Today, I am thrilled to be bringing you an interview with author Deborah Klee. The timing of this interview is perfect as Deborah has a Christmas book published. Lets find out more.
Tell me about yourself.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing and telling stories since I was a child. However, I started writing my first novel nine years ago. My day job for the past twenty years has involved a lot of writing, for example: writing national reports for NGOs, serious case reviews, and domestic homicide reviews.
What was your favourite book as a child?
Alice in Wonderland as my father read it to me. I had, and still have, a beautiful hard backed edition of this book with glossy coloured illustrations. Those images bring back wonderful childhood memories.
What do you like about writing your chosen genre / genres?
I write commercial fiction – upmarket book club reads. Getting into the character’s heads to write the emotions that they experience is satisfying. I love writing unusual locations as I can lose myself in these places. Although most of what I write draws on my personal experience there is always a need for some research and having a research background I enjoy this aspect of writing.
Your books are described as uplifting reads about friendship, community, and emotional courage. Where do you find inspiration for your books?
I have spent my working life listening to and giving a voice to people who have experienced incredible adversity and overcome this with courage and resilience. The voices of these people have stayed with me and influence my writing. In my work I have walked alongside people who have experienced: being trafficked, domestic violence, scams, etc and so real-life situations come into my stories. But that doesn’t mean they are depressing. They are exciting, emotional, and always uplifting.
As a social entrepreneur I co-founded a not-for-profit organisation that worked with communities enabling them to create a better place to live and work. The power of communities and friendships is phenomenal. So, I also draw on these experiences – writing my protagonists a happy ending.
Your first published book is titled ‘The Borrowed Boy’. Can you tell me about it?
Angie Winkle rescues a small boy separated from his mum on the Tube. When she suspects he is being abused and his mum doesn’t collect him, Angie takes him to the seaside for the day. A day turns into weeks and soon Angie is in a race against time. She must do the right thing or risk both of their lives.
I have been delighted with the response to my debut, as The Borrowed Boy has received several awards.
With Christmas coming up, can you tell us about your book titled ‘Just Bea’.
Passed over for promotion, Bea’s world starts to pivot. A chance meeting with a homeless man leads her to discover her friend Declan is missing. In the countdown to Christmas and with her eyes open for the first time, Bea realises she must find Declan or risk ending up on the streets herself.
This story starts twenty-nine shopping days before Xmas and finishes on Xmas eve, so a great read for December.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
I am. In fact, I am so engrossed in writing this current novel I am finding it hard to focus on anything else. This is my blurb…
The maiden voyage of Halcyon Seas, an innovative concept in retirement living, heralds a fresh start for three women:
Alice Wagstaff is escaping the prospect of waiting to die in Chestnut Court – thoughtfully designed compartments with assisted living options for the over 60s.
Olivia Rose is looking forward to earning a good wage so that she can send money home to her impoverished family in Madagascar.
Captain Marianne Moore finally has the opportunity to captain a ship. If she can prove herself on this voyage then a dream job awaits her as captain of a regular cruise ship.
But events at sea send them off-course and as the three women fight to keep their dreams alive, they each discover a new world beyond the horizon.
What is your writing process like?
I always have an initial plan but it is just a skeleton. For me, the real magic comes when I am writing and the story starts to have a life of its own.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
If I am blocked, I believe it is because I have not yet figured out what I want to say. So, I sit quietly with myself and listen to my inner world. I have never experienced a time when I have not wanted to sit at my desk and write. For me the difficulty is pulling myself away from my writing to do other things!
What advice would you give a new author?
There is so much invaluable advice out there and writing wisdom. The top ones for me were:
The first draft is you telling yourself the story. Get the story down on paper and then you can edit and improve it. If you write with a critical eye, it is like trying to write with your brakes on.
Another – write from your heart. Dig deep and draw on your emotional experience.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Meditating and yoga play an important part in my life. I live on the coast and so I love to walk by the sea. I am also a keen baker.
Thank you for inviting me to be a guest on your blog and for these great questions.
A big thank you to Deborah for joining me on the blog. If you would like to check out her work, click on the links below.