My Work

Is my work. My process, my time, my effort, my skill, my creativity. It is not, as I was told by a reader on the Robb Facebook page, a collaboration with the reader. The story is mine, and is not as this reader claims, owned by the reader once they read it.

I spent this Monday in April as I spend most Mondays, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, working on a story, often fighting for the words, trying to see the characters, feel what they feel so I can know what they’ll do, what they’ll say.

Writing’s my job, and I love my job—fortunately. But it’s still work, often hard, often tedious, often painstaking.

I own my work, in every way, on every level. Just me. Only me. Because it’s just and only me writing the story.

This reader also claims a book isn’t finished until the reader filters it through her own life experiences.

Seriously?

No, it’s finished when I—and my editor—deem it finished. Then the reader can read this finished, polished, edited and produced work and form opinions, have feelings, visualize it as she chooses. But the reader has no input on the actual work. The reader has her or his individual take on that work. And that opinion, those feelings, that reader interpretation is valid, it’s personal and it’s real for that individual reader.

I would never question the right of a reader to hold those opinions. (I don’t have to agree with them!) But I will stomp down hard on the opinion the reader, through the act of reading, somehow forms a creative partnership with me—or any writer, ever.

Reading, imagining how characters look, sound, falling into a story—so to speak—doesn’t make a collaboration—which is, by definition the process of working with someone to produce or create something. I created, my publisher and I produced. The reader reads the result of the work, and is entitled, of course, to see as he or she sees.

But.

Did this reader—or any—sit with me at the keyboard hour after hour, day after day, week after work sweating out the story, creating the characters and the world they inhabit?

Of course not. A reader doesn’t share in the workload or the creativity and effort. A reader reads, enjoys—or doesn’t—inhabits the world the writer created—or doesn’t because that particular story didn’t pull her in.

The reader is absolutely, entitled to an opinion—positive, negative or mixed on a book. There are all sorts of venues for the readers to express those opinions, and the wise writers stays away from those venues.

I find it incredibly arrogant to consider yourself in collaboration with a writer because you read the book. That’s not an opinion on the work, that’s a claim of ownership gained through the act of reading.

I call bullshit. And I find this stand wildly insulting.

What I worked months on, chained to that keyboard, often struggling to find the right words, the right direction, the reader curls up and reads in a matter of hours. Often—if that reader is me reading something someone else sweated over, with a glass of wine at my elbow.

That’s not collaboration. That doesn’t entitle me to say that story belongs to me. My FEELINGS on that story belong to me, and that’s all.

I’ve been a reader all my life—a voracious one. I grew up, lucky for me, in a family of readers. I’ve certainly read countless books and stopped and thought: Man, I wish I’d written that!

Or, alternately: I wouldn’t have done it that way. I’d have done this.

That’s opinion.

Never, in all my years as a reader have I considered myself a collaborator in a story I read. Never in all my years as a writer have I considered readers—and again, valued, appreciated readers—collaborators, or indeed any part of my writing process.

I’m grateful to readers for taking the time to read my books, for spending hard earned cash to buy the books, for libraries for stocking them so readers can access them.

I spend time doing this blog when I can to show some of that appreciation. Laura spends even more time on social media to give readers a way to interact and find out the latest news because we value readers.

But there are limits to my appreciation. And it comes to a hard stop when one of those readers feels entitled enough to devalue my work by laying claim to it, simply because she reads it.

Where the hell does this lofty, arrogant claim come from? I’ve got some advice for anyone who makes it—spend a few months slaving over a story, researching the minutia thereof, editing, revising, second guessing, manage to get it published, then see how you feel when someone who had nothing whatsoever to do with all that work claims to be your collaborator because she read it and has opinions.

So Gentle Reader, in closing, thanks for reading, whatever opinion you form on the story. But if you decide that reading, that opinion, give you any sort of ownership over the story, think again.

Nora

218 thoughts on “My Work”

  1. Just wow. I know that the social media age has given birth to a BS sense of entitlement, but can they please let this go! You have been my favorite author since my teens, and most definitely the most prolific author I read. While your books become a part of me, it’s definitely because of how they make me feel, not because I feel like it was a collaboration. It’s because you write words that speak to me. Full stop.

      1. It is insulting to any writer, that any reader lay claim as being a collaborater in a story they had no part in writing, or research, by just reading an authors work. Nora/J.D. Robb has been my favorite author for many years, you can tell just by reading the work, how much work it really is.

        This is just my opinion, people don’t have to agree with me, but it is the way I feel.

      2. Well. I read a lot. I look at it like I’m watching a movie in the authors brain. I notice what their “camera” notices… I don’t notice if they had to pee while they wrote that or if the kids were yelling or if it was a perfect day and they were sitting on their patio enjoying their garden (my friend writes like that).
        I’ve never felt I was collaborating with the writer. (Unless I was actually…you know… Suggesting and collaborating with the writer). That’s a weird one. Have fun, Nora. Please keep writing. I’ll keep reading.

    1. Yes Stephanie! I agree with you 100%. I started reading Nora when I was in my teens as well and love her writing! What you said is exactly what happens when I read her books or any authors books.

    2. Wow. Amazing how some people feel entitled to claim ownership of something that they only read. A book speaks to someone or it doesn’t but you certainly don’t own any piece of its creativity just because you read it. I am with you Nora on this and call serious bullshit on her claim. Maybe she should find something that makes her feel fulfilled instead of laying claim to something she had no part of creating.

    3. I am grateful for your work and creativity as those efforts have introduced me to some of my favorite friends. The ones I can curl up with when I am sad, or lonely, or relaxed and content. Your books transport me to the green fields of Ireland, the mean streets of NY and many other locales. Glimpses of careers and lifestyles that expand the horizons of this office manager bring life, light, and joy to my world.
      Thank you, Nora, for providing all these gifts for me, for us, your appreciative readers.

    4. Well said, and I agree completely. I wonder if they are the same in person, as they are in social media? No matter, it is a ridiculous notion, perhaps they will see that now.

    5. I am very thankful you slave over a keyboard and bring a story to life! I do not have the talent for that so am grateful when you and other authors do. I would never claim to be a part of the creation. I just totally enjoy reading everything you write!

    6. I am so sorry for what happened with that reader.
      This is an example of that type of entitlement;nurse who helped you deliver your baby and then claims she/he should be the child’s godparent or their name be put on the birth certificate.
      Ps: The reader reminds me of the plot in Darkness in Death.

      1. that’s an interesting comment as I’m currently re-reading Darkness In Death again…so here’s the question…How delusional is this reader and does Nora need Eve Dallas and her squad for protection?
        Seriously, when did entitlement become so entrenched in our society?
        I have everyone of the jd robb books…read, read, and re-read…and never once did I consider myself as contributing or taking some sort of ownership in ANY author’s process of creating a work!!!!!!!!!! …I guess my “ownership” comes from owning all the books…though I’d love to have Nora come for coffee !!!!!!!! or a good Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashion!!!!

  2. I can’t believe you actually had to write this Nora! Yes, your stories are indeed your work and no one else’s. To me, as a reader, it is a gift that you give me and I thank you for it. I thank you for all of your talent, your tears, frustrations and joys that you pour into each book. They fuel my imagination, keep me thrillingly entertained and always leave me wanting more.
    I applaud you and your dedication to your craft.
    Thank you,
    Lisa

    1. I, all the way, agree! It is a gift, one I look forward to each and every year! Keep up the wonderful stories, Nora, I’ll raise a glass of wine to you with every book!

  3. All the hugs, Nora. And wine. Sounds like you could use a glass.

    With the exception of a few trusted alpha and beta readers, if you use them, your work is your own. You decide how it goes, how the characters react, and how it ends.

    That being said, I love my beta readers. They catch errors I miss, and make me create a better book.

    You are sharing a complete story, and you should never feel the need to justify the product you produce.

    My best to you,
    Raisa

      1. Me neither. Too many cooks. I don’t need to consider multiple readers’ opinions before I publish. I trust my editor and myself. Totally agree with you there.

      2. I’m within the first five years of my career. 🙂 Someday, I’ll be talented enough to reach your level, but I also have an editor I adore and she helps quite a bit too.

      3. And even if you did, that would not give them ownership. They’d provide feedback that you would or wouldn’t use. That doesn’t make them collaborators in the writing process.

        I teach HS English, and I provide feedback when my students write. I also evaluate their writing. That isn’t us collaborating. They’re crafting. My process as their reader is mine and it is distinct from their process as writers. In fact, whenever a student talks about how much they prefer to read than to write, I always tell that is because really good reading hides the blood, sweat, and tears (sometimes literally). The really hard stuff is done and we get to enjoy the results.

        That isn’t my idea of collaboration… but it might say something about how people who makes comments like that see group work and effort.

      4. I’ve always felt a writer is sharing her gift with the World when she releases a book. When I relate to something in a book, I feel grateful. Never once have I thought myself a collaborator. I didn’t write the novel, create the characters, etc.
        Thank you for sharing your craft with us. I look forward to each new release.
        Carrie

      5. Go Nora, own it. I would be pissed too. The reason I love to read is because of authors like you who through your dedication and talent allows my imagination free reign to experience something that I could never do. Which is to put down on pages Upon pages a story that carries throughout the years the way you have accomplished. Please don’t ever stop you so deserve your accolades for your hard work and I wish you continued success. Thanks 💫

      6. I run a small bookstore and tell people all the time that you alone write your books. They are amazed at your creative mind. Love all of your books….they keep getting better.

    1. I agree with every word Nora . Theses are your characters and your story. From someone who has read your stories since book one I do not blame you for being offended. I am sure writing is hard work. Some people are just self involved unfortunately. Please keep on writing. In my opinion you are a genius snd master story teller. I am just waiting for May and the next book.

    2. You are the creator and we are the watcher and reader. You have created vast worlds in which I can get peace from my own job as a nurse. No one but you has the ideas to create these stories and put them out there for us to read. Your work is amazing, no one has the right to claim it as their collaboration with you. I wish you easy days of writing as well as some tough ones since I imagine some of those tough days result in amazing things.
      As always a fan of your books,
      Tricia

  4. You want me as a collaborator. I enjoy your books and am happy to say I only own the copy of the book I paid for. Thank you for the stories.

      1. Sorry. Should have been you don’t want me as a collaborator or in this case an editor either. Again my apologies. I’m a very happy reader.

      2. Nora,
        I want you to know that I am a faithful fan of your novels, ect.
        You are so talented and I will remain your #1 fan!
        I always wait, with butterflies in my tummy, for one of your books to come out! Currently, I use Audible to listen to your works of art!
        God bless you and your family and friends!

  5. I so appreciate you standing up for your hard work so I as a reader can enjoy the story you created. When you stand up for yourself, you are also standing up for other authors. Thank you once again for the many hours of enjoyment you have given me over the years.

    1. I agree with you! Nora’s ability to bring the reader right into her storys is outstanding!!!

  6. Nora-

    Thanks for once again efficiently telling that obnoxious reader where to go!

    Looking forward to reading Legacy.

    Always a fan!

  7. Wow..what a twisted sense of entitlement. 99% of us appreciate your talent & are grateful for a few hours of escape & entertainment. As far as the other 1% …”Eve” will have a few more murders to solve!

  8. What in the name of all that’s holy is that reader smoking??? OMG!!! Talk about delusional. Is this her excuse for not trying to write herself? For someone (me) that has to struggle to get out a coherent email, I am in awe of writers – all writers. That this nut-job thinks her reading the finished story makes her entitled to owning a piece of it just blows my mind. Good on you, Nora, for telling her what for. She needs to get her head out of…well… anyway, and check in with THIS world. This gentle reader thanks you always for allowing me to visit your worlds. Do I wonder sometimes “what if”? You betcha, but I know the story is the story and that’s it. I think your being able to get us to wonder what if is part of what makes you the remarkable writer you are. Stay safe, Nora and Laura, be well and blessings on you and yours.

  9. While many of us dissect your books in message boards, book clubs, on social media, etc, we would NEVER consider ourselves collaborators. We’re fans, Noraholicis, adwoffers, members of the Queens Court, etc, but NEVER collaborators. We have many opinions, ideas, wishes, yet know that YOU are the ultimate decision maker and respect whatever you decide.
    So sorry this reader feels entitled.

  10. I’m gobsmacked. That’s one of the most idiotic opinions I’ve ever read. How does someone come to that stance? I’m confused. Reading a book makes you a reader, not a writer. Or a collaborator.

    To say otherwise is insanity.

    Sorry you had to deal with this Nora.

  11. Thank you so much for your writing and dedication to your craft and your talent. The writer referenced above needs to back off, enjoy your publications, and pipe down. Some people are just not happy unless they can see themselves as part of a world that is unavailable to them. I am a fan for a long time, and have read almost everything you have written. Sound a bit overboard, heh? I have met you in your husband’s store, which was made possible by my husband, at a book signing. Your town and area was real treat. Thank you again for all of your work along with the many hours I have enjoyed reading your books and your recommendations.

  12. I read your books to experience another world or someone else’s life or to learn something. I very much admire your creativity and work ethic. It constantly amazes me how you create your wonderful characters and stories; sometimes, I’m absolutely gobsmacked at what I’ve just read when I finish one of your books. (I like that word – gobsmacked – it’s so descriptive.) I just finished watching Hemingway – he considered writing a job, and approached it as such. I thought of you as I watched that part because I knew that was how you approached your writing (as well as enjoying it). I hope you continue your craft for as long as possible. You bring me joy, knowledge and escape with each of your stories. Bless you always.

  13. I just admired how you tie it up in a pretty bow. I don’t see how the reader had any part in writing it. We read for the awesome work you put out for us.

  14. People can be such Assholes! I started to read your books about 20 years ago when I got fired from my job for a twenty five cent raise. I told my boss that it wasn’t enough and he fired me, Good for me for standing up to a POS. I hear he’s in prison for two years. Karma you got to love it. I have so enjoyed all of your books. Thank you!

  15. That reader certainly has a creative take on ownership. I doubt it would stand up in court – either the court of public opinion or a court that’s part of the legal system. One thing I’ve noticed of late: you certainly get interesting (and probably distracting) feedback!

    1. Seriously! She even quoted some of Roarke’s dialogue from that book on reading as if it proved her right. It did nothing of the kind.

      Baffling, really.

      1. This is all very odd to me! Who does this?? Maybe now she feels important and popular. Ha! Weirdos everywhere I guess! I absolutely love your work! I guess you know you have made it big when the wackos come at ya! Keep it up and keep the books coming!!

      2. I think I know this reader, and if it is her she has only two realities – the In Death novels and Disneyland. I’m dead serious, Nora. She used to have a Facebook page that was a monthly book club on the series. It was interesting for a while, but her opinions were always the right opinion, even then and it grew tiresome. When I chatted with her regularly, she literally read nothing else , and correlated day-to-day life with some part of one of the books This is a big red flag, please be careful.

    2. That’s what I thought too! That delusional poster must have just read it or something? To think we, as readers, have any say beyond choosing to buy a book, and then choosing to review it is pretentious.

    3. I was goingto say this!! (Having just finished Dark last night- for the who knows how many times)
      That crazy lady took AE Smith a bit too much to heart.

    4. That was exactly what I thought. Dark in Death all the way. Hard to believe how disillusioned people really are.

    5. Gloria, I was thinking the same thing. Nora is the writer and owner of all of her books. We just get to enjoy all her hard work.

  16. All I can say is, Why do you let one Asshat get to you? Or are there really more entitled AH’s who really think that THEY had something to do with an author’s creativity? Give me a break! Between cancel culture, Amazon metaphorically book-burning, writers are in the line of fire and I, for one, want it to STOP! we don’t need Big Brother telling us what we can and cannot read and we don’t need Asshats trying to take credit for NOTHING! Nora, keep up the good work and ignore the jeleous. Obviously, that person wouldn’t know creativity if it bit her in the ass. hat.

  17. In past few years I’ve seen reader’s opinions dictate how books are written. There’s no such thing as fiction anymore in the world of political correctness. Writers can get into so much trouble if one reader finds something offensive. I remember when Chinese author’s book was canceled b/c of one reader who found offense in her book. That reader only saw the book from an American lens. I remember last year a professor was fired for teaching a Chinese filler word that sounded like an American slur and there’s a Korean word that means ‘you’ that sounds like a slur and many get offended over that. It’s amazing how ignorant many Americans are. Publishers, writers, the media have given so much power to the public to how they form words and give them a sense of entitlement like the reader you mentioned that works are only good, done, political correct, etc. when they deem it.

  18. Good heavens, they’re coming out of the woodwork, aren’t they? I agree with the commenter who suggested wine, although I’d be tempted toward something stronger…..

  19. Oh, if it was only one. It’s one THIS time, another the next. And while I have pretty thick skin, claiming reading my books somehow makes you my collaborator burns right through it.

    1. There are writers and readers, we need each other! However we readers don’t own the work or put in the hours to write or the heart and soul to make the story. We readers put in the hours reading , engaging our emotions and reflecting on the story. Different work and not a collaboration! We do however need each other so keep writing Nora and we will keep reading!!

    2. Nora, the books are yours and thank you for sharing them with us. I enjoy YOUR writing very much. Keep on keeping on!

    3. Nora- I just wanted to thank you for sharing your gift with the world. I have read your books since I was younger, starting with the silhouette books. I read every single book you write, as soon as I possibly can. You are inspiring, and all of your books have your “ voice” and it is easy to know that you alone wrote it. Thank you for all of your hard work and for releasing more than one book a year! It is so appreciated!!🙂❤️

    4. I have read your books for many, many years, You have grown, changed genres and added. a bit of something other that never fails to entice. But….. the unique voice of Nora is one that is always, always just Nora. No idiot can do Nora. And I have read a few who tried. They weren’t bad, they just weren’t you.

      You bring your characters to life with your unique voice. Maybe I, or another reader sees a bit of difference. But I’ll bet not much…you definitely OWN it.

      Thank you so much!!!

  20. Wow. I can’t believe you had to write this. But thank you, as always for your words. Your amazing books give us readers worlds to escape into and discover (but they are your worlds and stories we just get to explore them). Your characters we can incision in so many ways and yes, social media has given us ways to debate and compliment or critique our thoughts on how they might look or what fabulous shoes Mavis might be wearing from this years show fashion shows. But we wouldn’t know Mavis or anyone else you created unless you created them. I have devoured your stories when they come out and re-read them many times, especially when I’m going through a tough time and I want to escape into someone else’s story. Your books, your blood, sweat, maybe tears and definitely heart and creative soul have been a gift to me so many times. Thank you for them.

    And thank you for your blogs. To gain insight into your hard work and process is priceless. To learn about your travels and your amazing family is another way to escape from our own worlds. To learn about your garden and endless battle with the deer 🦌 well if nothing else teaches me things and the beautiful photos inspire me that maybe someday I can do some gardening.

    Thank you for your work. Thank you for sharing your wonderful stories. And please keep doing the work you love so much because at least this reader loves reading your final product. And can’t wait to see where you take us in your next work of art.

  21. I am continually amazed (although you’d think by now I no longer would be) by the sense of entitlement and the absolute hubris of some people. I cannot see how someone would think their reading someone else’s finished work turns them into a collaborator. But on social media I do see almost every day evidence of that type of thinking. People who tell an author/actor/showrunner/musician, that “you owe me” something because they read/watch/listen to their work. I really don’t understand it.

  22. Everyone in my family knows when Nanny gets a new Nora Roberts book in the mail…get ready to feed yourself for the next two days! I have three bookcases. Two of them hold every book you have written. Including the little Christmas Special you did, I believe for B.Daltons.
    I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve reread your books either. You are so special and I value your gift as the blessings they are! Never to think it’s mine.

  23. Nora,
    Your stories are magical and incredible! They are your gift to me, the reader. I spend many happy hours in the world and with the characters of your making. I have, do, and always will be so very grateful for your gifts! I quilt and I would be just as angry as you if someone claimed even partial credit for one of my quilts! As my sainted mother always said, “Don’t let the turkeys get you down”.
    Bright blessings on you!

  24. Thank you for sharing this. I’m sorry that it upset you, but the whole concept is so ludicrous that I actually laughed out loud. Now I’m going to go and have a glass of milk before I go to bed. Sure would be nice if those darned cows would acknowledge my important contributions to their work one of these days. After all, it’s not really milk til I drink it, right?

    1. Cyndy, LOVE that analogy! Would not surprise me if some people feel that way about milk! I just SMH at some people’s idiocy but, again, not surprised.

    2. Cyndy
      Good one!
      I have to say that this befuddles me too. What the ….
      How odd. Does this reader person believe she somehow also collaborated on every film, painting, photograph or TV show she sees as well? Or has she just confused “opinion” with “ownership”, since they both begin with “O” ? I don’t understand her thinking, but maybe it’s better that way.
      Sorry you had to be on the rwceiving end of her “opinion”.

  25. The first book I bought was Irish Thoroughbred and I know my last book will be a Nora Roberts or JD Robb I am 70 yrs old and I love YOUR books! They are yours you wrote them. I am sorry people are such asses! Thank you for so many hours of pleasure! Please don’t let that idiot upset you. You are completely right they are your books. Again thanks for your books and know that you are loved!!!

  26. Just a loyal reader here. I don’t have the talent or imagination to write. My talent is elsewhere. Noone should ever claim to collaborate by just being a reader, that’s just ridiculous. She must be quite delusional and in her own world.. Keep the awesome stories coming. Although I will always reread my favorites too.

  27. Just when you think you’ve heard and seen it all, something even more baffling shows up! As good as social media can be, it also exposes a lot of distorted entitlement. Why a reader would see themselves as a collaborator with the author just because they read it is beyond me. It’s like going to an art museum, looking at a Monet or Van Gogh, and saying to a friend, “See that paint stroke there? Yeah, I did that one.”

  28. Somebody needs either a come-to-Jesus talk or a smack upside the head with your object of choice. I consider myself a reader first, second, and foremost. The only way I can see myself being a collaborator on anything is if I physically sat down at my computer and co-wrote something. I even pitched a fit when a friend of mine had my name added to his by-line on an article he wrote for the university paper on the S.C.A. when all I did was loan him my copy of The Knowne World Handbook and brought him to one of our on-campus events to talk to some over the other group members. To me, that was not collaboration. I have no idea where this reader gets off, but she/he/ze needs to get her/his/zis head bolted on correctly.
    Just my $.02.
    >^.,.^<

  29. I read you because I enjoy your writing and your characters and the subjects you write about. Not ever once have I thought I owned the story with you, just because I read it. It’s ridiculous. Can’t imagine what she is thinking.

  30. And yet, if you went to this person’s place if work and told them what to do and that, not only do you have the right, but that their job isn’t complete without your input they’d be all insulted at your effrontery.
    The gall of some people.

  31. Once again I’m so glad I never got hooked into the whole Facebook thing. I’m so grateful that Laura facilitates the blogs for you to be able to share your thoughts (book progress, travel and family stuff) with those of us not on social media. It’s a “rat” hole so many have scurried into. They aren’t entitled. They just think they are.

    I do so enjoy seeing some of my former correspondents from the fan sites (Teresa, Jen, Wont) adding to your blogs to say we are your readers and fans. Not a collaborator in the group. So sorry you are subjected to the drivel. But happy there is a place to have your say and clear the air (does wine work for that too?). Thanks again for the hours of entertainment gleaned from the collaboration of you and your keyboard.

  32. I adore books. All genres. The creativity, characters, storytelling, etc., draws me in. I appreciate amazing authors, but I in no way feel like we are somehow connected in a collaboration.
    Nora said, as the reader, I am the one who reads the results of her extremely hard work. Works for me. She’s the expert creative force and I’m the grateful recipient of her efforts.

  33. It always amazes me that readers THINK that deeply, lol ~ I’m lame, and WANT the writer to do all the work…TAKE ME AWAY! And you do, on every level ~~ I don’t need to filter or even really think about anything you do such a great job, so thanks for that, and for the God only knows many, many, many hours of my life you’ve filled with truly tremendous stories!
    And you tell ’em!!

  34. Nora, I’m sorry you’ve had to waste your precious time (once again) responding to ridiculous comments on Facebook. When I read posts like these from you, I see exactly where some of your characters, like Eve, get their kick-ass attitude 🙂 Personally, I try not to look at the comments because sadly there are always rude people. I just wanted to let you know that you have always been my favorite author and I had the pleasure of meeting you at a book signing several years ago in Ohio. You were so kind to sign an extra one for my aunt, another fan, who was battling liver cancer and couldn’t make it to the signing. I am now living in France for the past 20 years and your books (both Nora & JD Robb) make me feel connected with home. During this past year, I’ve been rereading them as a source of comfort since Covid prevents me from traveling home to see my family. Thank you for everything you do and keep kicking ass!

  35. Just because I buy a painting and hang it on my wall, does not make me an artist. Completely absurd.
    Thank you for your work,
    Dyan

  36. Anyone who can come up with stories about people like Eve and Roarke are one of a kind and you are that one alone love all your books

  37. You are awe inspiring lady. You and Stephen King made me want to be a writer when I grew up. I grew up, had babies and through extremely hard work, determination, frustration and tears I have kept going with my writing because it’s an integral part of my being. You called bullshit and I applaud you. I hate that you have to defend yourself so often, but you kill it when you do. You’re a legend Ms Roberts.

  38. Crikey , there are some really weird people “ out there “ !
    Having been a reader of all your books forever ( I’m now nearly 70 ) . My journey through your stories start with anticipation, go through excitement and enthralment and end in awe with a bit of horror that there will now be a period of time waiting for the next one to be published , then of course I realise I can reread one of my old favourites of yours , note I say YOURS .
    Thanks for the pleasure you’ve given us over so many years .
    Just forget the weird ones.

  39. Wow!! Just wow!! That takes a special kind of person!! Just remember that those people are few and your dedicated readers are many!! Your books are my escape and in a way this was a good reminder on how hard you work for us, the readers, to create that escape.
    God Bless You!!

  40. It is amazing to me that someone has any opinion other than “hurry up with the next book!” You are amazing. Your mind is brilliant. With no other writer do I become the character as I do with your books. ALL of your books. I have read every book you have written and am a huge fan. You have more talent in your little finger (well, all of your fingers) then anyone. You keep rocking on because there are those of us who live to read YOUR work. I for one google several times a year for when your new releases come out and I own the book that day. That’s just makes me really lucky. Thank you for giving me so much pleasure with your hard work.

  41. How arrogant! I am constantly amazed at the sense of entitlement people are exhibiting these days. But to claim your hard earned work as her or his own??? I consider each and every book a valuable gift from an extraordinary writer that pulls me into the story. This is one of the reasons the title of this blog is so appropriate – I definitely fall into the story and truly feel like I’m right there with the characters. That’s what fabulous writers such as yourself do. Never, ever wouldn’t even consider making a claim like that! The story is yours alone because no one can write it like you do…please never stop!

  42. Wow…so by that person’s viewpoint, she collaborates with a chef if she dines in a restaurant. She collaborates with the architect if she lives in a house. Just…no. because a person enjoys the finished product does not make them a collaborator. That is arrogant to even make that claim.

    1. I doubt it. The world is full of pretentious bints like that. Arseholes every one. Well done Nora for eviscerating this lala bullshit!

      I*love* your books, your plots, characters, and imagination, and your stories have helped me get through some really shitty places in my life. Thank you!

  43. I thoroughly enjoy YOUR writing! I met you several times at Turn The Page, at signings. I feel a connection to your characters. (I’m a lot like Peabody). I have opinions on characters and stories and arcs. When I can’t sleep I make up stories about some characters in my head. I have never shared or asked never would. I hope that people will stay in their lane and just read and enjoy the experience. I’m a software analyst thoroughly entertained by your books. Thank you for that.

  44. Nora, you are so right about this. I am a fan of your work and I often thought how much of a researcher you must be. May it be about dog training, witchcraft, Irish, horses, these are just a few things that springs to my mind. I all sounds if you know all about it. I am Dutch, but often read your books in English when I didn’t have the patience to wait for the translated version. I can not imagine that anybody considers that they are co-writers. I absolute adore your books

  45. Nora please do not think that idiots like that are going to influence the thoughts and minds of your normal readers.🤗 You are a very talented writer with an amazing range, thank you for the hours of pleasure and company you bring to so many of us. I wish you and your family to stay safe and be happy.🤗

  46. I read this post with great interest. I’m new at this writing game. Any negative post, especially one that is so negative and pompous, might well make me close the laptop and retreat.

    Thank you so much for writing this post.

  47. Holy crap.
    I can NOT believe the NERVE of some people!
    Oh, wait….yes I can….
    I’m sorry that there are people out there like this, who put you through this, who get you worked up, upset and PISSED OFF…
    It sucks.
    Just know that your readers who love you and YOUR work AGREE with what you’ve just stated.
    It’s YOUR blood, sweat and tears, your time, YOUR STORY that you spin to entertain millions of people. Yours and no one else’s.
    And you do it with amazing success, fluidity and skill.
    Please don’t let idiots ruin it.
    Thank you for letting ME express what I felt after reading what you wrote (ME express…I see how this whole thing works, not you and me….or me AND the next person who reads this…..) Like I said… idiots.

  48. Nora, I am indignant on your behalf and agree with everything that you have said. Thank you for your incredible body of work, every word of which is yours.

  49. I only own your books. Ridiculous to think otherwise. Thanks to your hard work, my life is more enjoyable. For as long as you keep writing, you have a reader in me. Sorry you have to spell this out.

  50. Nora, I just want to say I am sorry for the carelessness of others; and to thank you for so many hours of pleasure your work has given me. Blessings.

  51. Oh Nora….so sorry! The world is becoming more and more full of “entitled idiots”! I’m glad you wrote about this, but don’t let these knuckleheads get your goat…they aren’t worth it!
    Be happy and keep doing and enjoying what you love! No one else can be YOU!!

  52. That one of the best authors of our time has to write this amazes me. As a reader, I can claim the joy of reading a good book. As a writer I can claim the story. You don’t get to cross the streams. I would never claim collaboration with an author just because I read her/his books. A writer writes, whether her stories ever see the light of day or not. A reader, if she’s/he’s very lucky gets to go along for the ride. If you are a passenger in a car, you don’t claim to be the driver!

  53. I cannot even fathom the arrogance! I’ve been a voracious reader since I was three and was first learning to read my Dick & Jane books. I was hooked and never looked back. I’ve probably read thousands of books in the years between and there are a handful of authors I’ve claimed as favorites (you being one) and while I’m very passionate about their books, it would literally NEVER have occurred to me to claim to be a collaborator. How does someone even make that leap?? I’m pretty sure I’d remember you or Stephen King reaching out to me to ask my advice…since that’s never happened (nor will it happen), I’ll continue to read any/every book YOU write and temporarily live in the worlds created by YOU. I’m just grateful I get to visit those worlds through your books.

  54. If that reader and many like her had your work ethic, Nora, it would be easier for employers to hire good people (I know whereof I speak…unfortunately). Don’t let the idiots get you down.

  55. I’m shocked that people behave that way. Or maybe I’m not. Some people have an interesting sense of self. I find it tough to compose the words I’m typing here. I find it tough to write a book review and post it online. A few sentences or paragraphs. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to actually write an entire book and get it published. I so respect those that do. I don’t understand how someone else could possibly try to take away from that accomplishment.

  56. *Jaw drops* Really?? The audacity of this person is mindblowing, lol. What an arrogant piece of work. Good grief I am so tired of all the self entitled people today.
    Don’t let idiotic people rent space in your head, they don’t deserve it.
    Love you and YOUR work!

  57. Over the years I’ve read everything you’ve written and I’m in awe of your imagination and productivity. I love it all, enjoy it all, and don’t have the need to claim it in any kind of collaboration. Its the best kind of escapism. Thank you and please dont stop

  58. Nora,

    I too am a writer although not at all at your level. I have struggled to create my characters to let them direct their own storylines and to have done the research.
    I struggle to find ways to get my work published, read and appreciated.
    How horrible it must be to have to face some of that nastiness that passes for an opinion when the person has done none of the work.

    Good for you for standing up and expressing yourself as eloquently as you have. Keep going. There are less of that other woman out there as a reader and more of us who actually appreciate and enjoy your work but never think that they are part of the writing process.

  59. I am an avid reader and would never presume that I had any input to someone literary work. I am envious of people who are excellent writers of which you are one of the top. Just to come up with the story and the right words to draw the reader into the story is a talent that very few people really have. There are many writers but there are, in my opinion, only a small number of great writers and Nora is one of them. Writing is not easy and in most circumstances very time consuming. Do not let those people who do not appreciate what you are able to do or who want to take credit for your talent. You are a wonderful and very talented writer.

  60. Nora, I too like so many other people love your books and find this crazy. Now for something funny. Please if you read this don’t stop when I say this because it was a dream. I woke up just a few minutes ago and was mad at you because I thought you had written a trilogy (about fishing) lol and you didn’t tell anyone you wrote this series or advertise or anything so I was mad at you because I somehow just found out and of course I was going to buy it but I didn’t buy it when it came out because I didn’t know about it. Dreams can be crazy. So I woke up and thought it was a ridiculous dream and opened Facebook and this was the first thing I saw. Keep writing and I’ll keep buying your books and enjoying being transported to other times and places. Thank you for all you do.

  61. Wow. There’s a wench who never wrote a word, or she wouldn’t have the gall to open her mouth.

    I HAVE written twenty or so novels. I’ve been reading you since the 80s— was it the Silhouette Intimate Moments or what? Oh God, I don’t even remember anymore, but I loved them.

    Of my personal writing goddess pantheon, you occupy the top spot. There are a lot of reasons for that. Characterization, craft, and sheer output. Every JD Robb book you’ve put out is in my Kindle.

    I just had to say that. Now I will take my 60-year old fan-girl butt out of this thread and go write.

  62. So I suppose if I ran a bakery, spent hours making a five tier cake, and then after purchasing & eating that cake, the purchaser felt they had a right to say they had collaborated with me on making that cake? Crazy, right?!😎

  63. I can write a decent memo, a request for disposition, an email explaining the steps i took in a collection process.. if I reread & edit 3-4 times. I can write a personal letter…I cannot write a story, as much as I love to read. I cannot understand how reading could possibly be a collaboration.

  64. Certainly social media and the current culture takes some of the blame for this sense of entitlement, but let’s consider all the Monday morning armchair coaches who suggest they would have “won” the game with a different play if they had been in charge. They didn’t work with the players every day, or watch hours of video of the opposing team…yet they have delusions of grandeur that they would have “done better”. It’s like one poster suggested….there will always be “asshats” but no one can craft a story like you, Nora, where the reader becomes so invested in the characters that they feel they know them. Take it as a tribute to your skill that so many devoted readers here have your back on this.

  65. This is the world we live in now. People think they are entitled, they deserve and we have stood by and let it happen. They say “you can’t use the term father or mother”, we can’t have a father/daughter dance, you owe me reparations because you are white and on it goes. Thanks for taking time to explain to this reader, you owe her nothing. This is your creation and yours alone.You have given me years of enjoyment with your stories.

  66. My guess is that the individual who made this comment will compound this idiocy be attempting to defend it! In years gone by, we referred to this behavior as the AI theory…the arrogance of ignorance! Guess it has not gone away!

    You have no idea what your books have done to preserve my sanity…let’s just say I am uber grateful for your talent and gifts as a teller of tales! Thank you!!!

  67. You very polite and a little to wordy for me in response to that reader. This is a simpler version: Collaborators get a check. If you didn’t get a check, you did not collaborate.

    I love every book you have written and reread them often. You have a gift and I look forward eagerly to your next book 📚.

  68. I have enjoyed your books for many years. I mean your stories, they are now my books I was lucky enough to be able to buy. I have to have them in my hands to revisit your remarkable stories over and over. But I would never and still can’t wrap my head around the fact that anyone thinks they have anything to do with the stories that you write. I can’t write at all, not even a memo. Thank you for the work you do. I need to be able to visit different places and feel that I get to do that through your work.

  69. Agree 100%. You are an amazing writer, I love all of your books and look forward to each next one. I am often in awe of you and amazed at your fabulous ideas for a story and the details of the places your stories take me to. I have a friend who was looking for a good book to lose herself in, I recommended several of your trilogies, and she thanks me every day for telling her about you. I thank you for taking me to far away places and introducing me to some of the most amazing characters I have ever met!

  70. Not again! Another one of those entitled IDIOTS out there who has nothing better else to do. If I check my inventory, my total would be that I read and owned all your books (both Nora and JD) except for one (Promise Me Tomorrow). Does that make me a collaborator? Of course NOT. What I am is an avid fan. Sadly though, there are people out there who will always be jealous of your talent.

  71. I think if a reader claims to become a “partner” with a writer, then they really need to see a psychiatrist. It’s beyond belief that anyone could make such a claim. Thank you, Ms. Roberts for taking a stand on this issue. No-one who reads your work seriously and enjoys same would make such a claim.

  72. I’ve noticed a trend in the last decade-ish, in which anonymous people “troll” someone just to get a rise out of them. Tossing out bait, so they can sit back and giggle with delight about how they got under so-and-so’s skin.

    I honestly believe that’s what happened with that so-called reader. I don’t think that person feels entitled to claim ownership over a story they read, just because they read it and have an opinion. I think that person is someone who either a) doesn’t read much at all, or b) doesn’t read your stories, and just gets their jollies annoying people whenever they can.

    People make outrageous claims all the time on the internet, trying to make a name for themselves, snag followers, become popular in the anonymous world we live in. I just ignore them, and don’t give them the time of day, much less a platform for their assholery.

      1. What on earth is wrong with that woman?!? Nora, we love you and your writing. So sorry this happened and once again you’re spending your precious time with idiocy instead of writing on your current book for us, your faithful readers. Wow. The gall of this woman is unbelievable. Take care. God bless.

  73. Oh my! I can understand how that would piss you off! I feel connected to the people, I speak of them as if they are real but that is because of how well they are written. I am able to picture the scenes because of how well they are written. I can claim no ownership or collaboration. I appreciate your amazing creativity.

  74. Hi Nora,

    I can’t believe you are still dealing with this BS after all this time. How infuriating and awful. This last year has taught me there are a lot of awful people out there. There are a lot of good ones as well, but the awful ones are so f’ing self righteous about being wrong. Thinking of you and wishing you well.

  75. Wow! This person really pushed Nora’s buttons! I guess I missed something – was this big thing online somewhere? I’m kinda surprised Nora gave it this attention unless it was out there because it sounds like a very self-centered “reader” posed some opinions that were unworthy of mention. And I resent her words taking any of Nora’s time away from writing.

  76. OMG!
    Now I have heard it all! What on God’s green earth???
    If reading makes you a writer, then I have published millions of books (without ever writing anything). Some people …… you just have to shake your head!

    Nora,
    Sorry you have to deal with this. I am so glad you don’t let them get away with it. They’ll think twice next time. I appreciate the hard work that you put into your books. God knows we need an outlet especially during this pandemic. Keep up the good work.

  77. What she had the audacity to say to you just boggles my mind! Absolutely delusional! Her, not you! I spent 20 years in law enforcement and while I know much of what happens in real life isn’t realistic in Eve Dallas’s world… it’s in her (and your) world, not mine. Love your books!

    1. Wow! Stupidity reaches new levels daily. I can’t figure out how anyone can imagine they collaborated with an author by reading a book. Do they even understand the definition of collaboration? This world is producing too many people with too high of a sense of entitlement. I do want to say, Nora, thank you so much for continuing to write wonderful books. I look forward throughout the year to purchasing your new releases. You are one of the few authors that has survived my changing tastes in reading material as I mature.

  78. You know, I can only speak about my own surroundings and experiences, obviously, but a lot of people in these times hold a level of entitlement that I can’t even comprehend. It’s not just you, I recently left a job I worked at for 18 years (one half of my life) because of this exact thing. Not only do people think they are owed whatever the hell they think they’re owed, but they will fucking fight you to the end. And their are no limits. Say what you need to say to drag someone down (whether it’s true or not) and then say whatever you need to say to justify the actions. If she is a collaborator, she has a say. So she has to write her own story in her head so the bullshit she spews is valid. It’s infuriating. Why the hell do so many people have the audacity to think they are so important they can just “write” themselves into someone else’s life. Someone else’s masterpiece. Like if she is a collaborator, her opinion somehow holds more weight and forces your hand. Because that’s always the end goal, to force someone’s hand. Entitlement is a dangerous character trait, and someone needs to smack some of these people with a big pile of humility. It would go a long way. It’s easy to sit back and say not to let it bother you, but I’d be a hypocrite, because it sure as hell bothers me too.

  79. I’ve been reading your stories since I was a teenager and have loved every one that I’ve read. You take me away to the world you’ve created and let me get lost for awhile. In my mind I’ve created other stories with some of your characters that t I’ve grown to love. Especially the in Death characters. I would in no way attempt to publish those stories because for one, those characters belong to you and you have said you don’t want other writers using your work, and the other reason is no matter how well I feel the story is, I know I could never do those characters justice. (Although if you ever give those characters away please keep me in mind, LOL)

    As for the reader and her claim, I don’t know her or whats gone on in her life. I’ll pray for her, that God helps her to see the truth. By the way, thank you so much for the wonderful books you’ve given us to enjoy.

  80. I am forever astounded by people today who don’t seem to “get it” . No one wants to work any more, no one seems to understand pride in ownership whether it’s in your work product or something else … I’m at a loss and truthfully it saddens me … Nora you and your writing have always been a bright spot in my life since I found you years ago … never let anyone take one piece of who and what you are from you! ❤️

  81. This batsht *crazy fan is raising red flags with me, though I am quite sure that you have all the security you need. Kudos on calling her out. No one writes like you (there have been many who have tried and failed), or weaves characters into stories as only you can. It is ALL you, and the reason we all wait quite impatiently for the next novel. This nutball has confused falling into the story and identifying with characters as ownership of that story.

  82. I stumbled on my first Nora Roberts book in 1987 in a used bookstore in a small town in North Carolina, pregnant with my 2nd child. On a military budget, I couldn’t afford new books but “Playing the Odds” and “One Man’s Art” caught my eye and I bought them. A few months later, my new son was in the hospital undergoing 2 heart surgeries and my husband bought me a brand new Nora Roberts book “For Now, Forever” to read as I lived at the Ronald McDonald house for a month and he had 2 open heart surgeries. Never once, did I think I was collaborating with you on a story. You were my escape…I could read your story and leave behind the worry and fear and noise of the NICU. Over the years, I have read, reread everything I could find. And then I found JD Robb…even before I knew she was you, I was hooked. The fact that this viewer thinks she’s a collaborator is wrong. Yes, you own this material and you share it with all of us that love your stories and your people. They become family to us. I hope you continue to write and share…. don’t let this reader bring you down. Thank you for years of enjoyment, dreams and escape when the world around me gets to rough. Write on!

  83. I think you were rather gentle just calling “bullshit” on her claims of ownership! I can think of about 20 other words, in English and Italian (I’m not Italian, but know quite a few curse words. A nun taught me!)!
    Yes I read and re-read your books, written as Nora and JD. Just last night I was wondering when you wrote the books about the world plague, did you imagine COVID-19 actually happening? I would be wrong, oh so wrong, to say I “collaborated” with you, because I read your book! Sometimes when I’m reading, I can picture you sweating over a particular scene, or checking your dual language dictionary to make sure you got the spelling correct for a foreign word, but that’s happening in my head! You may not have had a problem and if you did, it was part of YOUR working process, not jointly with me!
    Keep on being honest with us, your readers! We get obsessed with the characters, especially the “in Death” characters, but that just makes us rabid fans. Laura does a good job representing you on social media, but I guess every now and then we need a slap upside the head from YOU, to keep us in our place… rabid fans!
    Have a great summer!

  84. I am not able to comprehend the level of self satisfaction it takes to think enjoying someone’s creativity and work makes you a collaborator. Nora, your impatience with the arrogance is completely valid, not that you need validation, of course. I thought of any great artist; Picasso for instance, handing over the brush to a viewer for input, Gershwin asking for suggestions from listeners, ridiculous. Yes, I put you and your work in their category.

  85. I cannot believe this actually has to be said. I review books – constantly. I sink into them, I dissect them, I think about sentence structure and plots and does the narrative move etc and I have NEVER in my existence as a reviewer been so arrogant as to think I am collaborating with a writer.

    What is wrong with people that they feel so entitled.

  86. Wow, Just Wow. Oh, Nora, so sad you had to read that tripe. All I can think is that idiot has been drinking of someone will remain nameless’s kool aid…. It (the reader) doesn’t deserve to have access to the internet…

  87. I agree that no one should try to appropriate an author’s work. Doing so is like kidnapping; it is the author’s blood, sweat & tears that gave birth to that story, and nothing can change that.
    That being said, I do understand the concept of the reader’s “ownership”, not that in that they actually have any power over or rights to the story or that in any way diminishes the author, but rather in the sense that the reader internalizes the story creating an almost symbiotic relationship. No matter who might read the story, the author has created and owns it; however, the purpose is for people to read it, and if the author has done their job well, the reader is immersed to the point that the story becomes a part of them. In this sense, rather then the reader having ownership, I would say that the reader is owned by the story. It will influence how the reader perceives the world around them. People say that reader’s bring their own experiences into the story with them, which is true to an extent, but even more true is how much what we read shapes our understanding of the everyday world.
    In essence the reader’s “ownership” is really an ownership of their own relationship to the work…how the author’s work has influenced their understanding of the world and how their viewpoint has influenced their understanding of what the author created. An excellent author can make the reader really think and affects change to the status quo through this relationship with their words.
    Such experiences & understanding can be found in any and all artistic endeavors. When you listen to Bach or Beethoven or even Pink, you cannot truly claim to own or have a part of their creation, yet it is undeniable that you carry those tunes with you long after the song ends, and that not only did you experience the song through your own world filter, but you will also hear that song again in the future whenever anything reminds you of it. If you go to the museum and see works by Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh or Rodin, there is a certain level of personal interpretation in how you relate to and understand the art. This does not mean the artist needed you to complete his work, but rather that no two people experience it in quite the same way. From there, you will carry your experience of that art with you as you journey through life. Who can not say that their perception of a dark sky hasn’t been changed and improved by a viewing of Starry Night.
    In all these cases the relationship is love. Loving someone doesn’t grant you ownership or possession, but creates a sense of belonging to and with each other. Likewise, a beloved story belongs to the reader just as much as the reader belongs to the book.

  88. It never fails to shock me the audacity some people have. We live in a world of entitlement and frankly, it’s disgusting. No one looks at a painting and says they collaborated with the artist. You don’t eat an amazing meal and say because you tasted it, you helped the chef prepare it. I find, as a fellow romance author, we are treated with a different measuring stick than other artists. This is well worded and I cheered while reading. Thank you for being the voice for many of us.

  89. While I feel invested in the stories and characters (especially in long lasting series like the In Death series). I don’t own anything except the book if I purchased it and my own feelings. It is a testament to the author if I feel like Eve, Roarke and others are friends and I wish they existed in the real world, they are NOT mine. Thanks for all your wonderful creations and sharing your character’s world with us!!!

    1. Absolutely. You expressed what I was thinking, so I won’t bother. Thank you.

  90. I love, appreciate, and very grateful for your creativity and your hard work! I pay my money and get to enjoy the fruits of your labor!
    Thank you!

  91. Wow, Nora, they have every right to be twisted. They’re like those people who tell you Eve and Roarke should have a baby. That is to say, wrong. I say, screw ’em if they don’t get it.

    (And I’m sorry that particular reader’s twist made its way to your field of vision.)

  92. I love getting lost in a story and sometimes it takes me to a place that reflects one of my experiences. It doesn’t make me a part of the process. Just makes me appreciate talent. I don’t go to a restaurant and eat an amazing meal only to tell the chef its was great because it was served to me and I enjoyed it!!

  93. I think that many people confuse a relationship with a book with a relationship with its author.

    I have deep and abiding relationships with books – which includes trying on the lives of characters, experiencing things through their eyes, drawing on my own experience to build deeper understanding of their world and mine.

    I have absolutely no relationship with the authors of those books except that occasionally now on facebook and social media, living authors may intereact with readers.

    But interacting with readers, or readers interacting with authors, is on social media. It is not co-writing, collaborating, or doing anything with the author’s book writing.

    Think about it If Nora and I had a great friendship, and she invited me to dinner, or we baked cookies together and talked about writing, nobody would say we are collaborating on anything except baked goods.

    Readers are important. They are very important. They just aren’t collaborators with the writing work that creates books.

  94. The freakin GALL of some people! I had to laugh. I keep thinking I’ve seen all the stupid there is to see. But, nope. I’ve been reading since I was 4 years old. Also voraciously. NEVER ever have a felt any sense of any sort of entitlement. Shoot, I stick with writers who take YEARS between publications. As always, tons of appreciation for you and your hard work Nora.

  95. When I read a book, I truly do fall into the story. Deep in. Its even hard to climb out. But, while I enjoy it immensly, it is NOT my story! I tell my stories in my poetry, and in my own stories. I’m hoping the person who suggested it is a calaboration is just really bad at putting words down on paper, and just as bad at getting her thoughts across! Because, NO!

  96. Why can’t people just enjoy a bloody good book? Why oh why do they travel down the BS route? I mean honestly I think lockdown has took folk’s common decency away on hols. When I read a book I want to have escapism and let my mind take me to the beautiful places I read about(just finished Awakening). I don’t get lofty and start badgering the writer. People just need to go and have a word with themselves in the mirror. Nora and Laura your fab! Xx

  97. Whoa Boy!
    I want to apologize for the idiot, not because they are stupid enough to have made such a claim, but stupid enough to truly think and push the topic. Sometimes I fear that Nora will decide she wants to do something else with her time, and the rabbit holes she creates will stop appearing.
    She has certainly earned the right and ability to do so.. and as she has stated many times, it is her “job,” and it is also her right to do something else. There were books, once upon a time, that were choose your own adventure type and based on the choices, you had a long or short story – never read those front to back, as that didn’t work. Nora doesn’t write those, don’t know if anyone still does… let that over opinionated reader go for one of those and then, yes, you had something to do with how the story went.
    Should someone collaborate with an author on yhe story, last I checked – the name appears on the cover… is yours isn’t there, it isn’t your work and Nora doesn’t like plagiarism either.

  98. I have read every word you have given forth. Nothing makes me happier than stepping in and living through your narratives. Your world make me happy and I am completely engrossed in the characters and environments. I can’t begin to understand the amount of work that you put in to create those worlds, your imagination is unreal. I own the books, you own the work, as is it should be. Keep writing and I’ll do my part, I will read and savor!

  99. SMH just plain SMH. I listen these days more often than read as I have challenges day to day with my vision. My husband always knows when I am listening to one of your In Death books. He tells me they are the only books that I laugh so hard at, cry even though I try not to, find myself getting angry about when I am listening. That is your gift to me. It is a world that I can slip into that is a handcrafted gift from the mind of a master story teller. It is the only one of its kind and unique unto itself. It is a sharing of a part of the author’s intellect, their heart, their psyche that is uniquely them belonging only to them that they choose to share with the rest of the world. How can anyone even begin to imagine that they are part of the creative process because we have been granted the privilege of reading a book?

    As a reader I find myself baffled at the position some readers take when discussing books. It is almost like some readers see books as some kind of performance piece where the audience is recognized by many artists as being a collaborative part of the process. Books are clearly not like that – you are never part of the creative process – you are the recipient of it. Again just SMH that someone would so socially unaware of the impact of claiming part ownership of someone else’s intellectual property.

  100. *mouth hangs open*
    People do this?? People think this way? That’s messed up, and it’s honestly a little creepy.

  101. Just wondering if when this person goes into a restaurant, and orders off a menu that a chef has spent time building, seasoning, testing and creating, if she thinks she collaborated on the meal.

  102. Nora, I read your books to escape into the worlds of your characters. I don’t want to collaborate, and certainly don’t want to bring my thoughts, problems, real life into your worlds. Sending hugs.

  103. I typed for a vanity press for a while. Really enjoyed it. And every once in a while I had to check with the publisher about correcting tense or intended meaning or grammar, or whatever. (Just plain old typos or misspellings by someone, sometimes!) But even when I would make a suggestion, I never ever felt ownership in a story. Wow!

  104. Nora, I think you said it perfectly! I’m definitely only reading your books, not collaborating. I can only imagine the person who said that has some huge sense of entitlement. You just never know what people will think it’s ok to say. I’m very happy with all the wonderful books you write and really impressed by your research. Take good care and stay well! Enjoy the spring!

  105. I don’t know if this will make you feel better, but I am currently reading Chattering Chipmunks by Mildred Abbott, and a quarter of the way in, the lead character realizes that the detective she is talking to so loves the In Death books that she has tried to duplicate Eve’s office at Central with her own office. They then get into a discussion of which is the better book then get back into discussing the murder that just happened. Chattering Chipmunks is book 18 in the Cozy Corgi cozy mystery series if anybody else in interested.
    just my $.02.
    >^.,.^<

    1. Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like fun.
      Now I need to add another book to my wish list. 🙂

  106. So well said. People say, don’t listen to that person, shake it off, etc., but our work comes from a deep place, and it’s a personal place. I’ve heard, “You need to have a thick skin,” but for me, with romance, I need my thin skin that lets me feel. Unfortunately, it also leaves you vulnerable at times to garbage like this. You can’t care sometimes and not other times. You care, period, because your work is important. I’m sorry.

    1. Just…wow. I hate that you have to continue to have this conversation, or versions of it. It’s bad enough when readers feel they have the right to dictate what you write, but this takes a whole different kind of batcrap crazy. You’re so eloquent at putting these morons in their place…as one Facebook commenter put it, you “went full-on Julia Sugarbaker on her.” Sorry you have to keep dealing with this.

  107. Wow! I agree with you 100 %. Some people feel so entitled and are clueless. Thanks for your books. They make me happy!

  108. I’m really sorry you have to deal with this BS, the only ownership any reader has is of the books they buy. It would be wonderful if we were all as hard working, dedicated and creative as you but this is not the case so while I may not be able to create the amazing stories that you do I can appreciate your gift. Reading and owning your books do not give me any credit for the wonderful stories you create for us. To try and steal the credit for all of your hard work is ridiculous. For every fool that thinks they have ownership in your work, well they’re just delusional. The rest of us recognize how fortunate we are that you write these amazing books that we get to read and enjoy over and over again. All the credit goes to you and you alone and we appreciate you and your work.

  109. I am just thankful you love your job and continue to create stories for me to read. I have been reading your books since you started so it is fair to say l have read more of your books than any other author. I continue to fall into each story and enjoy the ride. Thank you again.

  110. Nora. The world is officially crazy. Recently you had to deal with plagiarism and now offensive readers. It frankly scares me that you will say to heck with it and retire. Please don’t. I have been a fan for years and your stories and characters give me a place to go that brings happiness and peace in these trying times. I hope the support of the many readers who totally appreciate all a writer does outweighs the damage caused by others. You and your work are greatly appreciated.

  111. *Applause to this author, any author who spends the time to bring us, the collective us, their stories…*

    Who is this person, and who do ‘they’ think they are laying claim against an author, any author?

  112. Well said. What a bizarre and insulting suggestion. I enjoy your books and I appreciate the hard work which must go into them.

  113. “Whiskey Beach” is one of my favorite books but I don’t consider myself a participant in its creation or authorship just because I read it or because I like it a lot. Thinking otherwise is a crazy idea.

  114. Authors change me through their words. Thank you for taking me places and to times I never would have experienced without you.

  115. So does this person read ‘Hamlet’ and claim a collaboration with Will Shakespeare? Or read ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and suggest maybe the ending should be changed to avoid ‘offending’ 21st readers? Give me a break! Seriously, just stop it. By the way I just read ‘The Liar’ and I find myself (just back living in the UK after 10 years in France) desperate to visit Tennessee! The vocabulary, and the cadence of the conversations you wrote were just magic. And my response de jour from now on will always be ‘Bless your heart’!

  116. I design/build satellites for a living, that is true collaboration with dozens of other engineers to make a final product that works in space! This person obviously has not ever been a part of a truly collaborative work environment. Thank you for all of your hard work, your books are some of the few I have time to read these days and I always pick them up multiple times (The Villa is one of my faves) because the stories are so well done. I just hope these whackadoodles shut up so you don’t get so tired of it that you stop your writing!

  117. Well said Nora. I appreciate all the hard work you put in to give us a few hours of pure pleasure. You are gifted and I’m so happy you share that gift with us through your books. I am grateful for every moment spent reading your hard work. Thanks Nora and thanks Laura, stay safe both of you. Big virtual hug.

  118. Unfortunately, while the internet can be a fantastic resource, its really given every lunatic on the planet a platform to spout their stupidity and crazy view of their world. While trying to impose that view on everyone. I am sorry you have to deal with them. Such unbelievable arrogance! Thank God you are driven to write! I love the worlds you create and wouldn’t dream of trying to claim any credit for their creation. The only credit I can claim as a reader is I am smart enough to buy your books! LOL

  119. Well Dang! if I knew that reading an author’s book made you a collaborator then I have collaborated with Patricia Briggs, Linda Howard, James Patterson, Layla Hagen etc. I guess that also means since I listen to music I have collaborated with The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Iron Maiden etc. Who knew! I thought all along I was just a fan of good music and writing.

    1. I’d be outraged by this “person” too! How dare they?! What an outlandish, strange claim. She needs to sit down and shut her gob!!
      Keep rocking it Nora.

  120. Nora/Laura: This post brought to mind the case in South America (?) of the writer who copied parts of your books and resold them as their own work. Whatever happened with this case? Any resolution?

    1. No resolution. The case is slowly winding its way through the courts. The pandemic didn’t help in speeding up matters.

      Laura

  121. I have no words to describe how messed up that poor woman is. If you ever were daft enough to ‘collaborate’ with your readers, you’d never get anything written. Every reader has an idea of how they think a character would react or where the story should go and most would differ from the next person. Just look at the arguments on who should play your characters in a movie.

  122. The self entitlement of some is quite mind boggling, isn’t it? I appreciate every word you’ve ever written, and hope you carry on for a long, long time. Your books have taken me so many places, and your characters have become like old friends. I, too, call bs on that person. Take care.

  123. The only part any of us have in your writing process, my opinion only, is being able to enjoy, even savor, the results of YOUR writing process. Not mine, nor anyone else’s but yours. I often say I want to be you (i.e., have a microscopic portion of your talents and dedication to your craft) when I grow up. Since I’m nearly 60, I think that ship has sailed. I’m just grateful you work so hard so we can read your creations.

  124. Every time I think , that’s it !! nothing can shock me more than this BS , entitled geniuses prove me wrong. My simple mind can’t even gauge the depth of this delusion.
    All I will say is that I enjoy reading your books, look forward to your upcoming books. All of us , your readers have immense respect for you and your work. More power to you .

  125. Please remember: Illegitimi non carborundum
    Pay no attention to the idiots. Their stupid remarks have no legitimacy, hence the Latin phrase.

  126. It is unbelievable that you keep addressing these issues. With the good that social media has brought it has also brought the bad.
    It seems strange that the reader any reader would think to be part of the writers process
    Maybe it goes back to school when writing a story we would be told to write for our audience but at no part in the assignments did it say the audience was part of the work,
    When I pick up a Nora Roberts/JD Robb book I am drawn in because the magic in your writing pulls me in as the reader but I am not part of the process
    Just part of the audience that enjoys your writing
    If I did not enjoy it I would not read it.
    Sometimes I wish some of your books never ended but like everything else it had to end sometime. At least I can go back and reread

  127. Your books are yours, and yours alone to write and decide how the characters and story lines play out. We the readers go on an emotional roller coaster while we read, but it is so absurd for anyone other than you to claim the writing as their own or even a partial collaboration.

    I have been a fan for many years and appreciate all the time and effort you put into the words. I am a book worm and read an average of 300 books a year, many of them rereads of your books.

    As a hardcore fan, thank you. Thank you for all you put into into your stories, characters and plot twists.

  128. I can’t decide if this “fan” would make the subject of a Psychology paper on entitlement and delusions or a Sociology paper on the effects of social media on personality. Maybe both?
    Sorry to comment so many times. It just amazes me.

  129. The only way we collaborate with a writer in the different phases of a book is in the last one: To buy or not to buy that book. If we like what a writer writes, we buy his books. If a writer from whom we have bought his books in the past because we liked them, he stops liking what he writes, we no longer buy his books. That is the only thing we collaborate on and we participate together with a writer: To buy or not to buy what he writes.

  130. Many, many, many years a fan and reader but this is my first stop on your site. (I saw your interview on MPT some years ago, which was awesome–I’m about 3 months older than you and went through RC schools in a town with a seminary and blessed shrine–so intensely old RC classical–and loved especially your description of that influence.) I had a question about where someplace sat in one of the novels I’m currently reading so decided to look at your site first for maybe some shared background. Then saw this note. I truly loved you putting your foot down about how this idea about the wrongness of what I recognize (master’s in english circa late ’80s) as from Reader-Response Criticism. Maybe a snippet from the multi-page description in the 12th Ed of Norton’s Introduction to Literature helps to show what gave grounding to the way off base claim of the reader you described in this post. “. . . reader-response critics regard the work not as what is
    printed on the page but as what is experienced temporally through each act of reading. According to such critics, the reader effectively performs the text into existence the way a musician performs music from a score.” It goes on but I think you see how this fed by contemporary social media mindness of self first, it becomes a madly crazy idea about what you do when you read. When in the late 80s, in a program at a college in PA, thinking this was my final chance to get to really focus on my writing, I first hit how badly English Lit Crit was blind to anything about what it was you do when you’re a writer. I was there on a TA grant and having to take seminars on comp and lit teaching. There was this point when the prof doing the Lit seminar paused during a lecture, drew back from keeping his focus to talking with those working on Lit MAs and turned to those of us there for the MA in writing, and asked “and just how do you as writers understand these things?” I turned to the woman by me and wondered–has our skin just turned green? Somehow has this man missed Sidney, Joyce, Aphra Behn, Yeats, Woolf (remember–it was the 80s so many women needed to be rediscovered)? I didn’t stay. So, it seems from what this reader posted, the misunderstanding still is alive and thriving. I think that’s really sad.

  131. Thank you, Ms. Roberts for all you. And thank you for taking so much time out for us devoted readers.
    As you have seen many of our sorry your work was interrupted for such nonsense.
    I wonder what Dr. Mira would say about a comment like that.

  132. This is one of the silliest things I’ve ever heard. I’ve been reading Nora for probably 30 years. I am Nora’s audience. I am the consumer of Nora’s hard work, imagination, and skill. I am NOT Nora’s partner or collaborator.

    I take the descriptions of characters that Nora writes, and I form them in my brain. I assign voices and accents to those characters. I see them and hear them. But I do NOT work in partnership with Nora. Frankly, I’ve never watched one of the movies from Nora’s books. The actors may not match who I see as Willa, or Tori, or Simone. And I can’t think of anyone who could play Eve or Roarke that would match what’s in my head. That’s Nora’s gift; to give her readers the descriptions, the words, to allow us to form our “realities” of her characters. That does not make us collaborators, and it’s ridiculous for anyone to think otherwise.

  133. Our culture of entitlement rears its ugly head again!

    What that reader claimed is in the same vein as bitching about hand-made art work being too expensive or people expecting other people to give them their time, effort, and talents for free (or close to it).

    I’m glad you called this person out and I hope they learn a lesson that the world does not revolve around them!

  134. I am continually astounded by the arrogance and entitlement displayed by those who have no clue of all the detailed minutiae that goes into building something. I have read your books forever (not saying how many years….but a LOT) and every one is a treat. I look forward to them, savor them, sometimes put off reading them just to enjoy the anticipation a bit longer. But never, have I ever, remotely thought of these as anything but belonging to Nora’s brain, Nora’s talent, Nora’s creativity, and Nora’s hard work. Let me thank you for sharing with this grateful reader, and I truly appreciate that you continue to do this.

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