Posted on June 17, 2013
I’m in the process of ‘freshening up’ my website, putting some new things on it, bringing it up to date, changing some of the photos, and trying to keep it interesting for you. It takes a little time to do it, but we’re working on it.
In the process, I read some of the articles we have on the website to make sure that they’re still of interest and relevant to what I’m doing, and something struck me as I read them. As I read one after the other, I kept thinking “Who are they talking about?” Some of them seemed so unrelated to who I am. I’ve never been a big fan of doing interviews, and I am a very private person. When my kids were younger, I gave none at all, in order to maintain our privacy, and theirs. But the world has changed since then, and with the Internet and social media, there is so much more information out there, and people expect to know more about you. It no longer seems appropriate to be quite so retiring in today’s world, so I don’t do a lot of interviews, but I do some. But as I read through the articles today, it struck me, as it has before, that in so many cases, interviewers come to an interview with a fully formed idea about you, without ever having met you and talked to you before. Some are able to adjust their preconceived ideas once they meet you, but many can’t. And there is so much information ‘out there’ now, that it all seems to be more about volume than accuracy. People don’t seem to care what’s true or not. And as I read about myself in the articles, I was startled to read again impressions about me that aren’t who I really am, and ‘facts’ that simply aren’t. In some cases, they later retracted what they said and corrected it. But how do some interviewers get it so wrong? How closely do they listen? And what do they hear when I talk? It makes you wonder what kind of impression you make. Inevitably, as a publicly known person, people have preconceived ideas about you, but few people/interviewers seem willing to admit it when they’re wrong.
In reading about myself tonight, among the many things said, it referred several times to my liking to drink wine, and quoting me as saying that I do. When the truth is that I come from a family of non-drinkers, who just never liked to drink. My grandparents and father didn’t drink (although they owned a brewery in Germany), they just didn’t like the taste. And for some reason, I never have either. Alcohol always made me feel sick, so at about 17, I decided that it wasn’t for me. I don’t care if others drink, but I just don’t like the taste or the effect, so I never drink alcohol, and two of my children don’t either. It’s just a personal preference, not a philosophy. But it makes it all the more surprising when an interviewer says I like to drink wine. Nope. Another interviewer says I love to buy old books, wine, and garden furniture. It’s not important, but again inaccurate. I don’t buy old books, wine, and I can’t remember the last time I bought garden furniture, I think about 25 years ago, when I bought my house, and it’s still rusting quietly in the backyard (I guess I should buy garden furniture!!! Maybe that was a hint!!!). And another article says I’ve sold my couture clothes, also not true. I’m lucky in that because I know some of the designers, I have at times been able to buy samples, and I’m a sample size (except that I’m about a foot shorter than most of the models!!), but I save them all for my daughters, in case they want them one day, and have sold none of them. They’re unimportant details, but warning flags of bigger inaccuracies and false impressions. And each suggestion is to form a picture of who I am. And how accurate is that image going to be, if some of the basic facts are wrong? I always find it discouraging.
There was one very wonderful article written last year, by Catherine Bigelow, in the San Francisco Chronicle, about my work with the homeless for eleven years, and the book I wrote about it, “A Gift of Hope”. The article was an amazingly generous piece and touched me greatly, and it was impressively accurate. But articles like that are rare. So I guess if you deal with the press and give interviews, you have to be a good sport about it, live with what they say about you, and hope that they get it right, or not too wrong!!!
Posted on June 10, 2013
Since I’ve finished some editing, I had a chance to have lunch with some women friends today, and I was intrigued and inspired by some things they said and what they’re doing. Actually, I was downright impressed.
I’ve always kept my hand into interior design in some form, although writing has been my main career since I was nineteen. But my training and schooling in design has always stayed with me, both in fashion and interior design. And in the past ten years, I’ve had a passion for contemporary art, and had a gallery for the work of emerging artists for four and a half years. That was a whole new career for me, and I absolutely LOVED it. I loved looking for new artists, going to art fairs to discover them, visiting their studios, discovering their new work, and being the ‘matchmaker’ between the artist and the collector. And my goal was to keep the prices reasonable, so many people could enjoy the work I found. And I loved every show I curated, and the artists almost became a second family for me. The years that I had the gallery were fun and exciting for me, to learn something new, and discover a whole new world, and ‘second career’ as an art dealer. I still curate at least one show every year for a gallery in San Francisco, and I have a ball with it. Branching out into art has been a wonderful addition to my life. » read more »
Posted on June 3, 2013
I recently finished a re-write and some editing work I’ve been doing on a new book, and when I finish the intense concentration of a writing project (when I do nothing else except focus on the book, with as few distractions and interruptions as possible), afterwards, I usually catch up on other things and ‘real life’. After I finish a book, I see friends for lunch and dinner, spend time with my kids if we’re in the same city, get my house organized, catch up on mail and everything piled up on my desk, and tend to my other projects (art, music, interior design, or other). I do none of those things when I’m writing, and after I finish, my life is a flurry of activity. I make appointments, talk to lawyers and accountants, go to the movies, and it’s also an opportunity for people I work with to want to have meetings with me. It’s usually VERY busy when I finish writing. » read more »
Posted on May 28, 2013
I have SUCH exciting news. After 2 years of hard work, perseverance, and diligence, the song album I wrote the lyrics for, “Love Notes by Danielle Steel” just came onto my French publisher’s website for me. You can connect onto it from the States. Six of the songs are in English, and 4 are in French. You can listen to 9 of the songs for a 30 second sound bite (which gives you a good sense of each song), and one whole song for free. Unfortunately, they aren’t set up to take American credit cards yet on that site, although eventually you will be able to. And we hope to have the album on ITunes sometime in June, or maybe July, where you will be able to download, and buy any of the songs you like. But this gives you an advance taste of what I’ve been doing with the music. I’m SOOOOO excited about sharing this with you, and I hope you love the songs!!!!
If you click on www.danielle-steel.fr, and you click on the section marked ‘Musique’, you’ll hear Love Notes by Danielle Steel. Please give it a whirl!!!
Posted on May 20, 2013
As I told you a few days ago, I’ve been working hard, doing some editing, and catching up on some work (a LOT of work, it goes in phases, and sometimes I am swamped!!), and I took a break this week to have dinner with some young women I know, in their 30′s. I always find it interesting (and enjoyable too), to catch up on a particular group of people, or women, and to hear what their most prevalent concerns are, it kind of keeps me abreast of what’s happening in the world (my work/writing is very isolating, since I do it alone for weeks or months on end, alone in a quiet room). The young women I had dinner with were in their 30′s, from 30 to 39, and I have another good friend of my daughters’, also in her 30′s, whom I see frequently. » read more »
Posted on May 17, 2013
I owe you an apology for not posting my blog on Monday, and being late this week. That hasn’t happened very often, but I have been so swamped with work and projects that for once I just couldn’t catch up!!! I really am sorry!!!
Last weekend, I spent time with my children in two cities for Mother’s Day, and this week I had so much work to do that it was like a giant snowball gathering momentum, the mountain on my desk just kept growing. We’re in the last stages of getting the music album I did ready to go online, I’m working on an art show I’m curating in August, I wrote an article for a magazine, a speech for a benefit, I’m starting a big re-write on a book tomorrow, and I’m thinking about an idea for a new children’s book, and working on an art project “for fun”. It has been a crazy week, and I looked at apartments with two of my daughters last week. » read more »
Posted on May 6, 2013
Posted on April 29, 2013
This year anyway, April in Paris has lived up to all the songs and movies about it. The weather has finally gotten warmer and gentler, after a freezing cold winter, and it has been absolutely wonderful to be here. All this week it’s been sunny and beautiful, the kind of weather that makes you fall in love with Paris all over again, as you sit having lunch or dinner on the terrace of a restaurant, or an outdoor cafe, watching people stroll by. Definitely a slice of Heaven. » read more »
Posted on April 23, 2013
I went to the dentist today, and rode up to the 25th floor in a crowded elevator in a busy Medical-Dental Building, and although texting is part of our everyday life now, and very convenient at times, I looked around the elevator, and realized that of the ten or so people in it with me, I was the only one not texting. Everyone was staring intently at their cell phones and texting away. Two missed their floors, no one made eye contact, and not a word was spoken. I’m not normally chatty to strangers in elevators, but often people exchange a nod, a smile, or occasionally even a “have a nice day”. But this time, there was only texting. » read more »
Posted on April 17, 2013
Here we are, mourning the victims of violence again. This time at the Marathon in Boston, so many innocent people injured, several killed, and even children the victims of yet another act of violence. We’re all shocked, and it always shocks me even more, when children are involved, though it is certainly hideous to think of the adults injured and killed too. It gives rise to the same questions we face every time one of these incidents happen. The endless why’s, the how could it be’s, the how could they do it’s. The focus shifts only slightly, this time not gun violence committed in a school against 6 year olds, but a bomb explosion that has impacted so many people. And once again, we are stunned by malevolence focused on innocents. » read more »