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Live webchat with author Kathy Lette - TODAY, Monday 23rd April, 1pm

(83 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 19-Apr-12 11:51:35

Author Kathy Lette is joining us on Monday 23 April for a live webchat from 1- 2pm. In her latest novel, The Boy Who Fell to Earth, Kathy draws on own her experience of raising her son, Julius (now 21) who has Asperger syndrome. It tells the story of Lucy, single-parent to Merlin who is autistic, and and the joys and tribulations of raising her eccentrically adorable yet challenging son. With her usual wit and glittering style, Kathy's latest novel is both funny and deeply moving.

Kathy's first novel, Puberty Blues, was published when she was a teenager and she's since written 11 international bestsellers including Mad Cows, How to Kill Your Husband and To Love Honour and Betray.

Join Kathy on Monday 23 April at 1pm and you'll be entered into a draw to win one of five copies of The Boy Who Fell to Earth.

bagelmonkey Thu 19-Apr-12 12:58:54

Hi Kathy.
I love your books, but won't be able to make the live chat, so I'll have to catch up later.
I just wondered which of your books did you find it hardest to write and which was easiest?
Thank you.

gazzalw Thu 19-Apr-12 15:06:12

Hi Kathy, know quite a lot of Aussies take the proverbial out of the English. Are you the exception to the rule (given that you are married to a Pom) or do you feel 'exiled' over here? We have several school friend parents who have changed their tune significantly since arriving a couple of years back - to the point when even after a longed-for trip back to Oz over Christmas, they felt they were coming 'home' when they got on the planes back to the UK!

Hi Kathy would you like to see more of your books made into TV series or films? I personally love the strong female characters they depict, Foetal Attraction got me through my first pregnancy!

Thanks!

DameHermione Thu 19-Apr-12 15:46:38

Hi kathy

I've just finished 'The boy who fell to earth'. I cried. So much of my frustration of living with a teenager with Aspergers is in it. I'm thinking of getting copies for all my clueless family and one for school too.

Can i ask please, what kept you going through the 'difficult' teenage years?

loveursoul Thu 19-Apr-12 18:00:03

Hi Kathy, your books are both inspiring and heartfelt and it helps those of us who dont always know which path to take that there is no right or wrong road only our own road so thankyou for giving us all a little light in our lives !

G'day possum! grin
I'm gutted that I can't join the live chat - your books always make me laugh. I haven't read your new book yet but hope to win one (any chance of a signed copy?). I have a son with probable AS (waiting on diagnosis) just about to enter the teenage years and could do with some light relief.
I must say that your corgi dress was fantastic and made me extremely jealous - did Her Maj make any comment on it at all?

LynnCSchreiber Sat 21-Apr-12 09:15:49

Hello. I just discovered you are on Twitter and am following you. Good to see a "sleb" who uses Twitter as it is supposed to be used and not just to promote their latest book.

I lived almost 20 years abroad and by the end of this time, I had (almost) stopped importing baked beans, Scottish pies, smoky bacon crisps and hot cross buns (although payment for visiting us continued to be a box of PG Tipps because living without a good cuppa is not living).

As a long term expat, is there anything you still have friends and family bring over to you, and the ultimate question, did you ever switch from Vegemite to Marmite?

cocolepew Sat 21-Apr-12 09:57:23

Hi, did you discuss your book with your son, before you wrote it?

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 21-Apr-12 11:20:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StarshitTerrorise Sat 21-Apr-12 17:56:03

Hi Kathy,

How do you manage to write a book on the funny aspects of having a child on the spectrum, when for most of us these are overwhelmingly overshadowed by the misery suffered due to the repetitive and consistent failure of the services that are supposed to be in place to help?

MovingbacktoEngland Sun 22-Apr-12 11:56:29

Hi Kathy, I'm just about to start reading your book but I'm interested to hear what you think about how schooling in England works (or not) for children with Asperger's or ASD and what would you change? Did you find the right fit for your son in a school?

kandinskysgirl Mon 23-Apr-12 09:15:59

Hi Kathy,

I really enjoyed How To Kill Your Husband...it made me giggle a lot.

I would love to write a novel (doesn't everyone?) but how do you know when the story is good enough? Do you tell people your ideas to get responses or do you write the whole book and hope for the best?

I don't know enough about Asperger's to comment on that aspect so mine is a very lightweight question smile.

runninggal Mon 23-Apr-12 11:25:03

Hi Kathy, My DS aged 10 is currently being assessed for AS. We have undergone various therapies over the years to help with symptoms, OT, SALT, Dietary changes , supplements, sensory integration therapy etc . I noticed in one of your articles that you have tried many also. I was wondering, as a parent of an older child and looking back , what did you feel was helpful and made a long term difference and what was a waste of time.

latedeveloper Mon 23-Apr-12 11:32:52

Sorry another question about autism. my ds is six and has asd and learning delays. He is absolutely gorgeous but I do worry about the future. What did you worry about 10 -12 years ago and how did it pan out?

Also not sure if you are mates with louis thoreaux in a starbizy (sp?) everyone-knows-everyone type way but do tell your son to watch out for him grin If you saw his latest mocku documentary for the bbc he seems obsessed with asking youngsters with ASD for a cuddle!?!

will definitely read your novel

StarshitTerrorise Mon 23-Apr-12 11:47:41

Lol Latedeveloper!

dietstartstmoz Mon 23-Apr-12 11:50:16

Hi Kathy,
Another one with a question relating to Autism. Our son is aged 4 and is in his first yr at mainstream primary, with a Statement. He has a diagnosis of high functioning autism, although he has significant developmental delays. What type of schools did your son attend, and what support did he get? What did you find was the most useful intervention for your son? I'm just interested and nosey when it comes to other peoples experiences!
Thanks

latedeveloper Mon 23-Apr-12 12:03:28

grin @Starshit - that man has no boundaries!

FarawayLook Mon 23-Apr-12 12:06:15

Welcome Kathy!

What support did you receive when raising your son and did you ever have days when you just wanted to hide behind the curtains?

I love your style. envy You are tres chic.

cm22v07 Mon 23-Apr-12 12:55:21

Hi Kathy,
What tv programmes do I recognise you from?
Have you got any more upcoming TV show appearances lined up?
I love your sense of style!

Thanks!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-Apr-12 12:59:18

Kathy's in the building, looking v glam as she's just come over from Parliament. We'll let her tell you about that. Welcome to Mumsnet Kathy

KathyLette Mon 23-Apr-12 13:00:09

Hi. Am here at Mumsnet. It's practically a coven. Or, the Cliterati, as I prefer to call us on World Book Night. (I know it's day time, but that's what we call the event where we give away one million books.) Can't wait to chat to you all.They don't call me The Mouth from the South for nothing!

KathyLette Mon 23-Apr-12 13:02:14

cm22v07

Hi Kathy,
What tv programmes do I recognise you from?
Have you got any more upcoming TV show appearances lined up?
I love your sense of style!

Thanks!

Well, I do drop my own name a little, on telly. It's an occupational hazard. An author must haemorrhage charisma these days to sell books. Book sales are down sadly. Most kids' reading material is limited to their menus and tarot cards.

KathyLette Mon 23-Apr-12 13:04:15

bagelmonkey

Hi Kathy.
I love your books, but won't be able to make the live chat, so I'll have to catch up later.
I just wondered which of your books did you find it hardest to write and which was easiest?
Thank you.

I only write because it’s cheaper than therapy. If I didn’t pen the odd novel I’d be a permanent resident on a shrink’s couch. Actually, where I live , in West Hampstead, has so many shrinks, I call it “Couch Canyon.” I suppose I always just write the book I wish I’d had when I was going through that stage – be in pregnancy, childbirth (stretching your birth canal the customary ten kilometres), mothering small kids, (we all love our kids, but there are days when you’re tempted to put them back into the condom vending machine for the refund!) surviving the teenage years (teenagers are God’s punishment for having sex in the first place), juggling kids and career (women juggle so much we could be in the Moscow state circus. But I’m yet to hear a man worry about how he’s going to cope with this particular problem!) the menopause.... (I’m having my own weather!)....

They’re literary life rafts, I hope, for other women who are feeling all at sea. At least I hope they are. And it’s humour that keeps us buoyant. So, in answer to your question, they’re all easy, because it’s so cathartic. But also all hard, because you have to dip your pen in your own emotional artery. Especially the latest novel, “The Boy Who Fell to Earth”, as it’s so personal.

KathyLette Mon 23-Apr-12 13:04:50

FarawayLook

Welcome Kathy!

What support did you receive when raising your son and did you ever have days when you just wanted to hide behind the curtains?

I love your style. envy You are tres chic.

Children with autism are complex and getting help is a postcode lottery. The education authority set up bureaucratic speed bumps to slow down a parent's progress. It's so soul destroying. I got minimal help and finally left the state system and bankrupted myself on private special needs schools. But one thing for sure, putting a kid with special needs into a state school, is as useless as giving a fish a bath.

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