Lake Highlands resident Chris Kelley always knew he wanted to be a writer, even as a kid. He was curious, and that’s what drove him to poke, prod and then report.

His recently published non-fiction book “I Was A Stranger” is a result of this curiosity.

Kelley, who spent 27 years at the Dallas Morning News as a reporter and editor, was inspired by Feliberto Pereira, whom the book follows as Pereira escapes Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s rule and emigrates to the Rio Grande Valley to revive the Second Christian Church, also known as Disciples of Christ, and to help other asylum seekers gain refugee status in America.

“I am in mid-career and reinventing myself. I wanted to follow my curiosity and find out what makes a sacrificing man, like Pereira, tick,” Kelley says. “I am intrigued by what he does to help immigrants who are placed in a circumstance they did not choose.”

“I Was A Stranger” is being released at an “opportune time,” Kelley says, with immigration laws, rights and political asylum currently a big issue in our nation.

Still, writing is not all he does. He now owns the Kelley Group, working with private businesses to acclimate them to the internet as a means of communication.

“I enjoy filling this niche, and it leaves time to write, too,” he says.