A book set on the Isle of Man during the Second World War has brought an award nomination for its author.

Shirley Mann published Bridget’s War last year which brings to life the Second World War women’s internment camp at Rushen.

The story centres on a policewoman, Bridget, who is sent home to the island to ‘babysit a pile of women’ at Rushen Internment Camp. But when she gets there, she finds a simple arrest unearths a plot that brings the terror of war across the Irish Sea.

Bridget’s War is the fourth in Shirley’s series of books inspired by real women who served in the Second World War. Her first book, Lily’s War, was influenced by her parents’ wartime romance – her mother was a WAAF in Bomber Command and her father was in the Eighth Army.

The couple moved to the island when her father retired and they are both buried at Malew.

The latest novel has resulted in Shirley, who lives in Derbyshire, being nominated for the Popular Romantic Fiction category at the Romantic Novel Association Awards. She is no stranger to success at the awards after clinching Romantic Saga Novel of the Year in 2021.

‘I am stunned to have been nominated for a second award,’ Shirley said. ‘I was shocked enough at the first one as it was only my second novel and this one is actually voted for by readers as well as reviewers, bloggers and librarians so I feel particularly honoured.

‘It obviously puts me in the spotlight and to be nominated for two awards is probably quite unusual. I had a brilliant launch last June at Erin Arts Centre with Gobbag Groove Choir and Bridge Bookshop came to sell my books. If I remember correctly, they sold out!

‘I only started writing in my 60s, inspired by my parents' wartime romance. They retired to the Isle of Man and are both buried there so the Island has a very special significance for me.’

The book is not only receiving critical success but is doing well commercially too, as Shirley explained.

‘Bridget has been doing really well and many people are learning for the first time about the camps there,’ she said.

‘I am currently writing book five and, as a former BBC journalist, research has been incredibly important to me. I have interviewed a great number of women and now, because they are no longer with us, I have been interviewing families for the personal stories that I think give my books authenticity.

‘I now feel a huge responsibility to tell those women's stories and pass on their legacy to future generations.’

Shirley previously praised people in the island for the support she gave them.

‘People in the island have been incredibly generous with their time and anecdotes about the camp,’ she previously told Isle of Man Today. I couldn’t have written the book without them.’

Shirley had long chats with the family of Millicent Faragher, a policewoman stationed at the camp, and the inspiration for the titular character of Bridget. Organisations including Rushen Heritage Trust, Culture Vannin and Manx National Heritage also provided support.