Nora Roberts was born on October 10, 1950, in Maryland. From having not written in her childhood years to publishing more than 225 books, Nora Roberts is one of the most popular American romance authors. She is the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame.
Featuring feisty heroines with kickass jobs in her novels, Nora believes romance doesn’t have to be tainted with a needy heroine and an all-too-powerful hero. And what’s wrong with a happily ever after, she says. Nora Roberts has redefined the romance genre and writes about the stories that she’d like to read. Oh, but she also writes thrillers under the pen name J.D. Robb. A prolific and prodigious writer indeed!
Let’s look at more authors like Nora Roberts who believe the same, have similar genres, and whose books can be your next awesome read!
1. Sandra Brown
Sandra Brown is a renowned American writer, having written more than 70 books. She took up writing after being persuaded and challenged by her husband. Her first novel, Love’s Encore was released in 1981. After writing successful romances with pseudonyms, Sandra moved her attention away from romance to romantic suspense, mystery, and thriller in 1988.
Her novels Mirror Image (1990) and The Witness (1995) gained a lot of popularity for their intricate plotlines. One of her novels titled French Silk was adapted into a movie in 1996. In 2008, her episode on truTV’s Murder By The Book was aired and she also appeared on Investigation Discovery’s Hardcore Mysteries series in 2010.
2. Catherine Coulter
Catherine Coulter wrote her very first books, both fifteen pages when she was fourteen. Her writing career began when one day she got frustrated with a book and threw the book across the room stating that she could write better. That’s when her husband challenged her and they spent the weekend going over a plot.
Like Nora Roberts, Catherine has written in multiple genres too. An author of historical romances like the Legacy and the Sherbrooke series, and suspense novels like the FBI Thrillers, she aims to publish one book from both genres each year. Collectively, she’s written over fifty books and many of them have been New York Times hardcover and paperback bestsellers.
3. Jude Deveraux
Jude Deveraux is an American historical romance writer who, like Nora Roberts, writes about strong, capable women. Her novels are set in various periods of time like post-Revolutionary America, nineteenth-century Colorado, and nineteenth-century New Mexico.
Jude’s more recent romance books feature a contemporary setting. Some of her latest novels include paranormal storylines as well. She had also written a Pride and Prejudice reimagining named A Girl From Summer Hill in 2016. Jude’s most popular series includes the Montgomery/Taggert Family series (whose characters have recurring appearances in many of her novels). It’s also her longest-running series.
4. Julie Garwood
Julie had trouble in her childhood because of having a tonsillectomy at 6 years of age she hadn’t been able to read and learn. That was until a math teacher, Sister Elizabeth, spent an entire summer teaching her everything. While studying to be an R.N., she became fascinated with history and pursued a double major. And after her professor’s insistence, she wrote her first two books.
Julie loved to write but didn’t find an inclination to pursue a career in it. However, while attending a local writer’s conference, she met an agent and that chance meeting eventually turned into a contract. Since then, she’s written over 26 novels. Her heroines are quirky and difficult but fun and even with a successful historical romance career, she forayed into the romantic suspense genre.
5. Karen Robards
Always having had an interest in writing, Karen Robards’ first 2 paragraph story received $100 after she submitted it to Reader’s Digest in 1973, where it was also published. She focused on historical romances early in her career and her debut novel was published in 1981. However, the shelf life of these novels was quite low at the time. She didn’t stop. She wrote another book, this time a contemporary romantic suspense novel, which launched her career.
Still, she faced difficulties with her contemporary romance novels, with publishers thinking of the genre as dead during the late 1980s and early 1990s. When asked to write just historical romances, she decided to change publishers to one who encouraged her.
During her career, she has received numerous awards and accolades for her romance writings and her novels have been translated into 11 languages.
6. Linda Howard
Linda Howard has been writing since she was 9 years old and for 20 years wrote for her own enjoyment. After working at a trucking company (where she met her husband of 42 years) she decided to see whether she wrote well enough to be published. And she did. Since then, she’s written over 60 books, many topping the charts, and has received the RWA’s Career Achievement Award. She is also a charter member of RWA, joining soon after it was formed.
Linda writes in the romance, suspense, and mystery genres. Some of her popular books are Mr. Perfect (2000) and Come Lie With Me (1984) along with many series including the MacKenzie Family Saga series and A Lady Of The West series.
The list of romance authors like Nora Roberts who inspire and carry forward the flame of contemporary romance, historical romance, and romantic suspense is long. Most of these authors faced obstacles early on in life or during their writing careers. But times are changing, and along with that, the romance genre will change as well.
I hope you enjoyed this list of authors like Nora Roberts, who write books in similar genres!