There are days I think Nora Roberts isn’t real. No one, I am convinced, could write 214 books, including 195 New York Times bestsellers, even over thirty-five years. Any novelist that prolific must surely be a software program or a committee of twenty authors writing with a common purpose and a common voice.
Yet writers like Roberts really do exist. They produce full-length novels at a pace that is both mind-boggling and inspiring.
Stephen King has more than sixty full-length works and 200 short stories to his credit. R.L. Stine has penned hundreds of children's books. For them, National Novel Writing Month is every month.
And that’s just the current crowd. A few writers from the past have set records that may never be broken. Barbara Cartland wrote 723 romance novels, including twenty-three in a single year. She left 160 unfinished manuscripts behind when she died in May 2000.
Charles Hamilton, another Briton, wrote 100 million words, most in short stories for magazines. That's the equivalent of 1,200 books.
Science fiction legend Isaac Asimov published more than five hundred works in half a century. His output covers nine of the ten classes, or primary categories, in the Dewey Decimal system.
Corín Tellado of Spain wrote more than four thousand novellas before her death in 2009. That's thousand with a T.
I don’t plan to write four thousand of anything. I like sleep too much. I do, however, plan to write several more books, including at least three more novels in the American Journey series.
Work on the untitled third book of that series, set in Evansville, Indiana, in 1925, is under way. I hope to have a first draft out by the middle of March and a finished product out by June.