#Interview with Deborah Klée, author of The Borrowed Boy #Spotlight #BlogTour
Today it is my pleasure to join in the blog tour for
The Borrowed Boy by Deborah Klée
and I have the honour of sharing her answers to my questions with you.
Read on to find out more about her writing, the book and herself!
Where did you get the inspiration for the book?
I was inspired by an event and a place, but for a while, these two ideas were not linked. The event was witnessing a child get separated momentarily from his mum on the Tube. I started to think, what if she hadn’t managed to get on that train? Then I wondered about people and situations not being what they seemed.
Jaywick Sands with its lovable but roguish community is like a character within this story. It is a real place in Essex that has held a fascination for me. Full of interesting and quirky characters, many living in poverty, it is a place that has been much maligned by the media, but people who have been rehoused from Jaywick lament the loss of a close and caring community. Places like people can be misjudged.
It was a casual comment by a friend that, ‘Jaywick would be a great place for a person to hide,’ that triggered this story, bringing together these two ideas.
What is your writing process?
Ideas for stories are in my head for some time before I start to plan a novel. I think that they are germinating up there so that when I am ready to write I am surprised at how quickly the story comes to me.
I spend some time thinking about the key characters. I find it helpful to write longhand with the person telling me who they are. It helps to find their voice and I discover what motivates them and why.
The amount of planning I do for each novel varies, but I always write ten key scenes andsynopsis, as this is my map. I consider the first draft as me telling myself the story and let my ideas flow freely. Then I edit, ruthlessly. Little diversions I have enjoyed in writing the first draft can and will be used as short stories or in another novel, so nothing is wasted.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
When I am planning I use pen and paper but I prefer to write using a computer. I did fill an A4 pad whilst visiting a friend in LA for two weeks and returned home with several chapters to write up.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
I adore Angie Winkle. She is so misunderstood but has a big heart and great imagination.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
I put my poor characters through hell before they find happiness and fulfilment and so that is hard. In The Borrowed Boy, I think it would be Josie, the manager of The Sea Shell Café. She loves living and working in her café by the sea and is loved and respected by the residents of Jaywick and her family.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
Angie Winkle had to have an awkward name to reflect her feelings of being ungainly and a misfit. The name Angie fits with her generation and where she was brought up in the East end of London. Winkle is a delightful and amusing surname which I heard somewhere and wrote down for future use.
I heard the name Nikoleta, when I was introduced to a PA who was escorting me to a business meeting. My mind must have been more on the story in my head as we took the elevator to the meeting room than the topic I was there to discuss. Although I looked up Polish girl’s names, I stuck with this name as I thought it was pretty and unusual.
Thank you so much for answering my questions – I enjoyed reading your answers and am delighted to be able to share them here!
Here’s more information about The Borrowed Boy
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.
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.