Tuesday 16 February 2021

Housewife Writes Bestseller by Ann Victoria Roberts BLOG TOUR @Ann_V_Roberts #HousewifeWritesBestseller @RandomTTours


One Thursday in July, 1989, beneath the headline, 'Obsession That Became A Bestseller,' the Daily Mail featured a photo of a young woman looking like a lottery winner. The Sun’s piece was cheekier: 'Mum Makes A Million,' appeared beside the boobs on Page Three. Ann Victoria Roberts hadn’t posed naked and hadn’t won a fortune. She’d written a novel that prompted a bidding war for publishing rights across the world. In the eyes of the press, the fact that Ann was not a career woman, but simply a wife and mother, was newsworthy. In this memoir, the author reflects on the joys, travels and heartaches of her life as a sea-captain’s wife – and the decade of coincidences and lucky strikes that led to the writing of two big historical novels, 'Louisa Elliott' and 'Liam’s Story'. Amidst the fanfares and famous names, and the journey that took her from York to Australia and back, Ann reveals the work behind the success, and the truth behind her characters. As readers, we browse in bookshops, spot a favourite author or intriguing title, and take it home. Rarely do we consider the path that book must have taken from the author’s pen to a bookshop shelf. And yet the story behind it is often stranger than the fiction it contains.

Housewife Writes Bestseller : A Tale of Life and Luck by Ann Victoria Roberts was published on 27 November 2020. My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review, as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour 

Who can resist such a tantalising headline? 'Housewife Writes Bestseller' screamed out from the pages of the Daily Mail in July 1989. As a reader, this would certainly catch my attention, and this memoir from Ann Victoria Roberts details exactly how she became the subject of such publicity.

I have to admit that I've not read the books concerned. 'Louisa Elliott' and the follow-up 'Liam's Story' are the bestsellers that this book is about, and are the fruit of many years of research that the author undertook when she chanced upon an old diary when searching through the attic.

This is not just the story of the success of a book though. It's also the story of Ann's life; about her childhood, her dreams of being an artist, her marriage and her children. It's finely detailed and a wonderfully written story that will both inspire and encourage other writers. It is a study in determination and how one, ordinary housewife dealt with instant fame. Appearing in The Sun, along side a topless page three girl and talking to journalists, appearing on radio and TV, and yet surviving it all intact!

I enjoyed my trip into Ann's world, I especially loved the Yorkshire aspect. York and the surrounding areas are great favourites of mine and the familiarity of the settings were a delight. 

This is such a great idea for a book. A book about the birth and life of a book, and an insight into the personal life of the author too. Warm and entertaining, I enjoyed this so much.

Ann Victoria Roberts trained as an artist, but she was simply a Yorkshire wife and mother when her
success hit national headlines in 1989. 
Her first historical novels, Louisa Elliott and Liam’s Story, had just sold for what was then a record sum for a first-time author. 
As the wife of a sea-captain, Ann’s writing was often interrupted by visits to ships and journeys around the world – she even received news of Louisa Elliott’s acceptance while on the bridge of an oil tanker entering port.
Her fifth novel, The Master’s Tale, based on the life of Captain Smith of the Titanic, was inspired by little-known facts behind the disaster, and praised for its authenticity. 
A keen reader and researcher, Ann enjoys painting pictures with words and regards good historical fiction as a pleasurable way to discover the past. 
Her seventh book, Housewife Writes Bestseller – a Tale of Life & Luck, is a memoir of crazy days, huge upheavals, and the strange events that led to her success. 
Ann is now a grandmother, and lives in Southampton UK with her semi-retired Master Mariner husband.
Ann is a member of the Society of Authors and the Alliance of Independent Authors - she can be contacted through her website: www.annvictoriaroberts.co.uk and her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnnVictoriaRoberts

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