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Guiseley author whose work is being compared to Fifty Shades...
They say sex sells – and it certainly helped when Barbara Elsborg was trying to find a publisher for her romantic novels.
The Guiseley mother of two had spent decades trying to get her work into print – and she finally succeeded when she followed advice to spice the stories up.
Now, with sales topping the 100,000 mark, her work has been compared to that of millionaire author EL James who hit the big time with her best seller Fifty Shades of Grey.
Barbara, who will be 60 next week, now has 27 of her novels published as e-books, with 15 of them available in large paperback versions through Amazon and Waterstones.
And the author is to be featured in the new BBC1 television series Inside Out at 7.30pm on Monday.
Barbara, whose latest title ‘Strangers’ is being considered for a film, could not get a UK publisher interested in her work.
But she finally found success with an American e-publisher after being advised to make her stories erotic.
“They said add sex and they will sell – so I did, and they did,” she said.
“Once I added the sex it just took off in a big way.”
But although her erotic novels are being lauded she says there is a significant difference between her work and that of authors such as EL James.
“I think the big difference between me and EL James – apart from her massive fortune – is that my stories would probably stand without the sex.”
One of her works in particular – Digging Deeper – which is set in Ilkley, remains a straight forward romance.
Barbara, who started writing when she was a schoolgirl began trying to get published in her 20s but without success. Meanwhile she worked in a number of jobs, including selling cyanide for a chemical company.
Her breakthrough as an author came in 2007 after she approached the American e-publisher Ellora’s Cave.
“When somebody finally said yes it was like a minor miracle,” she said.
Encouraged by her “sexy, devoted, wonderful husband” Anton, Barbara spends hours a day typing her sexy storylines featuring “quirky heroines and bad boys”.