Sunday, 2 August 2015

An interview with Marilyn Chapman, Author

I'm pleased to welcome Marilyn Chapman to the Hope and Dreams blog.

When Marilyn was at school, she decided that she wanted to write a novel but it was another fifty years before the dream became a reality. In the meantime, she qualified as a journalist and worked in public relations; estate agency and recruitment, whilst bringing up two daughters.

Born in Guernsey, Marilyn began her career as a cub reporter on the Blackpool Evening Gazette and later, freelanced for several national magazines, including Woman. She has been interviewed on Channel Island Television and BBC Radio Guernsey, as well as Blackpool’s Radio Wave and BBC Radio Lancashire.

A member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, she lives now with her husband in Lancashire where she writes women’s fiction, full time.

Thank you for joining us today, Marilyn. Can I ask you first how you became a writer?

I started to scribble from the moment I could hold a pen, and still have the notebook I used to jot down ideas in when I was in my early teens.  My father was a journalist and our house was always full of books and newspapers. On a typical weekend he would buy a copy of every Sunday newspaper published, but I didn’t realise until much later how unusual that was!  

2. Your debut novel has an intriguing title. Please could you tell us about Baggy Pants & Bootees, and any other writing which you have done.

Baggy Pants and Bootees came out last year in paperback and e-book format. I was thrilled when it stated to climb the Amazon kindle charts.  A historical romance set between the 1960s and the Second World War, it charts one girl’s desperate search for her GI father.

I am currently at the editing stage with my second novel, Occupying Love, which is set in the German occupation of Guernsey during World War Two. My own grandparents lived through this, and I grew up hearing emotional accounts of what life was like then.

As an NCTJ qualified journalist I also spent my early years on the Blackpool Evening Gazette and Lytham St Annes Express; becoming women’s page editor of the weekly Express at the age of 19.  I later helped set up a family PR and publishing company on the Fylde Coast, and I freelanced for national newspapers and magazines, including Woman.

3. When you are writing, do you listen to music, or prefer silence; and do you have any rituals which you follow, to help the words flow?

Though I use my laptop every day, the only way I can write a novel is with a pen and notebook! This way the words flow, and I can pick up from where I left off at any time – in a cafĂ©, on a beach, even in the doctor’s surgery. I don’t need silence to help me think as I am used to working in noisy surroundings!

4. What is your first memory?

My first memory is from the age of two, when my two sisters and I had to say goodbye to our beloved grandparents in Guernsey, and move to England. I can still see their faces as they waved us off in the taxi that took us to the harbour and our new life.

5. Which is your favourite genre to read?

I really enjoy historical fiction - especially novels set in Britain’s two world wars.

6. What inspires you to write?

Sometimes it can be the sight of a snowdrop pushing its head through the frozen winter soil or the sound of a child’s laughter. Sometimes it is just the need to record a myriad thoughts tumbling round my head!

7. What are you working on at the moment?

I am now working on the sequel to Baggy Pants and Bootees.

Thank you, Marilyn, for answering my questions and telling us about your novel. I'm looking forward to reading it, and the sequel...

Baggy Pants & Booties, is available now from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle 

If you would also like to read more about +Marilyn Chapman you can find her on Twitter and Facebook

Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.