Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.
Today we’re talking with a novelist who doesn’t just get described as “bestselling” and “prolific” — she’s a person whose name defines both, and at a scale that very few other writers approach. Since she began her publishing career with 1973’s Going Home, Danielle Steel has published over 170 books and sold over 650 million copies, making her one of the most-read writers of all time. This unparalleled output has been driven by a writer who works in a suitably legendary fashion– late into the night, on her vintage typewriter. Danielle Steel’s latest novel is Silent Night, the story of a child actor and a professional woman brought together by a sudden tragedy. With a setting informed by the careful research that is one of Steel’s trademarks, it’s a story about an unexpected bond with echoes of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan. Danielle Steel agreed to spend a few minutes away from her work to talk with us, and even though it was actually the middle of the afternoon when we reached her on the phone, it felt like the kind of middle-of-the night conversation you have with a friend who is working at all hours, on another all-consuming project.
A shocking accident. A little girl struggling to survive. And the childless aunt who transforms her own world to help her . . . Danielle Steel’s latest novel is a deeply moving story of resilience and hope.
Paige Watts is the ultimate stage mother. The daughter of Hollywood royalty, Paige channels her acting dreams into making her own daughter, Emma, a star. By the age of nine, Emma is playing a central role in a hit TV show. Then everything is shattered by unforeseeable tragedy.
Now Emma is living with her aunt Whitney, who had chosen a very different path from her sister’s. Whitney was always the studious older sister, hating the cult of celebrity that enveloped their childhood. Instead, she is a psychiatrist who lives for her work and enjoys a no-strings-attached love affair with a wealthy venture capitalist. But at a moment’s notice, Whitney drops everything to help her niece.
Once famous, outgoing, and charismatic, Emma is now a shadow of her former self—without speech, without memory, lost and terrified. But with her aunt Whitney’s help, along with a team of caregivers and doctors, Emma begins to find her way, starting her young life all over again—and changing the lives of everyone around her.
Emotionally gripping and richly involving, Silent Night explores how the heart has mysterious healing powers of its own, and blessings happen when we think all is lost.