Book about Sunderland's very own Shipyard Girls makes Sunday Times Bestseller list

The latest book inspired by Sunderland’s very own Shipyard Girls has made the Sunday Times bestseller list at the weekend.

Monday, 11th November 2019, 11:53 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 12:41 pm
Women working as scrapers in Sunderland's shipyards in July 1941

Christmas with the Shipyard Girls was only released on October 31, but has already made it onto the Sunday Times bestsellers list, charting at number 8.

It’s the latest novel from the pen of Roker author Amanda Revell Walton, who writes as Nancy Revell, who was inspired to write her hugely-successful series by the hundreds of Wearside women who went to work on Sunderland’s shipyards during the war while their men were at war.

The latest edition, set in Sunderland during Christmas 1942, is the seventh release in the series, which has already sold 250,000 copies.

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Sunderland author Amanda Revell Walton, who writes as Nancy Revell

Amanda said: “I got to know that Christmas with the Shipyard Girls had hit the top ten on Tuesday teatime when my publisher rang to tell me, so I’ve had a very happy week. It came out officially this weekend in the Sunday Times. Equally as exciting was that it came in at number four in the E-Book charts.”

The author has built up a firm following on Wearside, as well as nationally, and she says she’s delighted by her readers’ response to the book.

“Over the past three years since the first book was published (September 2016) I have gained a wonderful readership and it is the readers who have pushed my shipyard girls into the top ten,” explained the former journalist.

She added: “I’d always been adamant that if I ever made the cross over from journalist to author then my first book would be set in Sunderland. When I was originally asked to pitch an idea for a WW2 saga series it went without saying that the setting would be Sunderland.

The Christmas edition is the seventh instalment in the series

“For the series to become a Sunday Times bestseller – twice over – is really a dream come true. I’m very proud of the fact that I’m from Sunderland – and that I have written not just the one book – but a whole series of books all set in the city, and that those novels have become so popular nationally.

“As far as I know there have only been two other authors from Sunderland who have become bestsellers and that is James Herriot and Mary Stewart. I do think, though, that I might well be the first bestselling author to hail from Sunderland, live in Sunderland – and write about Sunderland.”

The fourth book in the series previously made made it into the Sunday Times bestsellers chart in the top 10, while all the others have hovered around the no 11 mark.

Amanda shining a light on the real shipyard girls has also led to the commissioning of an artwork in their honour which will be situated at The Beam in the city centre, overlooking the old site of the shipyards.

*Christmas with the Shipyard Girls is available on Kindle, and in paperback, priced £6.99.