Morning and happy Tuesday! Today I’ve got a Q&A for you with Deborah Klée, on the blog tour for her new book, The Borrowed Boy. First up, let’s take a look at the book…..
book blurb & info
A borrowed boy, a borrowed name and living on borrowed time.
What do you put on a bucket list when you haven’t done anything with your life? No interesting job, no lovers, no family, no friends. Believing she has only weeks left to live, Angie Winkle vows to make the most of every minute.
Going back to Jaywick Sands, is top of her bucket list. Experiencing life as a grandmother is not, but the universe has other plans and when four-year-old Danny is separated from his mum on the tube, Angie goes to his rescue. She tries to return him to his mum but things do not go exactly as planned and the two of them embark on a life-changing journey.
Set in Jaywick Sands, once an idyllic Essex holiday village in the 70s, but now a shantytown of displaced Londoners, this is a story about hidden communities and our need to belong.
Published by: Sherman House on 1st August 2020
Formats available: Paperback & eBook
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Hi , I’m Deborah Klée. I live on the Essex coast with my husband of thirty-five years. When our daughter was born thirty years ago, my husband gave up work to be a stay at home dad and I pursued a fulfilling career in health and social care. My work brings me into contact with people who lead challenging lives. I have been amazed by the resourcefulness and resilience of people, particularly women, who are coping in dire situations.
Perhaps this is why my protagonists tend to be people who exist on the edges of society. Despite the very real, but dark, subject matter my stories are uplifting, combining pathos with humour. They are about self-discovery and the power of friendships and community.
Fortunately, I have now semi-retired and can dedicate more time to writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
Like most authors, I have always written, from the little books that I made as a child to the journal I kept all of my adult life. But it was a local creative writing course tutor who encouraged me to write my first novel.
How many books have you written and published?
I have written four novels, although The Borrowed Boy is my debut. The first novel won me a novel-writing course and had a full manuscript request from an agent, although I did not appreciate the significance of this at the time. When I received detailed editorial notes instead of an invitation to sign, I wrote another novel. The good news is, I now have three more novels to polish and publish in the next year.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
Whichever book I am working on at the time. But as my mother said about her children, ‘I love them all in different ways.’
How do you choose the names of your characters?
When I hear an interesting name, I try to remember to jot it down in a notebook, but when I need a name, I never know where to find these random notes. I tend to ask the internet for popular names for a person born in a certain year and country, for example, Tavit, Ana-Maria, and Liza, the characters who work in the European Foods Emporium in The Borrowed Boy.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Angie Winkle because: she is much more practical than me and would know how to go about building a shelter. She has a great imagination and would indulge me in playing games and sharing stories. Also, she is used to being alone and would not want to talk all of the time.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
Daphne Du Maurier. The House on the Strand. I can, and have, read it again and again. I love the way a familiar landscape transitions to a different period in time, in this story. When I visit historic sites, I wish I could enter into that world and step back in time. I would love to write a historic novel. Maybe one day.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
I was recently clearing out my parents’ house and came across the first book I wrote – aged eight. It was titled, A book of stories for young readers.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
An occupational therapist, hospital manager, freelance journalist and management consultant in health and social care. I currently write Domestic Homicide Reviews and Serious Case Reviews. Maybe that is why I write stories with happy endings.
Of course, I had the usual part-time jobs as a student: Wimpy bar waitress – responsible for desserts: knickerbocker glories and rum-babas, a greengrocer, and a barmaid in several different London pubs.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
The 1920’s. Women were beginning to get some independence, and so I could be a little more adventurous than in the Victorian era. I love the fashion of that period, especially the cloche hats.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Mahatma Gandhi, because he was an incredible leader who led non-violent resistance and brought about change despite immense opposition.
What are your favourite things to do?
There are never enough hours in a day or days in a week to do all of the things that I want to, but I try to pack as much in as I can. In no particular order, I love to: bake, make crafty things – like Tilda dolls and felted bags, yoga, Pilates, meditation, running, cycling, going out to breakfast with my husband, walking by the sea, and writing!
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
It had been raining heavily, and the ground was a little flooded when I went for a run along a country lane. I came to a junction, fields were either side of me but ahead was a sheet of water. A puddle that stretched across the end of the lane. I decided to get my trainers a little wet and cross the road. What I didn’t realise was the flood covered a ditch and I disappeared underwater, like the Vicar of Dibley in that famous sketch. It’s funny now, but not at the time. A current of water threatened to pull me into a drainage pipe. I remember thinking, as I struggled underwater that it was such an undignified way to die and what would people say at my funeral?
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Don’t waste time and energy worrying. Work hard to write the best that you can. Be open to new opportunities, but don’t attach yourself to any particular outcome.
Name one book you think everyone should read?
If anyone says I should read a certain book then I almost certainly won’t. So, I won’t name a specific book, but I do think everyone should consider meditation. If there’s a book that convinces people of the benefits of a regular meditation practice – then that would be it!
tour hosted by
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to Deborah for her wonderful interview.
If you have any questions for her then make sure you get in touch!
Have a good day and I’ll be back tomorrow.
Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you). This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.