Danielle Steel is an American romance novelist born on August 14, 1947, in New York. A vice president of public relations in an advertising agency in 1968, Steel turned to authoring books and poetry in 1971 after the company closed. Although her initial novels didn’t work well, things changed with her 4th novel, The Promise (1978), which became an instant best-seller.
Her work speaks of independent, bold, and courageous women who navigate love, life, and careers facing significant setbacks and obstacles. It inspires women to go after their goals and ambitions no matter how hard the hardships they face.
Steel has written more than 75 novels, some of which have been turned into television series. She also has a poetry collection and nonfiction to her name, along with a series of children’s books.
Let us now explore more female authors like Danielle Steel who empower women through their words.
1. Barbara Taylor Bradford
Barbara Taylor Bradford is an American-British author, having penned works like A Woman of Substance (1979), an enduring bestseller. Apart from having written more than 30+ books, all of which were bestsellers on both sides of the Atlantic, Barbara was also made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for her contribution to literature.
Most of Barbara’s work follows one recurring theme. A girl from a humble background who achieves great success through hard work and self-sacrifice. As Bradford is often quoted: “I write about mostly ordinary women who go on to achieve the extraordinary.”
2. Patricia Gaffney
Born December 27, 1944, in Tampa, Florida, Patricia Gaffney is a romance and women’s fiction writer. She had worked as a court reporter before being diagnosed with breast cancer, which propelled her to follow her creative passion and turned to write fiction.
Patricia wrote a series of romance novels, many of which were nominated for awards, from 1989 to 1993. The themes included historical romance, espionage, and brought-up social issues that women in the Victorian era had to face. She felt restless after that with the genre and wanted to write what related to her life. She accomplished that with The Saving Graces (1999), Circle of Three (2000), and Flight Lessons (2002).
3. Barbara Delinsky
A writer of romance, literary fiction, and drama, Barbara Delinsky was born on August 8, 1945, in Massachusetts. Losing her mother when she was just eight was a defining event in her life. She worked as a research assistant while pursuing her Master of Arts, and later, as a photographer and reporter for the Belmont Herald. Twenty-three of her books are New York Times bestsellers.
According to Barbara, her novels are “character-driven studies of marriage, parenthood, sibling rivalry, and friendship.” A breast cancer survivor, she wrote non-fiction, Uplift: Secrets From the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors (2021), a compilation of tips and anecdotes from 350 cancer survivors and their families.
4. Eileen Goudge
Another female author like Danielle Steel is Eileen Goudge. All the hardships Eileen faced during her life helped her become the best version of herself. Through being born in a joint family, living on a different continent, living on welfare programs, and 3 failed marriages, Eileen nurtured her passion for writing. She started with children/teen’s books, then went on to pen full-length young adult novels, all the while balancing family and work. Most of her early work, especially teen books, focused on the “cool” crowd at school because she was never a part of it.
She is the author of the famous Seniors series, novels like the bestselling Garden of Lies, Otherwise Engaged, and the Carson Springs series. Eileen loves to bake, which resulted in Something Warm from the Oven: Baking Memories, Making Memories, which includes personal recipes as well as ones from her novels.
5. Debbie Macomber
Debbie Macomber is an American romance and contemporary women’s fiction novelist born on October 22, 1948. Her award-winning career started with conquering her dyslexia and facing the rejection of many of her early manuscripts. She was then approached by Silhouette Books (now owned by Harlequin), for whom she started penning romance novels.
In 2002, Debbie decided to focus more on women and their friendships in her novels, resulting in Thursdays at Eight. Her stories imbibe the emotion of hopefulness and positivity within the readers. The heroines are optimists and the plot focuses on the message rather than being descriptive.
6. Fern Michaels
Fern Michaels was born on April 9, 1933, in Hastings, Pennsylvania. It’s the pen name of Mary Ruth Kuczkir. She’s the mother of 5 children and when her husband told her to get a job, she turned towards writing, of which he was not supportive and resulted in their separation.
Even though her initial attempt at publishing didn’t sell, her second did, and since then she’s written over 60 books, many of which are New York Times bestsellers. Her books show women succeeding in their lives even when they are encountering difficult circumstances. She feels that it reflects the struggle she herself faced early in her career.
She currently runs a foundation, a scholarship program for deserving students, and an affordable preschool and daycare center for single mothers.
In the age of women empowerment, the efforts and contributions of these authors like Danielle Steel, who write about strong-headed women braving the world should be cherished. Not only have they portrayed their own hardships in these works, but they have encouraged their readers to live and make a better life for themselves.