A midwife who drew on her experience of helping to birth hundreds of babies to write her first book, signed copies of her best-selling novel in Stroud on Saturday.

After years of writing and toiling between birth and babies, midwife Mandy Robotham's debut novel on book shelves.

Mandy's book A Woman of War was launched last December, and following three months in the bestseller charts as a digital e.book, she explained what it was like to see people buying the book in person.

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"The sales and the response so far has been amazing," says Mandy, a midwife in Stroud for twenty years. "But I really couldn't wait to see it up there on the shelves. Wartime fiction is really popular at the moment, and I've been lucky in catching the right vibe."

Her book, A Woman of War, is set during the Second World War - a time when epidurals were unknown and babies were born under the threat of bombs.

“There are four births scenarios in the book and every one of them has happened to me in one form or another,” said Mandy Robotham, a former journalist turned midwife now attached to Stroud Maternity Unit.

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“The essence of birth hasn’t changed in thousands of years - only everything around it has changed,” said Mandy. “And it’s a great equaliser - rich or poor, powerful or not, at that pinnacle all women are equal, all need our help.”

Mandy's debut novel will be followed by a second, also set in wartime. In the meantime, she's juggling work as a community midwife at Stroud Maternity with the increasing demands of writing. "I'm very fortunate to have an understanding family and tolerant work mates!" she says.

Stroud Bookshop owner Charles Tongue said that he was delighted by how successful Mandy's book signing had been. "It was very successful, we were only left with a handful of copies, people were so keen to pick one up," he said.

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"As a new author Mandy is doing really well, and we are delighted to be able to give her our support as her local bookshop.

"We've ordered lots more copies so people can pick up the perfect Mothers' Day gift.

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