Thursday 11 February 2021

πŸ“– Blog Tour ~ Housewife Writes Best Seller - Ann Victoria Roberts


πŸ“– Thrilled to be part of this blog tour πŸ“– 

Arnwood Press
November 2020

My thanks to the author and Random Things Tours for my copy of this book
and the invitation to the blog tour

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, the travels and the 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…

πŸ“– My thoughts..

In the early 1990s I picked up a copy of Louisa Elliot by Ann Victoria Roberts from my local library, immediately drawn to its striking book cover and then further entranced by the story inside that cover. Over the next few years I went on to read more more books by this talented author,  intrigued by her ability to bring history alive.

And now thirty years later I get to learn about the process of writing Louisa Elliot, the inspiration for the story in the author's own family history, and the tentative steps to getting her story published, whilst at the same time coping with her mariner husband's long absences at sea and bringing up her two children in West Yorkshire.

This interesting memoir is made all the more poignant for me because I was living in West Yorkshire during the time the author was writing her novel. So I was familiar with the places she mentions, namely Otley, and York, which brought back happy memories. I think that's one of the reasons Louisa Elliot resonated so strongly with me as it's set in York, a city I enjoyed visiting in the 1980s for shopping, tea at Betty's and museum trips.

Whilst there's a great deal of personal information in the memoir about Ann's early life and growing up in Yorkshire it never feels intrusive into her family life. However, I think the real strength of the book lies in the author's own belief that she had a story to tell if only she could get it down on paper. Her rather trepidatious excitement when she got an enthusiastic letter back from her new agent was both palpable and emotional. I enjoyed reading of Ann's trips to London to meet her agent, then editor and publishers, and the sheer excitement of watching her debut novel,  Louisa Elliot, take flight, to rapturous enthusiasm, around the world.

I've really enjoyed travelling from book idea to publication in this lovely memoir. Don't we all wish we could see headlines like Housewife Writes Best Seller in the local paper and for this talented, and worthy, author, it really was a dream come true. 

About the Author

A lover of history, art and the sea, Ann Victoria Roberts is the author of six historical novels, set mainly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A keen reader and researcher, she enjoys painting pictures with words and regards historical fiction as a pleasurable way to discover the past. Born in York, Ann now lives in Southampton UK with her Master Mariner husband.

Twitter @Ann_V_Roberts #HousewifeWritesBestseller



  1. Thanks so much for the blog tour support Jo x

  2. Thank you so much for your wonderful, warm-hearted review - I wish I could give you a hug! I'm astonished by the connections - West Yorks and Louisa Elliott - but perhaps I shouldn't be? I hope that other Louisa Elliott fans will enjoy the memoir just as much.

    1. Thank you for such a lovely read. It brought back happy memories of my time in West Yorkshire and of reading Louisa Elliot and Dagger Lane back in the 1990s.


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