The life and times of author Virginia Andrews

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Family secrets

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Virginia Andrews is a name that has become synonymous with Gothic romance and family secrets. Her novels, such as “Flowers in the Attic,” have captivated readers around the world with their dark, twisted plots and unforgettable characters. But who was Virginia Andrews, and what inspired her to write such chilling stories?

Virginia Andrews was born Cleo Virginia Andrews in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1923. Her childhood was marked by tragedy, as her father died when she was only three years old. Her mother, a nurse, struggled to support the family on her own, and young Virginia spent much of her time in the local library, reading voraciously.

After high school, Virginia attended a business college and worked as a secretary for several years. In 1942, she married William Andrews, a soldier who was stationed in her hometown. They had two children together, and Virginia devoted much of her time to caring for them.

It wasn’t until later in life that Virginia began writing in earnest. Her first novel, “Flowers in the Attic,” was published in 1979, when she was 56 years old. The book was an instant success, selling over six million copies and launching a series of sequels and spin-offs.

Sadly, Virginia did not live to see the full extent of her success. She died of breast cancer in 1986, at the age of 63. But her legacy lives on through her books, which continue to be beloved by readers of all ages.

One little-known fact about Virginia Andrews is that she was not the only writer in her family. Her daughter, also named Virginia, has continued her mother’s legacy by writing her own novels under the name V.C. Andrews.

Another interesting fact is that “Flowers in the Attic” was initially rejected by several publishers before being picked up by Pocket Books. The book’s dark subject matter and unconventional plot made it a tough sell, but Virginia persevered, and the rest is history.

But Virginia Andrews’ life was not all gloom and doom. She had a wicked sense of humor, and was known to be a practical joker. In fact, her husband once recounted a story of how she convinced him to try a new type of cheese by telling him it was made from goat’s milk, only to reveal later that it was actually made from soybeans.

In conclusion, Virginia Andrews was a talented writer whose life was marked by tragedy and triumph. Her books continue to captivate readers around the world with their dark themes and unforgettable characters. But behind the Gothic romance and family secrets, there was a woman with a sense of humor and a love of life, who left an indelible mark on the literary world.