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This Week | Jessie Keane

Victoria Adelaide: Mrs Keane, can you tell us a bit about your background?
Jessie Keane: I was born in the back of an old Gypsy barrel top caravan which was parked in my parents’ back garden. My mum’s mother was Romany. She was living behind my parents’ house, just as a regular gorgi or house dweller but she refused to give up her van and only came indoors to use the facilities.. I was born in the van. I was brought up in the country but I was about sixteen when the family firm went bust. There was all sorts of trauma going on at home, lots of big arguments, my father died and for a year I spent some time up in London. That really inspired me to write later on the things that I started to write, the crime novels. For quite a while I was a secretary. I did all sorts of odd jobs, I was always writing but just doing odd jobs in between. I was slicing bacon in a deli and doing general rough menial jobs until I could actually break through in the writing. I’d been writing chick lit for years, and I thought I was going nowhere with it. I couldn’t get published. It was really hopeless. About 10 years ago I just sat down and I thought, “That’s it, I’ve got to give it up.” And then I saw this DVD about the Cray Twins in London, and I remembered those I picked up in London years ago and I thought I could write a story similar to this. I just had to put a woman in as the heroine and I’d see where I could go with this…

Crush Of The Week | Chula

VA: What kind of depth has learning sign language added into your life?
DDVC: Sign language is a wonderful tool to connect people. It’s the most natural form of expression, it’s fast, you look into the eyes, you act, you lose your shyness. Sign language is beautiful. You realize that words and spoken language are sometimes more of a weapon, rather than real communication tools. Sign language is direct and goes straight to the point, which is communication and feelings…

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Photo: Lan Tran
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