocolate chips. Looks the same as yours and probably tastes the same. 🙂 I do have my mother’s recipes for Honest Fudge (a dark chocolate), a brown sugar fudge that is better than anything you could buy, but needs to be beaten by hand for about eight minutes, divinity fudge and mashed potato candy. I do t have my mother’s knack so I stick to the easy marshmallow creme fudge.

  32. I do so enjoy reading your blogs.congratulations on your move and I hope you’ll be happy there and all goes well. I’m looking foward to cooking with my granddaughter Zoey, but, as she’s only six months old, I’d say I have a while yet. 🙂 she learned a new trick and showed it to me yesterday. she claps her hands then raises her hands over her head and says “yay” it was so precious . I guess you’d just have to have been there. lol!

  33. Congratulations Nora on your new home! I can’t help that I am just a little misty eyed and not because of your new home, I am very happy for you for that, but for the new adventures that await you as you settle in to a new start.
    I can relate because of new starts in my own life and the decisions that I make, far different from your own, mine is also the start of a New Start.
    The red sauce and fudge look delicious. How fortunate you are to pass this legacy on to your granddaughter.
    Fudge… Oh how delightful. Sadly when my mom passed away no one had her fudge recipe. I was able to pick a few recipes that my mom loved and recorded. I also chose a pot holder that was hers with a duck and an apron pocket. A couple of years ago I was unpacking a box of memories and came across the potholder. I felt something in the pocket so I reached in and pulled out an index card and what did it say……? “My Fudge”……… Oh I was so giddy with excitement of perhaps fate. Money was tight, and it was Christmas. For my sisters I carefully packed the ingredients of the fudge into a box along with the recipe that I did as a scrap page 12×12 decorated with all kinds of cooking embellishments. It is a wonderful memory.
    The weather is beautiful. Daylight savings time has arrived and I can not believe it is already 5:00 pm. I think that it is time to pull out a good book and have a shower and read until I fall asleep in readers dreaming bliss. Take care and Congratulations once again. Beth Reed

  34. So happy for you! Your granddaughter will carry those memories with her forever! My grandmother taught me to bake, fry chicken, knit, and crochet. We always had a project going. I count her as one of my dearest friends. We also shared a love of romance novels! She would buy us each a book and then we’d trade the next week. It makes me smile just to remember all of this!

  35. The recipe you’re looking for may be ‘Mamie Eisenhower’s Million Dollar Fudge ‘. That was the one my mother used. It was widely published and easily found with any search engine. The original version calls for boiling the butter/sugar syrup for 6 minutes reather than to a specific temperature because very few housewives in the ’50s had a candy thermometer.

  36. Wow – not sure it is my age or drinks on Sunday before the work week ahead, but I can so relate to this post. Kudos to you for knowing what you need & going after it. Best wishes for a satisfying & productive relationship with your new publisher – you have provided me with endless hours of entertainment, so thank you for that.

  37. Congrats on the New Home, they are lucky to have you. There used to be a fudge recipe on the fluff jar called never fail fudge. I made it once with my sister, she was about 12 & I was about 10 , let’s just say our fudge failed, I am sure yours were edible as ours were hockey pucks. I am looking forward to the rest of your books this year & the continuing years. Change is always good, if you are choosing the change.

  38. Okay, I admit it…I’m not reading all 57 comments tonight…My boyfriend wants to talk tonight and I just want to read the blog…I finally read it all, while looking up odds for work I don’t have to return to until Monday night…Alas, it’s about publishing–the In Death series to be specific. I allow my boyfriend to adjust Valentine’s day to come out when the In death February book is released. I’d like to keep up this tradition. If you wish to move the September books into August, they’d make a great Birthday gift for me;-).

  39. Embrace the change – all – knowing you are the Core. The Heart of it all.
    Happy that Change is keeping you Happy and motivated… we can’t loose. I like the name of your new “house”. I know I know it’s like “buying” a house because you like the name of the street but… in some things – everything in my d*** case – we’re all eternal 8 years old 😉

    Enjoy the big and small changes,

    Teresa

  40. The beauty of it is no matter where you lay your head, you’ll always be my fave author. Good luck in your new home!

  41. Change is the thread in the fabric of life. Congratulations! Those decisions are so hard but the new, clean, slate is a beautiful way to start. Good luck!

    I think my mother made that same fudge…we swirled in a peanut butter batter to half of it though and that’s the part that I miss!

    Every girl needs a good red sauce in her pocket. It’s necessary for life! 😉

  42. Nora, so happy for you! I am sure they are lucky to have you. We as readers are so blessed to have you. Thank you for all of your hard work and I am looking forward to my trip to meet you in September.

  43. I wanted to say congratulations and best of luck with the move. I feel some camaraderie with you right now, I have very recently made the very difficult decision to leave my current job (and all my lovely friends there – miss them so much already) to start a new career in teaching. It’s thrilling, terrifying – I feel like I’m on the edge of a precipice, and I’m really hoping it’s gonna be a good dive! All the best to you on your move, hope you find that you’ve chosen a wonderful new home. I hope I do too! 🙂

  44. Good luck with the new publishin house, Nora. Sometimes change is good and helps us to grow. I look forward to many more novelaborate by my favorite author m God bless you.

  45. Wonderful story, change is hard, but sometimes it is necessary. That first day at school, first on the job is always the hardest and Shakes that folow. Good luck with the new house that will soon be a home…

  46. Congratulations on your new address. It is a beautiful thing to have choices from which to select. Your new family is more than fortunate to have you join them. We, your loyal fans, will follow and support you wherever you choose to hang your hat.

  47. I watch a lot of HGTV and they have a show “Love It or List It”. Sometimes problems with a House can be fixed. Other times you just have to list it and move on. I wish you good luck with your new House.

  48. Congratulations!

    How does this affect your “In Death” hardcover re-issues? Or has that been discontinued?

  49. I read in your new books email today that you are having deer problems. If you can get some hairdresser to save you a bag of cut hair sprinkle that around the area you don’t want deer and they will stay away. My mom used to always do that for her vegetable garden.

    1. I live on an island off an island on the west coast of Canada. We have a product in British Columbia, called Bobex. It actually works. Eventually, the deer ignore the hair. Probably because everyone was doing it, and it was either ‘cross the hair or starve’. Wolf pee also works … Good luck with that, though…?

  50. Hope all goes well at your new “home.” As I am slowing losing my eyesight, one of the things that was always appreciated was how quickly your In Death series came out in audio book version. Since not all books do this, here’s hoping that your new house continues this, and maybe uses the wonderful Susan Ericksen as the In Death voice. She is so fabulous, and now when she says a sentence you can immediately tell which character it is before the name is even spoken.

    Good luck and keep up the great writing.

    1. Hi Judi, The audio book publisher Brilliance is a separate entity from Nora’s book publisher. She will continue to work with Brilliance and no doubt Susan will continue to read the In Deaths.

      laura

  51. I love your books as a NYC girl and Irish lass. And who doesn’ t love Roarke?! I would love to mee you someday

  52. Nora, Congrats on your new house. Glad you found a new home, as I read your books over and over. I also listen to the In Death series in order in my car thru my phone. You and Eve and Roarke, et. al., make all my commutes road rage free… LOL
    Thank you for the HOURS of joy your books bring me, as I have to read as much as I have to breathe.

  53. Good luck with your new home! Thank you so much for your many books – I’ve read them all and have read many of them many times. I am a huge fan of audiobooks, and I believe none are narrated better than Susan Erickson does your In Death series! I listen to them repeatedly. (I am quite sure that I could instantly identify any of the characters should one phone me tonight.) I have been wondering if lthe changes you’ve made will include any to the audio productions? Changes will likely not matter much to a reader, but changing the narrator would be a very signicant change for your audio fans. I hope Susan will continue with the series.

  54. Boy am I behind times! I just saw the item on FB. Last year I re-read the entire “oeuvre” from Naked…and thankfully bought the 4 books I’d somehow overlooked and hadn’t yet added to the collection…I just re-read Brotherhood and the newly minted Apprentice…both were and are wonderful…what a treat to read about characters who grow and change …it’s one of the reasons I love and respect Nora. I was curious about one thing…May I ask if the “backlist” eventually comes with you to the new house…or must it stay at the old house and “home” starts with the Feb ’17 release?

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