Glamour has posted an interview with Danielle Steel, who isn’t exactly a new author, but is a record-breaking, bestselling one. Even if you grew up with her books and had some knowledge of her TV movies like Star and Daddy, this interview is bound to contain some startling revelations about the 71-year-old writer, who naturally has a new release out, Blessing In Disguise.
That volume is the latest in a string of—wait for it—179 books. Even though Steel’s wealth is estimated at $350 million, she still churns out seven books a year. How does she accomplish all of this? By not sleeping: She averages 20 hours of work a day, but in a big time crunch, says Glamour, she goes the whole 24.
Steel does not understand this modern-day mentality of work-life balance, because even after all this time, it seems like there’s nothing she’d rather do than write on one of her beloved Olympia standard typewriters. She says, “When a book just flows, I love it. Some of my ideas will start off as mundane, but as I write them they become magical—and I can never predict it. Other times it can feel like dragging an elephant across the table, but I get through it.”
More fun facts: She has nine children. She likes Richard Madden on The Bodyguard because “he’s cute.” She has a desk made out of giant facsimiles of three of her most famous volumes. Maybe most shocking of all: She doesn’t drink caffeine.
Steel basically lives the idealized life of all writers, typing away in a cashmere nightgown in Paris to the delight of her fervent following, munching occasionally on chocolate bars for sustenance. She explains: “When I was first starting out, I had the same agent as Agatha Christie. I was about 19 years old and she was in her nineties. I met her once, and I remember she said, ‘I want to die face-first in my typewriter.’ And I feel that way. I mean, I want to go on forever, just writing.” Honestly, it sounds like a great life—if only we could carve out a few naps in there somewhere. Check out Glamour for the full interview.