Podcast 55: Virginia Andrews

This episode was recorded at the second-ever PodFest Berlin, a local two-day event full of workshops, networking, free ice cream, and live tapings from podcasts in various languages, including one from us. 

Dead Ladies Show co-founder Katy Derbyshire and podcast producer/host Susan Stone were there for a mini DLS, and took turns hosting and presenting bilingually in German and English in front of a small but perfectly formed audience. 

In this episode, we hear Susan tell the story of Virginia Andrews. Better known as V.C. Andrews, this blockbusting American author probably launched the sexual curiosities of generations of teens and pre-teens — for better or worse. Her psychological horror/romance books, starting with 1979’s bestselling Flowers in the Attic, were banned in school districts and libraries, but earned millions internationally. The tale of children held captive by an evil grandmother was sadly somewhat mirrored in Virginia’s own reclusive, highly controlled life. 

Though she was disabled by a medical condition from her teen years on, Virginia supported her family through her artwork and writing. After her death, a prolific ghostwriter was appointed to continue books under her name, but her legacy really endures on the strength of her original seven bestsellers, which merged classic fairy tale themes with contemporary issues of trauma and abuse.  

Also available on Spotify, Apple PodcastsRadioPublic, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Acast.

You can download the transcript, created by Susan Stone, here.

Show notes:

Virginia with her red typewriter
Enjoying success
Not enjoying press attention
The lost sci-fi

Susan’s not sure she can recommend ghost writer Andrew Neiderman’s biography (above), but the cover is pretty great.

If you’d like to watch some footage, there’s this TV interview with V.C. Andrews

Or how about a trailer for the 1987 Flowers in the Attic adaptation: 

The 2014 version:

And the newest series running now:

Our theme music is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon.

Thanks for listening! We’ll be back with a new episode in August.


The Dead Ladies Show is a series of entertaining and inspiring talks about women who achieved amazing things against all odds, presented live in Berlin and beyond. This podcast is based on that series. Because women’s history is everyone’s history.

The Dead Ladies Show was founded by Florian Duijsens and Katy Derbyshire.

The podcast is created, produced, edited, and presented by Susan Stone.

Don’t forget, we have a Patreon! Thanks to all of our current supporters! Please consider supporting our transcripts project and our ongoing work: www.patreon.com/deadladiesshowpodcast

If you prefer to make a one-time donation, here’s the link: paypal.me/dlspodcast