A Sheffield author tells the truth about the challenges faced by the women of steel in WW2 in her new novel – The Steel girls.
Her latest book, The Steel Girls, is the first of the series about a remarkable brand of women who sacrificed so much to work in the steel industry during the war. It is described as a heart-warming wartime saga about love, friendship and bravery. It dives into the challenges faced by these women, one of which being sexism.
Author Michelle Rawlins said: “It’s very indicative of what these women experienced when they first joined showing the attitudes and behaviour problems they endured and the mindset they had to get into.”
Michelle is a freelance journalist and a lecturer at the University of Sheffield. In June 2020 she released her first historical book – Women of Steel. Which was a book about steel factory sisters who stepped up whilst the men were fighting in WW2. When her publishers suggested this series she jumped at the chance, as she felt she still had more to tell about the steel women’s stories.
Michelle said: “Sometimes I pinch myself and I think my god, I never expected to be writing novels. I’m incredibly grateful to the Sheffield Star Women of Steel campaign. Without that, none of this would be happening.”
Before her first book, Women of Steel, Michelle spent two years researching after being inspired by the campaign. She was shocked a national book hadn’t already been written about such a formidable generation.
Michelle said: “I felt they deserved their names in the history books as a further reminder of what these women did and sacrificed to help the war effort.”
The characters aren’t real however they are all based on a series of real women and their experiences. Due to covid restrictions it has been trickier for Michelle to interview these women face to face, so she has had to speak to them on the phone or socially distanced in gardens.
The next book of the series is set to be released in November 2021, and the third of the trilogy is due next spring.
The books are available online from a series of retailers, including amazon and Waterstones. Check Michelle’s website Home | Michelle Rawlins for more details.