Steel, Danielle (Fernande) 1947-

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STEEL, Danielle (Fernande) 1947-

PERSONAL: Born August 14, 1947, in New York, NY; daughter of John and Norma (Stone) Schuelein-Steel; married Thomas Perkins, 1998; children: (first marriage) one daughter; (third marriage) two stepsons, four daughters, two sons. Education: Educated in France; attended Parsons School of Design, 1963, and New York University, 1963-67. Religion: Catholic.

ADDRESSES: Home—P.O. Box 1637, New York, NY 10156-1637. Agent—Janklow & Nesbit Associates, Inc., 445 Park Ave., New York, NY 10022.

CAREER: Writer. Supergirls, Ltd. (public relations firm), New York, NY, vice president of public relations, 1968-71; Grey Advertising, San Francisco, CA, copywriter, 1973-74; has worked at other positions in public relations and advertising; taught creative writing in English, 1975-76. National chair of the American Library Association. Founder of Nick Traina Foundation to benefit mental health.

AWARDS, HONORS: Order of Arts and Letters, the French government, 2002.



Going Home, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1973.

Passion's Promise, Dell (New York, NY), 1977.

The Promise (based on a screenplay by Garry Michael White), Dell (New York, NY), 1978.

Now and Forever, Dell (New York, NY), 1978.

Season of Passion, Dell (New York, NY), 1979.

Summer's End, Dell (New York, NY), 1979.

The Ring, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1980.

Loving, Dell (New York, NY), 1980.

Remembrance, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1981.

Palomino, Dell (New York, NY), 1981.

To Love Again, Dell (New York, NY), 1981.

Crossings, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1982.

Once in a Lifetime, Dell (New York, NY), 1982.

A Perfect Stranger, Dell (New York, NY), 1982.

Changes, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1983.

Thurston House, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.

Full Circle, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1984.

Secrets, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1985.

Family Album, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1985.

Wanderlust, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1986.

Fine Things, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1987.

Kaleidoscope, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1987.

Zoya, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1988.

Star, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1989.

Daddy, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1989.

Message from 'Nam, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1990.

Heartbeat, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1991.

No Greater Love, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1991.

Mixed Blessings, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1992.

Jewels, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1992.

Vanished, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1993.

The Gift, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1994, Spanish-language version with Maria Jose Rodellar published as El Regalo, 1994.

Accident, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1994.

Wings, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1994.

Five Days in Paris, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1995.

Lightning, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1995.

Malice, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1996.

Silent Honor, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1996.

The Ranch, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1997.

Special Delivery, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1997.

The Ghost, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1997.

The Long Road Home, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1998.

The Klone and I: A High-Tech Love Story, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1998.

Mirror Image, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1998.

Now and Forever, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1998.

Bittersweet, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1999.

Granny Dan, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1999.

Irresistible Forces, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1999.

The House on Hope Street, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2000.

The Wedding, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2000.

Journey, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2000.

Leap of Faith, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2001.

Lone Eagle, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2001.

The Kiss, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2001.

The Cottage, Dell (New York, NY), 2002.

Answered Prayers, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2002.

Sunset in St. Tropez, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2002.

Dating Game, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2003.

Johnny Angel, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2003.

Safe Harbour, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2003.

Echoes, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2004.

Miracle, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2004.

Ransom, Dell (New York, NY), 2004.

Impossible, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2005.


Amando, Lectorum Publications, 1985.

Martha's Best Friend, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1989.

Martha's New Daddy, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1989.

Martha's New School, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1989.

Max and the Baby-Sitter, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1989.

Max's Daddy Goes to the Hospital, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1989.

Max's New Baby, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1989.

Martha's New Puppy, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1990.

Max Runs Away, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1990.

Max and Grandma and Grandpa Winky, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1991.

Martha and Hilary and the Stranger, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1991.

Freddie's Trip, Dell (New York, NY), 1992.

Freddie's First Night Away, Dell (New York, NY), 1992.

Freddie's Accident, Dell (New York, NY), 1992.

Freddie and the Doctor, Dell (New York, NY), 1992.


Love Poems: Danielle Steel (poetry), Dell (New York, NY), 1981, abridged edition, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1984.

(Coauthor) Having a Baby (nonfiction), Dell (New York, NY), 1984.

His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina (biography/memoir), Delacorte (New York, NY), 1998.

Contributor to The Fabergé Case: From the Private Collection of Traina, by John Traina. Contributor of articles and poetry to numerous periodicals, including Good Housekeeping, McCall's, Ladies' Home Journal, and Cosmopolitan. Many of Steel's titles have been translated into Spanish.

ADAPTATIONS: Numerous works have been adapted for film or television: Now and Forever, adapted into a movie and released by Inter Planetary Pictures, 1983; Crossings, made into an ABC-TV miniseries, 1986; Kaleidoscope and Fine Things, made into NBC television movies, 1990; Changes, Daddy, and Palomino, aired by NBC, 1991; Jewels, adapted as a four-hour miniseries, 1992; Secrets, 1992; Heartbeat, Star, and Message from Nam, 1993; Once in a Lifetime, A Perfect Stranger, and Family Album, 1994; Mixed Blessings, 1995; Danielle Steel's "Zoya," made into a miniseries, 1996; and No Greater Love, The Ring, Full Circle, and Remembrance, 1996. Several of Steel's other novels, including Wanderlust and Thurston House, have also been optioned for television films and miniseries. Audio adaptations include The Ranch, Bantam Books Audio, 1997; Echoes, Five Days in Paris, The Ranch, Second Chance, and The Gift, all Random House Audio, 2004; The Ghost, The Long Road Home, Malice, and Silent Honor, all Random House Audio, 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: After producing a score of bestselling novels, Danielle Steel has distinguished herself as nothing less than "a publishing phenomenon," Jacqueline Briskin reported in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Since the publication of her first hardcover in 1980, Steel has consistently hit both hardback and paperback bestseller lists; there are reportedly over 450 million of her books in print. Her popularity has also spilled over into television, where twenty-one film versions of her books have been produced and garnered good ratings.

Steel's fiction is peopled by women in powerful or glamorous positions; often they are forced to choose the priorities in their lives. Thus, in Changes a New York anchorwoman who weds a Beverly Hills surgeon must decide whether her career means more to her than her long-distance marriage does. Jewels tells of the struggles of an American-born noblewoman, the Duchess of Whitfield, to find peace and raise her children in pre-World War II Europe. And while reviewers seldom express admiration for the style of romantic novelists in general—Chicago Tribune Book World critic L. J. Davis claimed that Changes is written in "the sort of basilisk prose that makes it impossible to tear your eyes from the page even as your brain is slowly [turning] to stone"—some reviewers, such as a Detroit News writer, found that the author's "flair for spinning colorful and textured plots out of raw material . . . is fun reading. The topic [of Changes] is timely and socially relevant." Toronto Globe & Mail contributor Peggy Hill similarly concluded about 1988's Zoya: "Steel has the ability to give such formula writing enough strength to not collapse into an exhausted state of cliché. Zoya is a fine example of that achievement."

In addition to her contemporary fiction, Steel also confronts serious issues in her books. Mixed Blessings looks at issues of infertility in a work that a Rapport reviewer called "not only well written but extremely well researched." "On the whole," the reviewer concluded, "Mixed Blessings is definitely one of Steel's all-time best books." Vanished confronts the problem of kidnapped children in a story "set mainly in 1930's Manhattan," declared a Kirkus Reviews contributor. "The questions Steel raises about the tug-of-wars between guilt and responsibility . . . are anything but simple," stated Stuart Whitwell in Booklist. "The author of Mixed Blessings keeps her secrets well," stated a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "and . . . presents a strong portrait of a tormented young woman moving toward stability."

In Accident Steel offers a story about the stresses placed on a family after a serious car accident puts a couple's teenaged daughter in the hospital for a brain injury. Romance reenters protagonist Page Clark's life when she falls for the Norwegian divorced father of her daughter's friend—this after having learned that her husband has been having an affair with another woman. "Steel's good intentions—to show the resilience of the human spirit in the face of insurmountable odds—are obscured by her prose," stated Joyce R. Slater in the Chicago Tribune. "The ending is predictable but pleasant," declared a Publishers Weekly contributor, "bound to delight Steel's fans."

Malice is the story of Grace Adams's attempts to deal with her self-defense murder of her abusive father, while The Gift tells how a 1950s family slowly comes to accept the death of their youngest daughter and welcomes an unmarried expectant mother into their fold. "The narrative," stated a critic in a Publishers Weekly review of The Gift, has "well-meaning characters, uplifting sentiments and a few moments that could make a stone weep." A Rapport reviewer asserted that the most significant part of the story is "the affirmation of the grand design of tragedy and its transcendent message of purpose."

In 1998 Steel produced The Klone and I: A High-Tech Love Story. "While sticking to the typical Steel plot . . . this time around, she throws a bit of humor and weird sexual fantasy into the mix," commented Kathleen Hughes in Booklist. The story revolves around Stephanie, who, having been left by her husband, meets a new man, Peter, on a trip to Paris. Stephanie soon learns that Peter has cloned himself and Stephanie must decide between the two of them. Critics were largely positive in their assessment of The Klone and I. "Give Steel points for turning from her usual tear-jerkers . . . and trying her hand at a playful romantic comedy with a twist," wrote a critic for Kirkus Reviews. A Publishers Weekly critic argued that although "the SF element is minimal (approximately one part Ray Bradbury to thirty-five parts Steel), Steel's speculative whimsy spices her romantic concoction to produce a light but charming read."

In 2000, the prolific Steel published three new novels, House on Hope Street, The Wedding, and Journey. Critics generally felt these novels gave Steel's fans exactly what they were looking for. In a Booklist review of The Wedding, for example, Patty Engelmann wrote, "All the key elements are here: a glamorous Hollywood setting along with the beautiful people and all their insecurities." Engelmann called the work "a good old-fashioned love story," claiming Steel is in "peak form." Engelmann felt similarly about The House on Hope Street: "Standard Steel fare and an excellent beach book, this will definitely please her readers." Journey received a similar reaction from critics. "Steel has her formula down pat, and she executes her story with her usual smooth pacing," concluded a critic for Publishers Weekly.

In Second Chance, Steel features a high-roller fashion editor who falls for a conservative businessman. Kathleen Hughes of Booklist remarked, "Steel's fans will enjoy the detailed descriptions of privileged lifestyles and the ultimate happy resolution." A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that although some readers will dislike the fact that the heroine gives up her career, "others will enjoy the usual Steel frills: plenty of gorgeous outfits, fine dining and exquisite real estate."

Ransom was also released in 2004, amidst promises that it would be different from most of Steel's prior fiction. The story involves a kidnapping, and its characters include an ex-drug dealer, a widow, a shady businessman, and a police officer. In Brandweek, Ginger Danto suggested that the edgier flavor of the novel was a sign of the times. Danto wrote, "Ransom deals with crime, and apparently more violence than either writer or devoted reader are accustomed. As such, it is a deft reflection of the times, as movies and TV shore up more violence in the name of entertainment than ever before, perhaps to remain relevant alongside searing coverage of current events." In terms of the novel itself, a Publishers Weekly reviewer found the book disappointing: "The novel begins slowly . . . and never picks up speed, with Steel narrating as if from a distance, glossing over critical scenes and skimping on dialogue." Patty Engelmann of Booklist reached a similar conclusion: "This lackluster suspense novel and its plastic characters will have automatic appeal for Steel fans, but other readers may find it wanting."

In addition to her novels, children's fiction, and poetry, Steel ventured into biographical memoir in 1998 with His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina. The intensely personal memoir recounts the nineteen turbulent years of Steel's son's life—a life of manic depression, drugs, and ultimately suicide. Susan McCaffrey wrote in Library Journal that while Steel "is at times melodramatic and the pace is sometimes hampered by the inclusion of lengthy letters and poems, this is a compelling and surprisingly objective portrait of the devastating effects of mental illness." Steel founded the Nick Traina Foundation after her son's death to benefit mental health and other children's causes. Proceeds from His Bright Light went directly to the foundation.

Steel once told CA: "I want to give [readers] entertainment and something to think about."



Almanac of Famous People, sixth edition, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1998.

Bane, Vickie L. (with Lorenzo Benet), The Lives of Danielle Steel: The Unauthorized Biography of America's Number One Best-Selling Author, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Bestsellers 89, Issue 1, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1989.

Bestsellers 90, Issue 4, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1991.

Contemporary Popular Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1997.

Encyclopedia of World Biography, second edition, seventeen volumes, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1998.

Newsmakers, issue two, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1999.

Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers, third edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1994.


Booklist, April 1, 1992, p. 1413; October 15, 1992, p. 380; June 1 & 15, 1993, p. 1735; October 15, 1994, pp. 372-373; April 15, 1995, p. 1453; October 15, 1995, p. 364; March 1, 1996, p. 1077; February 1, 1998, Kathleen Hughes, review of The Long Road Home, p. 877; April, 1998, Kathleen Hughes, review of The Klone and I: A High-Tech Love Story, p. 1278; October 15, 1998, Kathleen Hughes, review of Mirror Image, p. 371; March 1, 1999, Melanie Duncan, review of Bittersweet, p. 1104; February 1, 2000, Patty Engelmann, review of The Wedding, p. 997; March 15, 2000, Patty Engelmann, review of The House on Hope Street, p. 1294; August, 2000, Whitney Scott, review of Journey, p. 2076; January 1, 2004, Patty Engelmann, review of Ransom, p. 790; June 1, 2004, Kathleen Hughes, review of Second Chance, p. 1671.

Books, July, 1992, p. 18.

Brandweek, March 15, 2004, Ginger Danto, "A Literary Bandwagon," p. 25.

Chicago Tribune, September 26, 1993, pp. 6-7; March 27, 1994, p. 4.

Chicago Tribune Book World, August 28, 1983, L. J. Davis, review of Changes.

Detroit Free Press, December 1, 1989.

Detroit News, September 11, 1983, review of Changes.

Globe & Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), July 9, 1988, Peggy Hill, review of Zoya.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 1992, p. 1212; June 1, 1993, p. 685; January 1, 1994, p. 16; April 15, 1994, p. 504; September 15, 1994, p. 1225; April 1, 1995, p. 422; October 1, 1995, pp. 1377-1378; March 1, 1996, pp. 328-329; April 1, 1998, review of The Klone and I; August 15, 2000, review of Journey, p. 1141.

Library Journal, September 1, 1993; October 15, 1993; October 15, 1994, p. 89; June 1, 1998, Kathy Ingels Helmond, review of The Klone and I, p. 161; December, 1998, Susan McCaffrey, review of His Bright Light, p. 172.

Los Angeles Times, January 6, 1988.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, April 14, 1985.

New York Times Book Review, September 11, 1983; August 19, 1984; March 3, 1985; July 9, 1995, p. 21.

People, October 3, 1994, p. 43.

Publishers Weekly, March 30, 1992, p. 88; October 26, 1992, pp. 55-56; June 7, 1993, p. 52; January 10, 1994, p. 41; May 23, 1994, p. 76; October 10, 1994, p. 60; December 12, 1994, p. 17; February 13, 1995, p. 21; May 1, 1995, p. 41; October 16, 1995, p. 44; March 25, 1996, p. 63; February 2, 1998, review of The Long Road Home, p. 78; April 20, 1998, review of The Klone and I, p. 44; June 1, 1998, review of The Klone and I, p. 34; October 26, 1998, review of Mirror Image, p. 45; March 15, 1999, review of Bittersweet, p. 46; May 24, 1999, review of Granny Dan, p. 65; February 14, 2000, review of The Wedding, p. 171; April 17, 2000, review of The House on Hope Street, p. 46; August 28, 2000, review of Journey, p. 50; March 5, 2001, review of Lone Eagle, p. 61; May 21, 2001, review of Leap of Faith, p. 82; January 12, 2004, review of Ransom, p. 36; May 31, 2004, review of Second Chance, p. 53.

Rapport, Volume 17, number 3, 1993, p. 23; Volume 18, number 1, 1994, p. 26; Volume 18, number 3, 1994, p. 23.

Saturday Evening Post, January, 1999, Patrick Perry, review of His Bright Light, p. 65.

Time, November 25, 1985.

Washington Post Book World, July 3, 1983; March 3, 1985.


Danielle Steel Home Page, (June 27, 2001).*

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Steel, Danielle (Fernande) 1947-

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