Sometimes you have to stop trying to be like everyone else and just be yourself
Bea Stevens and Ryan O Marley are in danger of falling through the cracks of their own lives; the only difference between them is that Bea doesn’t know it yet.
When her world is shaken like a snow-globe, Bea has to do what she does best; adapt. Homeless man Ryan is the key to unlocking the mystery of her friend Declan’s disappearance but can she and Ryan trust one another enough to work together?
As the pieces of her life settle in new and unexpected places, like the first fall of snow, Bea must make a choice: does she try to salvage who she was or embrace who she might become?
- Did or do you like to read comic books/grapic novels? Which ones?
When I was seven or eight years old, I would sneak into my older brother’s room when he was reading comics. He would sit on the top bunk of his bed, legs dangling, and chortle away as he read The Beano or Dandy from a big pile he collected – mostly from school jumble sales where you got a roll of comics for thruppence. I’m showing my age. I sat on the bottom bunk and read The Beano. It was being close to my brother that I loved. That was probably the last time I read a comic.
- Whom did you inherit your love for books/reading from?
My grandmother was a great story-teller. She provided me with books like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess which I adored. Every weekend my dad took us to the library where we would choose a pile of books and then we crossed the road to the sweet shop for ‘sucky sweets’. So called because they were perfect to suck whilst curled up with a book. A tradition I continued with my daughter.
- When you need a murder victim or someone you can diagnose with a serious disease or someone who is involved in a fatal accident do you sometimes picture someone nasty you have met in real life and think ‘got you’ LOL?
Never. My background working in health and social care has exposed me to people who have experienced abuse, survived life-threatening accidents, and lived with serious disease. I write domestic homicide reviews when a person has been murdered. So, no. I do the opposite. I write a happy ending for the people I meet in my working life who are not so fortunate.
- How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Although my novel is called Just Bea, I did not start out with the protagonist being called Bea Stevens. Originally, she was going to be from a wealthy background. I googled debutantes and tried different variations. However, the name did not work. It wasn’t who Bea was. When I changed the name and her background the story flowed. It was fortuitous that the last line of the novel is Just Bea, as this then informed the title of the novel.
- Do write other things beside books (and shoppinglists 😉 )?
In my working career I wrote national reports on health and social care for government. As a management consultant I write safeguarding adult reviews and domestic homicide reviews. In addition to novels, I write a weekly blog http://www.abrakdeborah.wordpress.com
- If your movie or series would be made from your books, would you be happy with the ‘based on’ version or would you rather like they showed it exactly the way you created it?
I would see it as a collaborative project and would welcome the producer, director and actors’ interpretation.
- Who would you like/have liked to interview?
Mahatma Gandhi, because he was an incredible leader who led non-violent resistance and brought about change despite immense opposition
- Do you have certain people you contact while doing research to pick their brains? What are they specialized in?
I am fortunate that I have a great network of interesting friends: a forensic scientist, lawyers, police, and health professionals. In writing Just Bea, I was assisted with research by a friend who worked as a Harrods buyer for forty years. The Knightsbridge department store in Just Bea, Hartleys, is of course based on Harrods.
- Is there someone you sometimes discuss a dilemma with?
I belong to a small group of novel writers. We meet every month to critique work in progress. This is a wonderful, supportive group of talented writers. If I have a writing dilemma or need a beta reader, I enlist the help of this group.
- What is more important to you : a rating in stars with no comments or a reviewer who explains what the comments they give are based on (without spoilers of course)
I appreciate all reviews. It is great to get comments but not all readers have the time to write a full review. I am in awe of book bloggers who read and review an incredible number of books each month. You are doing a great service for authors as without reviews novels will not be discovered by new readers.
Thank you, Deborah Klee and Rachel’s Random Resources
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.
Just Bea is her second novel. Her debut The Borrowed Boy was published last year.
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.
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