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.
Amazon.com – https://amzn.to/2CZIEAz
Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2CZJ6yL
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MY INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
When I was about ten my dad was reading the Sunday supplement over breakfast.
‘We could get all of those stories Deborah writes published,’ he said. It was just a whimsical statement; I expect he was reading about a child author, but it fired my imagination. I had no idea that I could be an author.
A seed must have been sown because many years later, when I was working flat out writing about health and social care policy, I read a novel where the protagonist lived by the sea and had a routine of writing their novel for a few hours at the beginning and end of each day, leaving time to enjoy meeting friends and walking on the beach. It was one of those aha moments because I recognised this as the life I wanted to live. At first it was just a dream because I had no idea that I could write fiction. Now, twenty years on that is my life and I love it.
What inspired you to write this book?
Seeing a boy separated from his mum on the tube was the starting point. That boy was reunited with his mum within minutes. But I wondered: what if he wasn’t returned? Who would you least expect to abduct a child? And then, what if it wasn’t in the child’s best interests to be returned to his mother? What if that person wasn’t his mother?
Then there was Jaywick Sands, a place with a character of its own. I had been fascinated by the colourful characters and bizarre sights I encountered when riding my bike along that part of the Essex coast. It was, I decided, a great place for a person to hideout.
If you could sell this book in one sentence what would it be?
When Angie Winkle plans a day-trip to Jaywick Sands to face up to a past which has cast its shadow over her life, she doesn’t expect to be accompanied by four-year-old Danny, neither does she expect to have a second chance at life, but as Angie tries to do what is best for Danny she has to race against time or risk losing everything.
What are you up to next?
I am currently editing my next book, Just Bea which is due to be published 1st February 2021. It is about a young-women who invites a homeless man, Ryan, to take shelter from the snow in her flat, in what seems to be a reckless act of compassion, but Bea has her reasons. Like the Borrowed Boy, it is women’s fiction with a mystery.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Penelope Fitzgerald, she was an amazing woman who showed patience, persistence, and heroism in surviving hardship and achieving fame as an author at the age of eighty.
I read in her biography, that she first lived in Hampstead, London which is where I was born and spent many years growing up, and then she lived in East Anglia, not far from where I now live. She launched her literary career at the age of fifty-eight and was first published at the age of sixty. She won a Booker prize for her novel Offshore in 1979 and her last work, The Blue Flower, was acclaimed as a work of genius.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deborah has worked as an occupational therapist, a health service manager, a freelance journalist, and management consultant in health and social care.
Her protagonists are often people who exist on the edges of society. Despite the very real, but dark, subject matter her stories are uplifting, combining pathos with humour. They are about self-discovery and the power of friendships and community.
The Borrowed Boy, her debut, was shortlisted for the Deviant Minds Award 2019. Just Bea, her second novel will be published in 2021.
Deborah lives on the Essex coast. When she is not writing she combines her love of baking with trying to burn off the extra calories.
Social Media Links
Blog and website – http://abrakdeborah.wordpress.com
Instagram: Deborah Klee Author