Search

From behind pub's bar to writing star

PUBLISHED: 17:44 04 March 2009 | UPDATED: 11:04 11 August 2010

A FORMER cabbie, who until three years ago had never written a page of fiction in her life, has just seen her second novel hit the shops. Born Evil, by Dagenham raised author Kimberley Chambers, comes hot on the heels of her hit debut book Billie Joe, pub

A FORMER cabbie, who until three years ago had never written a page of fiction in her life, has just seen her second novel hit the shops.

Born Evil, by Dagenham raised author Kimberley Chambers, comes hot on the heels of her hit debut book Billie Joe, published last summer.

It tells the story of a family in Rainham whose lives are turned upside down when daughter Debbie, gets pregnant by her drug addict boyfriend Billy McNaid.

When her mother and step-dad give Debbie, 18, an ultimatum, get rid of the baby or move out, she joins Billy in his grimy flat on Barking's Gascoigne Estate.

Any ideas of domestic bliss quickly fly out the window as Billy becomes increasingly abusive towards his girlfriend, and when the baby arrives things turn from bad to worse. Doted on by his no-good dad, little Charlie grows into a child from hell, who slowly does his best to rip the whole family apart.

Kimberly, who went to school at Dagenham Priory, says her colourful past forms much of the inspiration behind her writing.

The 41-year-old told the POST: "The novels aren't autobiographical, but the characters are a mix of all the people I've met over the years. And I've met and mixed with a few characters in my time, including the odd criminal."

After leaving school with few qualifications, Kimberly spent many years in and out of different jobs. She's pulled pints in the Cross Keys pub in Dagenham, worked behind market stalls in the East End, DJ'd in Essex bars and clubs before spending a number of years as a cab driver.

But one day, at the age of 38 she decided her life was going nowhere. "I was stuck in a rut and sick of everything, so decided I'd try and write a book. I'd never written a page in my life, but gave it a go anyway."

Writing, it seems, came naturally to Kimberly. It took her a year to pen Billie Jo, six months to finish Born Evil, and her third novel, published later this year, was completed in an incredible 13 weeks.

"My publisher is quite shocked how quickly I write" she laughs, "but I don't do research, as my life is my research, and the ideas come to me very quickly. I thought up the plot and characters for Born Evil in five minutes, in the bath."

Kimberly, from Romford, says she has found her calling. "I love writing and have no intention of doing anything else."

Born Evil and Billie Jo can be found at Waterstones and WHSmiths.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Barking and Dagenham Post. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Barking and Dagenham Post