Deborah Bostock-Kelley was born in
Tampa, Florida, and spent her childhood, teen, and
adulthood writing plays, short stories, song lyrics, and poetry. She
still resides in her home town with her husband Ken and daughter Meghan.
with Deborah Bostock-Kelley
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
Deborah Bostock-Kelley: The
first drafts of Damaged
Goods: Narrative Unendings from Inside My Heart and Mind
were fairly quick to write, but the revisions and rewriting is what
took the most time. Two of the stories started taking form during my
second year in college. Years later, as a working mom, I
returned to school and took an incredible Creative Writing class. The
last three stories began as emotional exercises from that class. All in
all, it took about ten years to compile.
TSR: Did you
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
really wasn’t a collection while I was writing the stories. I didn’t
even realize I had an "unending" type of theme until I read a few of
the stories to my best friend. I tend to write about relationships
because you write what you know. Some of the characters are based on
people that are close to my heart.
TSR: How did
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
I started putting together the concept, I noticed five of the stories
really seemed to fall into a perfect pattern – all the transitional
periods in life: high school, college, first love and last love,
marriage, family, empty-nest and death. I decided that would be the
order for the book.
does the word "story"
mean to you?
me, story means to paint a picture with words, to give my readers an
emotional smorgasbord to pick and choose from and to not necessarily
offer a neat, tidy happy ending.
have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?
The reader I have in mind when writing is an older teen and young adult
audience, most likely female, but I have some male readers, as well.
TSR: Is there
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection,
anything at all?
Did the stories make you feel? I wanted to give a voice to that kid
that sat alone on the bus, to the harried mom watching her life pass
her by, to the wife that wonders where her husband goes at night.
Truly, it’s about relationships; how you communicate with one another
and don’t value what you have when you have it. It doesn’t matter if
you’re fifteen or fifty, everybody has or will have a 'what if' moment
in their lifetime. What if I had only told him/her how I really felt?
What if I stood up for myself? What if I had kept my mouth shut? What
if? The possibilities are endless. Did I accomplish what I
out to do?
TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
It's absolutely a mixture of mind-blowing, wonderful and terrifying all
at the same time. When you write, you are sharing an intimate part of
yourself and any reader basically has the opportunity to rate your
soul. Though a review is one person’s opinion, good or bad, it still
leaves an imprint on how you feel about sitting behind the keyboard the
next time around. I always dreamed of being a writer like Judy Blume,
but my writing has always been much darker. I'm a very happy person in
reality, so it’s rather amusing what I write about. When I was a kid,
books were my life. I'd go to the library and escape into Judy Blume
stories. My book is also going to be available through Hillsborough
County Public Library Systems, so it’s amazing to think someone might
do the same thing with mine.
TSR: What are
you working on now?
I've written a short play, am assembling several more short stories,
poetry and have a longer children’s series fiction book in the process.
TSR: What are
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
DBK: The Complete Tales and Poems of
Edgar Allan Poe, The Guy Not Taken and honestly, I can’t
remember the third. My teenage daughter got me hooked on Twilight, so I just
finished the last book in that series.