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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.

latedeveloper Tue 24-Apr-12 21:04:17

Yay - likewise a normally unlucky person here grin

Brilliant - that's cheered me up! smile

runninggal Tue 24-Apr-12 17:08:39

Thank you. Thats great.

CocoLePew Tue 24-Apr-12 12:54:11

I won!! I've never won anything before.

Thank you grin

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Apr-12 11:54:56

We agree, great webchat and Kathy was a truly lovely guest, not to mention exceedingly glam in her book-print suit (we'll put some of the pics up on Facebook) Congratulations to: DameEdnaBeverage, runninggal, latedeveloper, cocolepew and peachy who have each won a copy of The Boy Who Fell to Earth. We'll be pm-ing you with more details.

peekabooby Mon 23-Apr-12 20:45:13

Missed webchat due to a family bereavement, I read your new book over the weekend and was amazed to find the phrase "Space time continuem" this was ds 8 who has AS, favorite obsession for a while.

judithann Mon 23-Apr-12 20:41:44

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

gazzalw Mon 23-Apr-12 17:40:02

Wow she answered my question. She's a natural wit! Great fun and just oozes Mumsnet qualities too grin. Thanks for inviting her - that was inspired!

champagnesuperdupernova Mon 23-Apr-12 17:01:12

Argh! Too late. I forgot about this.
gutted
If I'm not too late, Kathy I heart you.

DameHermione Mon 23-Apr-12 15:48:31

[gin]

And thanks kathy and mnhq

lindy20 Mon 23-Apr-12 15:17:53

Hi, I loved that "Putting a kid with special needs into a state school, is as useless as giving a fish a bath"............we de registered our 13 year old son who has aspergers from school 2 weeks ago .......long story but you know it already...........

thebestisyettocome Mon 23-Apr-12 14:53:16

That was great. So funny and so truthful.

HotheadPaisan Mon 23-Apr-12 14:32:11

Just lolololol at the last smile

latedeveloper Mon 23-Apr-12 14:23:50

thanks Kathy and thanks to Mumsnet HQ for organising

KathyLette Mon 23-Apr-12 14:14:31

Thanks a lot for all your lovely, thought provoking questions. It's World Book Night, so I'm off to help give out one million free books. I gave out some this morning at Westminster to male politicians. Research shows that men don't read fiction by women. As females makes up 51% of the population and the cuts are effecting women more than men, I think it's time male politicians slipped between our covers and joined the Cliterati.
Maybe then they'll think about more than the size of their elections.
Happy World Book Night.
Love Kathy xxx

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-Apr-12 14:11:18

Thanks so much Kathy for joining us today. We'll be announcing the five winner's of The Boy Who Fell to Earth shortly.

KathyLette Mon 23-Apr-12 14:11:14

RachelMumsnet

Kathy, can we also ask you our two standard questions we ask authors when they visit mumsnet (which one day will be archived on the site):

Which childhood book most inspired you?

What would be the first piece of advice you would give anyone attempting to write fiction?

The book was "What Katy did Next" - which pretty much sums up my entire life. I'm always ricocheting on to another adventure. That's my one bit of advice, actually. NEVER TURN DOWN AN ADVENTURE. I speak from personal experience. In the late 80's, I worked on a sit com in LA called "The Facts of Life." We cast an unknown actor called George Clooney. He asked me out. I said "NO." What I actually said is "I'm a writer. I don't go out with actors. You put other people's words in your mouth, when you never know where they've been." Then years later, I'm in London, with two small babies, covered in vomit. One of my LA writer mates was visiting me. ER was on. "Oh, look at that Doctor Ross. I could swim through a pool of my own drool to get to him."
"But, that's the guy who asked you out. That's the guy we cast. That's George Clooney."
I screamed. I lay in the foetal position for two weeks. Mind you I thought I might ring him now and say "About that date. I've had time to think it through...."

If you want to write fiction, have something original to say and an original way to say it.

Peachy Mon 23-Apr-12 14:10:21

Wine is very useful when parenting kids with Special Needs!

And there are so many abrriers. the local LEA Behavior Rep for example has written books about ASD being caused by attachment disorder. You CAN argue with people like that- I frequently do wink- but howmany lives has negatively impaced on? It's all very well for me to tell him where to go, most parents won;t have the language or studies to use as ammo. And that is scary.

One day though we'll sort it, sort it being kids getting access to the right education and chances for them, and equality of life chances. Thank you for being so verbal about the issue- I saw a quote from this on twitter and wasn't sure but it is good to have read this.

vdelacruz Mon 23-Apr-12 14:08:27

Hi,
in your twitter account a couple of days ago you said the King of Spain shot himself while hunting elephants. He didn't, it was his grandson who shot himself, while the king was in Botswana hunting elephants... also, he's not the head of WWF but an honorary founder of the Spanish equivalent... BUT ANYWAY!
I ADORED Mad Cows. Bought it in London in 2000 when I was in uni studying translation and it opened a whole new world to me, away from the very academic and stale English they usually teach us foreigners... I've re-read it throughout the years, and now that I am a mother myself I think I love it even more. I also liked your other books, but I recently read someone (amazon review?) saying that you were better in short articles than long format, what do you say to that?
Thanks!!

KathyLette Mon 23-Apr-12 14:04:43

Peachy

Oh absolutely Kathy; I think the way ASD funding is broken down is one of our buiggest enemies- children's services are looking to make savings as are early eyars and adult services and...... whereas if they all had one pot to answer for, the proven fact that early intervention works would soon come to the fore and become a budgetary priority.

I just think when politicisns see ASD or SN they simply see great big £££££££ signs and run away as fast as they can.

My eldest will either be a Millionaire or a Prisoner- it really will be that simple for him, yet there was nothing until I happened to study autism and meet someone teaching in a relevant school- that takes 2 kids in our city a year. how many more are neglected though?

All parents of special needs kids, should get Mothering and Fatheirng Medals. My son often says he feels that he's drowning in his own brain waves. I just hope that my novel, "The Boy Who Fell To EArth" can act, in a small way, as a literary life raft.

I nearly called the book "My Family and Other Aliens" as it does feel as though I found Jules under a space ship and raised him as my own. But he has taught me to be more patient and humble and tolerant. I learn from him every day. He's the bravest boy I know. But that doesn't mean that I don't often also need a very stiff drink!

Peachy Mon 23-Apr-12 14:03:43

And equally tehre are many undiagnosed females I thnk- Ir ead something about looking at women who ahd suffered with eating disorders and how high the prevalence was there, and I crtainly have seen a lot of that. In America it is the black communities that have high numbers of undiagnosed children. Which elads to otehr interesting theory I have read that high functioning ASDs are just an evolutionary shift towards an age where we all use the internet and social interaction ceaes to be so important. I don't know, I suspect ds1 might be of that ilk but ds3 is far more severely impaired whilst still being officially HF- and onw would assume sharing a gene.

HotheadPaisan Mon 23-Apr-12 14:01:38

No question but thank you to you and your son for talking about ASD so publicly.

KathyLette Mon 23-Apr-12 14:01:01

StarshitTerrorise

Thank you Kathy.

My DS says 'if there's a high street, what shops are on the low street?' and various.

What do you think of the removal of Aspergers as a dx?
Do you think it will help access support or increase discrimination based on ignorance about ASDs generally?

ha ha. I love that comment. It's so strangely logical. My son asked me one day, "if there's a happy hour in bars, is there a sad hour too?" And I thought - yes, there really is! How oddly perspicacious.

As for the aspergers diagnosis.... the more we talk and write and discuss this extraordinary syndrome, the better it will be for all.

Peachy Mon 23-Apr-12 14:00:41

Oh absolutely Kathy; I think the way ASD funding is broken down is one of our buiggest enemies- children's services are looking to make savings as are early eyars and adult services and...... whereas if they all had one pot to answer for, the proven fact that early intervention works would soon come to the fore and become a budgetary priority.

I just think when politicisns see ASD or SN they simply see great big £££££££ signs and run away as fast as they can.

My eldest will either be a Millionaire or a Prisoner- it really will be that simple for him, yet there was nothing until I happened to study autism and meet someone teaching in a relevant school- that takes 2 kids in our city a year. how many more are neglected though?

KathyLette Mon 23-Apr-12 13:58:16

I'd also like to add that there is so much undiagnosed autism/ aspergers in the male population. Just take another look at your husband. Is he obsessed with football, trains, cars, music. Is he socially awkward. Does it occasionally feel as though you're living with a martian? Then there's a good chance he's aspergic.

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