Author sets out her stall

BORED with driving a minicab for a living and with just three CSEs to her name, Kimberley Chambers decided to try her hand at writing a novel. The result was Billie Jo, a drama about love, loss, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence and petty villainy set

BORED with driving a minicab for a living and with just three CSEs to her name, Kimberley Chambers decided to try her hand at writing a novel.

The result was Billie Jo, a drama about love, loss, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence and petty villainy set around Romford, Seven Kings and Dagenham. It was published in the summer and was an instant hit, drawing immediate comparisons with established author Martina Cole.

It has now been released in paperback to coincide with the publication, in hardback, of her second novel, Born Evil, next week.

Kimberley, 41, says she writes about what she knows. She grew up in Dagenham, went to Dagenham Priory School, and worked in the Cross Keys pub, Dagenham - which features in Billie Jo.


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She was a DJ for years in pubs and clubs around Essex and east London, then worked on market stalls in Roman Road, Bow, and Petticoat Lane.

She says: "I haven't lived a sheltered life. I've mixed with a lot of unsavoury characters over the years and I use that knowledge in my writing. I haven't had to research anything.

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"I like books and films which are true to life and so that's how I write. The books have a lot of swearing because that is how these people talk."

Her writing success is an inspiration for other would-be authors. Kimberley says she was not academic at school, but English was her best subject and she wrote stories as a child.

She says: "I have always wanted to make something of myself and I was so bored mini-cabbing. My life was going nowhere, so I decided to try to write a book.

"I didn't do a lot of planning beforehand, just wrote down the main characters. But when I started to write, the story just came naturally."

She is now a full-time writer and will be signing copies of her new book at Pat's bookstall, Romford Market, on Saturday, February 21 from 11am.

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