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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > February 2018 > Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts

Megaseller Barbara Taylor Bradford shares the secrets of a successful saga, with Tina Jackson

Much like her greatest character, Emma Harte, A Woman of Substance author Barbara Taylor Bradford is a force to be reckoned with – in fact, that could be the title of one of her b


Since A Woman of Substance was published in 1979 and became a runaway bestseller, selling 32 million copies – the very definition of a blockbuster, with its rags to riches story of a humble Yorkshire servant who through her own efforts becomes the head of a multi-million pound retail empire – Leeds-born Barbara has become of the best-selling authors in the world, with more than 88 million copies of her books sold.

She lives in Manhattan with her film producer husband, and her personal wealth was estimated, in 2010, at £174 million. At 84, she’s still publishing bestselling sagas. Her latest book, Secrets of Cavendon, has all the ingredients her readers expect: strong women making their way in the world against the odds, where trouble and intrigue are played out against a backdrop of glamour and luxury.

You don’t get much more glamorous or luxurious than the Dorchester, where WM meets Barbara – especially in the runup to Christmas when the lavish decorations add the already gracious appointments a sparkling golden glimmer. For Barbara, though, this is everyday life: it’s where she always stays when she and her husband Robert Bradford are in the UK. But when she arrives, despite the immaculate US-style casual chic and the two enormous blue rocks she wears as cocktail rings, she’s immediately more Yorkshire than New York: a tiny powerhouse, twinkling with determination, kindness, warmth and forthright charm. ‘I don’t always wear this much make-up,’ she admits, by way of introduction. ‘I’ve had a photo-shoot this morning. You don’t mind if I put this leg up on a stool, do you?’ Of course not. Barbara is wearing leopard-print suede pumps, and you wouldn’t expect anything less of her

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About Writing Magazine

In the first issue of Writing Magazine for the New Year, we look at what's hot for 2018 as publishing insiders share their predictions for the year ahead. You can get your writing year off to a great new start with advice for all writers - whether you write crime, romance, fantasy, poetry, historical fiction or for children, we've got something in this issue to help and inspire you. • Our star interview is the queen of dynasty sagas, the great Barbara Taylor Bradford. • Keep up to date with the latest opportunities to sell your work and see it in print, and win £58,142 in writing prizes.

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