Milly Johnson on grafting, greetings cards and life in the "sandwich" zone

My guest today is the dose of salts that is Milly Johnson. Milly started writing books in her late 30s when the birth of her first son showed her the direction she’d been struggling to find. Now on her 20th novel, Together, Again, self-described northern bird Milly has sold over 2 and a half million books and won the Romantic Novelists association Outstanding achievement award. 

But you’d never know it, because Milly - along with hundreds of other highly successful women - writes books that are considered fluff, lesser, not serious and consequently the literary establishment turns its nose up at her. And her readers.

Well, as you will hear, “the queen of feelgood fiction” is not putting up with any of that nonsense. Or anything else for that matter!

Milly joined me from her home in Barnsley, where she’s lived her whole life, to talk about being a single mum, life as a sandwich woman and the benefits(ish) of having been ‘kicked around the ring a few times!” We also discussed grafting, how writing greetings cards shaped her approach to fiction, the importance of making readers feel seen and why a comfort zone is just a cosy prison.

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at, including Together, Again and The Woman In The Middle by Milly Johnson and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!

* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please consider joining The Shift community. Find out more at

The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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