Janet Dailey (née Janet Haradon) is an American author of romance fiction. She is one of the most popular novelists in the world. Dailey's novels have been translated into nineteen languages.
Dailey wrote over 100 books, including 53 novellas, for the Toronto-based Harlequin publishing empire, her first publisher, from 1976 to 1984. Her Harlequin books alone sold some 80 million copies worldwide, and estimates of her career total range from 100 million to 300 million copies.
Janet Dailey was born in Storm Lake, Iowa. She attended secretarial school in Omaha, Nebraska before meeting her husband, Bill Dailey. Janet Haradon went to work as a secretary for a construction company owned by Bill. They worked together until they “retired” to travel throughout the United States, inspiring Janet to write the Americana series of romances, setting a novel in every state of the Union.
Dailey’s literary career started when she was almost 30. Her first novel was No Quarter Asked (1974). She wrote it to prove to her husband that she could write a better romance novel than those she had read.
Janet Dailey went on to write books, 21 of which have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Her novels were considered unusual for featuring working women and the action took place in American landscapes rather than in the European setting of traditional novels.
In a 1981 interview with The New York Times, Janet Dailey said: “My romance readers are like me. They are work-oriented women who are under a great deal of stress.”
She won many awards and accolades for her work, appearing widely on Radio and Television.
Her reputation suffered in 1997 when she was sued for copyright infringement by another best-selling author, Nora Roberts. Dailey admitted that two of her novels — Aspen Gold (1991) and Notorious (1996) — borrowed ideas and passages from Ms. Roberts’s works.
However, Janet Dailey is one of the most successful American romance writers of her time.