As a scriptwriter turned novelist, I know all about making the transition from one genre of writing to another; something today’s guest and I have in common. Marilyn Chapman started her long writing career as a journalist and knowing how to snoop out a good story, decided to put her skills into penning novels too.
Her debut, Baggy Pants and Bootees, was released on Valentine’s Day. The story follows Sophie, a woman searching for the father she never knew. Was he a charismatic American officer or someone far more sinister? A romantic mystery guaranteed to make us laugh and cry, we’ll have to keep turning the pages to find out.
Available on Kindle now. Paperback due for release May 2014
I asked Marilyn what inspired her to write Baggy Pants and Bootees. Here’s what she said:
Thanks, Suzie for inviting me on to your blog to talk about my debut novel Baggy Pants and Bootees. It’s great to talk to a fellow Safkhet author.
The idea for ‘Baggy Pants and Bootees’ came from a chance conversation with my brother-in-law who confessed one day, quite out of the blue, that he had never known his real father. A war baby, he was somehow ‘absorbed’ into a large family who lived in the town where he was born, and his past remained a taboo subject.
This got me wondering what it must be like to have no idea who you really are or where you came from. My first task in researching the book was to contact the GI and family International Search, an amazing Facebook site for people trying to find their birth families. I was greeted by the very affable John Wastle, who seemed enthusiastic about my plan. But first he had to check with other members to see if they would be comfortable with the idea of an author becoming a member of the group. Fortunately they said ‘Yes’ and this enabled me to read and understand the heart-breaking stories of adults who are still searching for their parents from the Second World War.
Once my heroine, a twenty four year old cub reporter, started the search for her own father, the character just seemed to take over the plot!
Being a child of the sixties, Sophie inevitably comes face to face with male chauvinism on the small-town newspaper where she works and, despite her best intentions, finds herself romantically involved with the office Romeo.
Though it does have a humorous thread, the book faces some very real issues of the 1940s such as illegitimacy, child abuse and rape.
Lots of people have asked where ‘baggy pants’ from the title came from. This was the nickname for the American soldiers who made up the parachute regiments during the Second World War. They wore strange baggy trousers which enabled them to carry provisions when dropped behind enemy lines.
The e-book came out on Valentine’s Day, and I’m thrilled to see it listed in the top 100 Military Romances on Amazon. The paperback version is due out in May
Meanwhile I am busy writing my new time-slip novel about a Lancashire girl who – well – that would be telling…
Marilyn Chapman is an NCTJ accredited journalist who spent her early career on the Blackpool Evening Gazette and later freelanced for national newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Mail and Woman.
Marilyn began writing for a football magazine at the age of fifteen and attributes her dry sense of humour to a very eventful life! She has worked in recruitment, training, estate agency and public relations.
Born in Guernsey Marilyn now lives with her husband in Lancashire. A member of the Society of Authors, she now writes commercial women’s fiction full time.