The name Deborah, you might not know, is of Hebrew origin and means “bee.” So it’s appropriate that the main character in a middle grades novel about a curious and adventurous bee is named Deborah.
Tehachapi resident Gillian Blakah-Kingsley dreamed up Deborah and her friends — an eagle named Kite and a butterfly named Emeth (Hebrew for truth) — and introduces them in her middle grades novel “The Adventures of Deborah and Kite at the Big River.”
The beautifully written, illustrated and designed book tells a story of adventure and courage. Illustrated by Nicola E. Hill, it is intended to be the first in a series of books about Deborah the honey bee and her friends at the Big River.
The author, who shortens her first name to Gill (pronounced like Jill), moved to Tehachapi from Redding with husband Steve Kingsley in the summer of 2020. They weren’t strangers to the area, though, as Steve Kingsley is from Lancaster and the two met there. They have been married 15 years and are active in the Tehachapi Vineyard Church.
Locally known as Gillian Kingsley, the author was born in the north of England. She added Blakah to her pen name de ella to honor her father de ella Michael Blakah, a journalist and newspaper editor. Her great-great-grandfather was a published poet from the Yorkshire mining community of the late 1800s.
In addition to writing, she works in a healing ministry, engaging online with people from all over the world online. She began writing a few years ago, starting with poetry then beginning her novel in 2017. She also writes short stories.
Going forward, the author would like to find an agent to represent the series. She published the first novel herself, using professional services.
Of importance to teachers, the book includes fun facts about honeybees in a section at the end. And parents will appreciate the compelling but innocent story.
“The Adventures of Deborah and Kite at the Big River” is available for sale in hardback, paperback and e-book editions at Amazon and other booksellers. But a better way to support the author is to buy directly from her Ella Etsy shop, GoldenFlowerBooks, at etsy.me/3za7n0d.
A full color signed hardback edition is available there, as well as paperback version and notecards featuring illustrations from the book.
She has just completed an audio version, offered by iTunes and other vendors. A sample is available on Audible at adbl.co/3wV7pr5.
More information about the author can be found at gillianblackah-kingsley.com.
Claudia Elliott is a freelance journalist and former editor of the Tehachapi News. She lives in Tehachapi and can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.