Congratulations to Vicki Lewis Thompson, the latest winner of Romance Writers of America’s Centennial Award. This is no mean accomplishment. To qualify for this award, a romance writer has to have published 100 original titles, none of which can be reissues, reprints, or novellas.
Other popular authors that have achieved this level of accomplishment include Heather Graham, Jayne Ann Krentz, Debbie Macomber, Linda Lael Miller, and Nora Roberts—heavy hitters in the world of romance novels, to be sure. In all, only 15 authors are listed on this exclusive honor roll.
Like me, Ms. Thompson also published a romance novel entitled Old Enough To Know Better. I only discovered this after I’d published my novel of the same name and set up a Google alert. Then again, when a person has written 100 novels, she’s pretty much used ALL THE TITLES. I can’t imagine I’m the only person with a duplicate. [grin]
And now, some math. RWA considers a novella to be 20,000 to 40,000 words. Wickipedia reports a category romance novel to average 55K words, and a single title romance to range between 100K and 110K words. Even assuming Thompson’s novels were “short” category romances, that means the woman has not just written, but published a minimum of five and a half million words! And if they ran longer, say 75K, that number jumps to 7,500,000.
Ms. Thompson published her first novel in 1984 (according to Wikipedia). This gal’s been writing romance—and winning awards for her writing—for 29 years! More math alert: Ms. Thompson has published a minimum average of 189,655 words per year of her writing career. No matter how you slice it, that’s way more than a book a year!
Congratulations again, Ms. Thompson, on your very inspirational achievement!