Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to have Kimberley Chambers as part of the Author in the Spotlight feature. There's a fab competition at the end of this post, so don't miss out! Here are a few words about Ms Chambers, in her own words!
Kimberley Chambers

One gloomy day approximately four years ago, I was sitting in my mini-cab in Romford, waiting for a fare, when I began to wonder exactly where my life was going.
I then received a phone call from my mate, Hazel, who asked me if I wanted to do a hair-dressing course with her. I had always been good at cutting and colouring as a kid, I even used to charge people, so I said I would think about it and let her know.

After a lot of thought, I decided, at the grand old age of 38, that I was too old to start a job where I would be sweeping floors for the first few years. It was that very same night that an idea came to me. I rang my friend back with my decision, ‘I’m gonna try and write a novel, Hazel,’ I informed her.

As I’d left school with virtually no exams, had worked on the markets for years, tried my luck as a DJ and was then driving a mini-cab around, I wondered if I was capable of such a triumph. But the following Monday, I picked up a pen and paper and Billie Jo was born. My family laughed when I told them, ‘Not another one of your brilliant ideas, Kim!’ my mum said sarcastically.

I can’t remember how long it took me to write the first three chapters, probably a week or two. But I do remember from Chapter 4 onwards, I found the actual writing relatively easy and I hoped that I’d finally discovered my vocation in life.

Apart from the characters’ names, I didn’t make any notes and I just let the story go with the flow. As I finished each chapter, the next seemed to come to me automatically and I didn’t even decide on the ending until I got to it.

Full of optimism, I spoke to my friend Pat, who owns the book stall on Romford market. She advised me to buy the Writers and Artists Year Book and offered to order me a copy. After I received the book, I scanned through the agents listed and sent the first three chapters off to quite a few. Within 24 hours I received my first phone call and I was not only overjoyed but also relieved that I was finally on my way. Over the next week or so I was contacted by another four agents and then it was time to make my choice.

The rest, I suppose is now history. Born Evil quickly followed Billie Jo and I have since finished The Betrayer, The Feud, The Traitor, The Victim, The Schemer and The Trap. My latest, which I am currently in the middle of writing, is called Payback - Can you bleive this is my ninth book?

Right, now all that literary stuff is out the way, I can bore you by telling you all about myself. I was born in 1967, an only child to my parents, Val and Tom. My mother and father are both now dead and my greatest regret is that I didn’t do something earlier in life to make them proud of me.

My family originated from the East End, but I was brought up in Dagenham. I was extremely bright in infant and junior school, especially in English, but at the age of eleven things began to deteriorate, so much so that I left my secondary school knowing far less than when I had arrived five years earlier.

On leaving school I started working on Roman Road market in east London. I loved that job, it suited me down to the ground. The atmosphere was second to none and I was that good at selling stuff, I could have flogged honey to the bees. When Tower Hamlets Council had their wicked way and did their best to ruin a wonderful market, I began a career in DJ-ing. This also suited me as I loved both music and alcohol.

Reaching the age of 30, I dumped my fella, binned the records and became a mini-cab driver. This pleased my mother immensely as she hated my boyfriend and also swore blind that I was a full-blown alcoholic.
I am now a full-time writer and I live in Romford. As I have no family left, it is extremely important to me to always stay close to where my friends live. When I am not writing, I tend to be a creature of habit. My addictions include gym classes, shopping, vodka, Tottenham Hotspur and nicotine lozenges.
Therefore, if I am not indoors, I can usually be found working up a sweat down the YMCA, wasting money up the West End, hanging out in some boozer, or screaming at the referee over White Hart Lane. All while sucking a lozenge, of course!
So that’s about it. You now know most of my life story. Well, the good bits anyway. The rest of my life is probably far too colourful to actually put into words, but I am sure you will guess that by the content of my books.
Happy reading. God Bless you all.

 Kimberley Chambers book THE TRAP is released on 14th February by HarperCollins.
Kimberley’s 8th book The Trap is the beginning of a hard-hitting series about murder, treachery and the kings of East London underworld, the notorious Butler family. The Butler family. Vinny and Roy Butler are the apple of their mum’s eye. Queenie knows they can play dirty, but when it comes to family they look after business and make her proud. Nothing and no one can bring them down. Brotherly love. But Vinny seems to have crossed the wrong person and his cards are marked. And with the brothers joined at the hip, Roy may just be in the firing line too... Deadly rivals. One bloody night sets Vinny on the path of desperate vengeance, but will the Butlers emerge stronger than ever, or is the East End code of honour as good as dead.

You can read an excerpt  'Chapter 1 of The Trap'
 Here's the blurb:
The heir to Martina Cole’s crown with a story of murder, the underworld, violence and treachery.
 When Donald and Mary Walker leave their home in Stoke Newington to fulfil their lifelong ambition of owning their own cafe, they feel it can only be a positive move for their beloved children, Nancy and Christopher. But Mary and Donald have failed to take into consideration the perils of moving to place as notorious as Whitechapel. 
The Butlers are not a clan to be messed with. Run by stout matriarch, Queenie and feared in the East End, Queenie's eldest, Vinny, is a known psychopath, who will let nothing stand in his way of getting what he wants. Now it seems that the rest of the Butler clan are following in his footsteps.  
Things come to a head between the two families on one cold December day, when young Christopher Walker witnesses a horrific crime leaving the Walkers with no choice but to run for safety … unfortunately though, their nightmare has only just begun …
A gritty and thrilling novel set in the seedy world of drugs, violence and poverty with all the ingredients of a bestseller.
Will enthrall all fans of Martina Cole, Mandasue Heller and Lynda La Plante
‘Easily as good as Martina Cole’ News of the World
‘Brilliantly delivers a story of violence, treachery and family ties… Easy to read and hard to put down’ News of the World
‘[a] faced-paced tale with gritty authenticity’ Guardian
There are 2 prizes up for grabs! Firstly, you can win a copy of The Trap by visiting Kimberley Chamber’s facebook page.
Secondly, (drum roll please) you can also win the opportunity for you and your family to feature in a forthcoming book by Kimberly Chambers in The Trap series! This prize can also be won by visiting the official Kimberley Chambers facebook page! Go for it! (both comps open on 14th February 2013)


3 Responses so far.

  1. Nikki says:

    Really interesting post and great to learn all about Kimberly and her book looks a really good read too.

  2. Wow! That's a great story. I bet you're glad you didn't decide to take the hair-dressing course.

  3. Wow! What a life! Plenty to write about :-)

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