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Family’s Nazi terror inspires ex-daily journalist’s second novel

marilyn-chapmanFamily records from the Nazi occupation of Guernsey have inspired a former regional daily reporter’s second novel.

Marilyn Chapman (nee Brown), left, formerly of Blackpool daily The Gazette, has written Occupying Love, which is set during the Second World War.

As a child, Marilyn listened to her grandparents’ tales of losing their Guernsey home to the enemy in 1940 and she came across those memories in a long-forgotten exercise book last year.

Marilyn worked as a general reporter at The Gazette in the late 1960s and 1970s, before moving to nearby weekly the Lytham St Annes Express.

She said: “The stories of love and loss were very moving and they’ve always stayed in my mind.”

Further research into the occupation of the Channel Islands revealed an underground news service which brought good news to the islanders who were cut off from the rest of the world, and the idea for the novel was born.

Her debut novel, Baggy Pants and Bootees, about a young journalist’s search for her GI father, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romance new talent award and published in 2014.