Virginia Andrews: Gothic Fiction Writer
Cleo Virginia Andrews was born in Portsmouth Virginia on June 6th, 1923 and died of breast cancer December 19th, 1986. She was 63 years old. Virginia’s area of writing was mainly in Gothic romance and family sagas. The novel that she is most known for is Flowers in the Attic. Virginia was the youngest child of her family with two older brothers. Her mother Lillian Andrews was a telephone operator and her father William Andrews was a tool and die maker.
As a teenager Virginia was in an accident at her high school. She fell down some stairs and sustained severe back injuries. For the rest of her life due to arthritis and a failed spinal surgical procedure Virginia had to rely on crutches and wheel chairs. After graduation Virginia completed a four year correspondence course art course while living at home. During this time she went through several more surgical attempts to fix the damage to her back and hips.
Later on after her father died, Virginia turned to writing feeling that art wasn’t giving her the creative satisfaction that she sought. The first manuscript that she wrote was too autobiographical; she ended up destroying it to protect her privacy.
In 1978 submitted her 98 page Flowers in the Attic manuscript to literary agent Anita Diamant. This novel reached the best-seller lists in two weeks. From this point forward Virginia had great success with her writing. By the time she died in 1986, Virginia had over 24 million books in print and a film version of her first novel Flowers in the Attic.
Here are some interesting facts that you might not have known:
The first novel that Virginia wrote was Gods of Green Mountain. It was never published during her lifetime, but was released as an e-book in 2004.
Virginia has also gone under the pen names of V.C. Andrews and Virginia C. Andrews.
Most of Virginia’s stories are based around a particular family.
There are many biographies and articles written claiming that Flowers in the Attic was originally a story called The Obsessed and that Virginia was told by publishers that it needed to be cut down and have a bit more excitement to it. This is untrue according to an interview with her Ann Patty. The Obsessed was a different novel altogether. “The two have nothing to do with one another.”
Supposedly she had written three Gothic romances under another pen name before she submitted Flowers in the Attic.
At one point Virginia had a disappointing interview with people magazine and was from then on reluctant to partake in interviews and other such publicity.
Virginia’s family decided to have a ghost writer take on her work after she died. The identity of the ghost writer was kept secret for many years until it was revealed that it was horror novelist Andrew Neiderman.
There have been many rumours about Flowers in the Attic being based on a true story.
Here are some of Virginia Andrew’s books that you should check out:
(Please note some are completely written, or in part written by ghost writer Andrew Neiderman.)
The Dollanganger series
Flowers in the Attic Petals on the Wind If There Be Thorns
Seeds of Yesterday Garden of Shadows
The Casteel Series
Heaven Dark Angel Fallen Hearts Gates of Paradise
Web of Dreams
The Cutler Series
Dawn Secrets of the Morning Twilight’s Child
Midnight Whispers Darkest Hour
The Landry Series
Ruby Pearl in the Mist All that Glitters Hidden Jewel
The Logan Series
Melody Heart Song Unfinished Symphony
Music in the Night Olivia
The Orphans Series
Butterfly Crystal Brooke Raven Runaways
The Wildflowers series
Misty Star Jade Cat Into the Garden
The Hudson Series
Rain Lightening Strikes Eye of the Storm
The End of the Rainbow Gathering Clouds
The Shooting Star Series
Cinnamon Ice Rose Honey Falling Stars
The DeBeers Series
Willow Wicked Forest Twisted Roots Into the Woods
Hidden Leaves Dark Seed
The Broken Wings Series
Broken Wings Midnight Flight
The Gemini Series
Celeste Black Cat Child of Darkness
The Shadow Series
April Shadows Girl in the Shadows
The Early Spring Series
Broken Flower Scattered Leaves
Secrets in the Attic Secrets in the Shadows
The Delia Series
Delia’s Crossing Delia’s Heart Delia’s Gift
The Heavenstone Series
Heavenstone Secrets Secret Whispers
The Kindred Series
Daughter of Darkness Daughter of Light
The March Family Series
Family Storms Cloudburst
The Forbidden Series
The Forbidden Sister The Forbidden Heart Roxy’s Story
Stand alone novels
Gods of Green Mountain My Sweet Audrina Into the Darkness
Capturing Angels The Unwelcomed Child