In recent years, I’ve had the luxury of pulling back from my day job as an independent management consultant in health and social care, to make space in my life to pursue a love of story-telling. I have always told stories, not whoppers, although I expect I told a few of them too in my teenage years, but imaginary tales. First, to my younger brother and then to my daughter. Tell me a story about… they would say, and I’m sure they suggested the craziest things they could think of but I loved the challenge. In those quiet hours as I sat at the end of a bed and made up a tale, not knowing where the beginning would lead me, I felt a profound sense of calm and fulfilment.
I believe our purpose, that heartfelt dream that drives us, is planted like a seed in our subconscious. As it takes root, the desire to achieve our goal can become all-consuming. Mine wasn’t always to publish novels, as a schoolgirl I was desperate to become an occupational therapist and then, later in my career, to really make a difference in the way that health and social care were delivered. All of those dreams came true and I can look back now on a fulfilling and rewarding career.
Today, as a management consultant I write Domestic Homicide and Adult Safeguarding Reviews- investigations into the deaths of vulnerable adults as a result of violence, abuse or neglect. Alongside my management consultancy, I co-founded a social enterprise that worked with citizens enabling them to transform their communities. We worked with people who showed amazing resourcefulness and resilience despite living in poverty or with perceived vulnerabilities.
My protagonists are often people who exist on the edges of society. I like to give them a voice, so that they are heard, and write them a happy ending. 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.
The Borrowed Boy, my debut, was shortlisted for the Deviant Minds Award, and awarded both book and cover of the month by Chill with a Book readers. Just Bea, my second novel, followed six months later.
When I am not writing I love to: read, bake, walk by the sea, practice meditation and yoga, run, ride my bike, eat, and laugh. Not in that order as I love them all equally!
You can follow me on Twitter @DeborahKlee