Award-winning Sheffield journalist’s book hits top of US best-selling charts

24 March 2022

A Sheffield author and university lecturer’s book has risen to the top of the Amazon best-seller charts in the United States.

Michelle Rawlins, a freelance journalist and lecturer at the University of Sheffield, released ‘The Steel Girls’, the first of a fiction saga series about a trio of exemplary, real-life women who worked in the Sheffield steel industry during World War Two, on 15 April 2021.

The Steel Girls author Michelle Rawlins

Photo Credit: Scott Merrylees

Rawlins, who spent two years researching about the lives led by these women, told Shef Live previously that it was an ‘honour’ to record the stories of these women.

“I am utterly delighted. It was such a lovely surprise to see both The Steel Girls books doing so well on the US Amazon Kindle charts. To think readers in America are reading the book is a wonderful feeling,” Rawlins said.

In an exclusive interview with Shef News, the mum-of-two revealed that like any author, she was quite nervous to pen her first fiction series despite having 25 years of experience writing real life stories – which helped her adapt from non-fiction without too many problems.

“Hearing what this remarkable generation went through, the sacrifices they made and their fierce determination was utterly humbling. I felt they deserved their place in the history books,” Rawlins added.

“I first came up with the idea for Women Of Steel after looking for a book on the women who worked in the Sheffield steel industry during World War Two, but there was nothing out there on a national scale.

The Steel Girls cover

The Steel Girls cover

“I spoke to my literary agent, who, like myself, thought these women’s stories were worthy of a book, so I began my research. I’ve always loved telling women’s stories and did a history degree, so I felt like the two things I really enjoy came together.”

The author is currently finishing the final edits for book three in the series, Steel Girls on the Homefront, which is out in August, whilst having a few additional developing ideas.

The books are available online from a series of retailers, including Amazon and Waterstones. Check Michelle’s website for more details.

Written by Vayam Lahoti

Trainee journalist at the University of Sheffield. Former academy writer at 90min. Currently working for Absolute Chelsea. Engineering escapee. Aspiring sports journalist and budding footballer.

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Written by Vayam Lahoti

Trainee journalist at the University of Sheffield. Former academy writer at 90min. Currently working for Absolute Chelsea. Engineering escapee. Aspiring sports journalist and budding footballer.
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