The Town That Nora Roberts Remade

There are her son’s restaurants: Vesta, a pizza shop, and Dan’s Restaurant & Tap House. Residents work out around the corner at Fit in BoonsBoro, the gym Roberts built last year.

Roberts and her family own eight properties with an assessed value of $3.2 million in this Western Maryland town of 3,400. Their businesses employ about 100 people, and the enterprises have done so well that other businesses have blossomed around them. The bookstore begat gift shops. The inn boosts a spa.

The Washington Post has a really nice story about the town of Boonsboro, Md. that has been economically invigorated by best-selling romance novelist Nora Roberts (who also goes by the pen name J.D. Robb). Roberts’s businesses employ many of the locals, and she keeps her high-end gym membership fees down to $30 a month so anyone who wants to go to the gym can afford to do so. Her books have taken place in the town, which draws tourists (and their money), and she donates thousands of dollars to support the local high school marching band and drama club. I have never read a single book by Nora Roberts, but I admire her ever the same.

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10 Comments / Post A Comment

Marzipan (#1,194)

I was reading one of her most recent in Wegmans (one of my hobbies, reading whole books in awkward places due to cheapness. I did not finish this one, though, but I got the idea) and I did feel like the people in it rather glibly and frequently opened businesses, but now that makes sense, I guess, considering that she does do that, because of her insane and complete wealth, which I am in no way denigrating, as it was garnered rather impressively from the generally non-lucrative field of ceaseless, seemingly effortless novel-writing.

blair (#1,962)

@Marzipan NR heroines are always going back to their hometowns to rebuild the old inn or reopen their mom’s old antique store while investigating their sisters’ untimely death and fighting (then caving to) lustful feelings for Studly O’Townieton.

source: I have read like all of them okay

NoReally (#45)

There was a New Yorker profile of her in the last two or three years that’s worth digging up.

Megano! (#124)

Yaaaay rich authors doin’ good!

readyornot (#816)

This makes me think of Dolly Parton who gives back to Sevier County where she grew up in numerous ways. She has donated to Sevier County hospitals, delivered one book a month to every child under five, and returned eagles to the wild. Not to mention the economic boost that Dollywood gives to the area, love it or hate it.

On the subject of authors, whatever their quality, I have several English major friends whose entire academic careers were financed by authors, from undergraduate scholarships from Patricia Cornwell to graduate stipends provided by John Grisham.

blair (#1,962)

TRUE STORY: I went to the 2008 Romance Writers’ of America national conference, because at the tender age of 18 I was already a dues-payin’, card-carryin’ RWA member, and I met Nora Roberts to get a book signed. It went down like this:

Me: Uh…hi. I’m Blair.
Nora’s Assistant: How old are you?
Me: Eighteen.
Nora’s Assistant: Is this your first conference?
Me: Yes.
Nora’s Assistant: Are you nervous?
Me: No.
Nora’s Assistant [to Nora]: This is Blair, she’s eighteen, it’s her first conference, and she’s not nervous.

then after that I forget because I was, actually, nervous. But I still have a a photo with her and a signed copy of “Tribute” (which was great because HELLO the hero is GRAPHIC NOVELIST and later they made that book into a Lifetime Movie with the late Brittany Murphy)

That is fascinating. I’m pretty sure I’ve read a couple of her novels (they’re the type they include in those Reader’s Digest compilations with four books in each, right?) but, yeah. Beyond that? No idea.

mlle.gateau (#417)

More fun facts about La Nora!

A friend of mine regularly attends RWA, etc, and apparently Nora Roberts is very plainspoken, cusses a blue streak, and is utterly delightful.

sarrible (#1,545)

Nora Roberts is a complete badass and I love her madly. I also have that book you’ve pictured up there, waiting to be read.

honey cowl (#1,510)

I read in The New Yorker that people close to her call her NFR — as in Nora Fucking Roberts.

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