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Fans turn out for book signing

October 17, 1998

Nora RobertsBy MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer




Gerri Hammond waited patiently in line Saturday afternoon, clutching three or four Nora Roberts books she hoped to have the author sign.

"I come to all her book signings," Hammond said, revealing she owns more than 50 of the Keedysville romance novelist's works. "I'm working on getting them ALL signed ... a couple at a time."

Hammond wasn't alone at the Washington County Free Library as the New York Times bestselling author spoke briefly about her bright literary career and answered questions from eager fans.

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Laura Hull came to the two-hour book signing to buy one of Roberts' books for a friend.

"I have one of her books," Hull said. She counted herself as a new and growing fan.

Nancy Strine said Nora Roberts' books and audiotapes make her daily two-hour commute to and from Washington, D.C., bearable.

"Riding into the city, I can either listen to her books or read them on the bus," Strine said. She just read 'Seaswept' which is one of three new books set on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

Some of the 30-plus enthusiasts brought their own books while others bought paperback and hardback copies provided for those attending the signing.

The author of more than 115 published novels, Roberts has had as many as six bestsellers in one year. Known for their romance, suspense and a combination of both, several of her books have been translated into films.

"With both suspense and romance, there is a lot of research to do and a lot of character development," Roberts said. The common thread in all her works, she said, is that they are character-driven.

A few years ago, Roberts said she took a call from her publisher who suggested she needed a hobby.

"I told her I'm fast-paced ... that's the way I write. I told her I don't need a hobby," Roberts said.

But she soon decided perhaps a hobby would be a good idea so she decided to start writing futuristic books under the pseudonym, J.D. Robb - her idea of a hobby.

So far, several books have been published under that name, marked with that 21st century genre and recurring character of a female homicide police officer, Eve Dallas.

And what does Nora Roberts read?

"Everything ... across the board," Roberts said. "Lately I've been reading a lot of James Patterson and also Patricia Gaffney, a friend and author who lives in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa."

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