Talk

Advanced search

August Book of the month: My Name is Leon by Kit De Waal - Join the author webchat on Wednesday 6 September, 9pm

(125 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 25-Jul-17 11:58:40

Our August book of the month is My Name is Leon, Kit De Waal's brilliant debut about a little boy whose mother is no longer capable of caring for him and his baby brother. Touching and thought-provoking, this novel will tug on your heart strings – and raise questions about family, friendship and identity.

You can find out more about the book. Even if you didn't win a copy, you can grab a copy to read over the summer. Kit De Waal joins us for a webchat at 9pm on Wednesday 6 September

Buy the book from Amazon

mumofmadboys Thu 07-Sep-17 00:15:52

Thank you for all your answers Kit. Very interesting

Celama Wed 06-Sep-17 22:04:16

Thanks for answering Kit, I'll give My Absolute Darling a go then and keep an eye out for any nominations!

KitdeWaal Wed 06-Sep-17 21:59:46

barricade

Thank you, Mumsnet, for the opportunity to join this discussion tonight. And, of course, sincere thanks, Kit, for your gracious replies to our many questions. Wish you the very best of luck for your future ventures. Especially with the follow-up to 'My Name Is Leon' ... really looking forward to it.

smile

Au Revoir!

KitdeWaal Wed 06-Sep-17 21:59:13

KitdeWaal

Saying a very fond goodbye to everyone and thank you again!

And if there are any further questions, please get in touch - I'd be only too happy to answer them and hear your views. Best to everyone smile)

barricade Wed 06-Sep-17 21:58:51

Thank you, Mumsnet, for the opportunity to join this discussion tonight. And, of course, sincere thanks, Kit, for your gracious replies to our many questions. Wish you the very best of luck for your future ventures. Especially with the follow-up to 'My Name Is Leon' ... really looking forward to it.

smile

KitdeWaal Wed 06-Sep-17 21:58:14

Saying a very fond goodbye to everyone and thank you again!

KitdeWaal Wed 06-Sep-17 21:57:44

RachelMumsnet

There's just a few minutes left of the webchat so I wanted to nip in and thank everyone for joining us tonight and sharing their thoughts on the novel as well as putting such great questions to Kit.

Kit thanks so much for your thoughtful and generous answers - and for sharing a pic of your lovely writing room (I'm most impressed with your lawn - you can tell that's not London soil!) As you can see - we really enjoyed Leon and are very much looking forward to your next novel.

Bookclubbers: We're slightly out of sync with Bookclub because of the Summer hols but watch out for announcement of our next book of the month very soon.

That lawn is new turf! Come back in a few months and it will look like scrubland!

aristocat Wed 06-Sep-17 21:57:34

Thanks so much for an insight into being a writer. Good luck with your next book and I look forward to reading more of your work.

KitdeWaal Wed 06-Sep-17 21:57:08

alialiath

Thank you for answering our questions Kit, and for giving m a craving for a curly wurly lol

Oh I ate far too many while I was researching the book! I had to find the exact melting point obvs! I had a good many visits to the dentist, I can tell you. Was it worth it? Ask my waistline!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 06-Sep-17 21:56:25

There's just a few minutes left of the webchat so I wanted to nip in and thank everyone for joining us tonight and sharing their thoughts on the novel as well as putting such great questions to Kit.

Kit thanks so much for your thoughtful and generous answers - and for sharing a pic of your lovely writing room (I'm most impressed with your lawn - you can tell that's not London soil!) As you can see - we really enjoyed Leon and are very much looking forward to your next novel.

Bookclubbers: We're slightly out of sync with Bookclub because of the Summer hols but watch out for announcement of our next book of the month very soon.

alialiath Wed 06-Sep-17 21:55:12

Thank you for answering our questions Kit, and for giving m a craving for a curly wurly lol

KitdeWaal Wed 06-Sep-17 21:54:42

MagicPenny

Thanks for answering my question. Congratulations on being nominated for the Costa. Do you think this had a big impact on the response to the book (and book sales?)

Hi MagicPenny, thanks for your good wishes. I'm not sure that competitons actually help book sales but it does give you as a writer confidence that you have actually done something that can stand up to scrutiny. I was absolutely thrilled to be nominated for so many prizes but it does give you alot to live up to for Book 2!

BetterEatCheese Wed 06-Sep-17 21:54:26

Thanks Kit! Great chat and good luck with your next book!

bellabelly Wed 06-Sep-17 21:54:17

Thanks for such a great book - I said upthread that I really enjoyed it and found it very moving. Can't wait to read the update in a while! And really looking forward to seeing it on screen. smile

KTD1230 Wed 06-Sep-17 21:54:04

Writing room looks amazing - would love a room like that to escape to!!

KitdeWaal Wed 06-Sep-17 21:53:22

Also on the subject of writing rooms, the most important thing to have in any writing room is the headspace. You can honestly write at your kitchen table, on your knee, in the park or on the loo. It doesn't matter if you haven't got a dedicated space. What you need is a bit of time to yourself, with the kids out of the way and the door shut and to really inhabit your world and your characters. Even ten minutes a day. Even one word a day will eventually make a story.

aristocat Wed 06-Sep-17 21:52:12

Another who is jealous of your writing room. It must be wonderful.

bellabelly Wed 06-Sep-17 21:52:04

Cool - that does sound a bit mad but I think I understand. While I was reading the book, Leon seemed very real to me. I can quite imagine him invading your thoughts like that!

KitdeWaal Wed 06-Sep-17 21:51:53

As we're nearing the end of the chat, I'd like to just thank everyone who came online and asked me such interesting questions. It's always great as writer to connect with people that have read your book and felt something for your characters. Thank you all for this.

KitdeWaal Wed 06-Sep-17 21:50:56

bellabelly

Kit, if you could give one piece of advice about writing from a child's perspective, what would you say? Are there any main pitfalls to avoid?

Always BE the child. By that I mean, really be the child. Forget what the adults think and do, just BE the child. Don't try and make sense, don't try and behave. Also get down to the child's level physically. What can you see from three feet or four feet or one foot. What does the world look like. Go to bed when it's still light. What can you hear? Eat the food of a child, watch the programs. It does help if you're childish to begin with, like me!

MagicPenny Wed 06-Sep-17 21:49:53

Thanks for answering my question. Congratulations on being nominated for the Costa. Do you think this had a big impact on the response to the book (and book sales?)

KitdeWaal Wed 06-Sep-17 21:49:21

bellabelly

I'd also like to know if the plot for My Name Is Leon took any unexpected turns that surprised you - or did you have it all meticulously planned out and thought through from the start?

Yes, bellabelly, the plot did take some surprising turns but I'm a real planner so it wasn't anything outside of what I anticipated in terms of narrative or structure. It was just that Leon was so hurt and so real to me and he would often 'say' to me, 'I don't want to do that' or 'this is what it feels like' and I had to go along with him. Sounds mad! The scene in the family centre for example was a real eye opener. I didn't expect him to react like to Carol.

bellabelly Wed 06-Sep-17 21:48:55

Kit, if you could give one piece of advice about writing from a child's perspective, what would you say? Are there any main pitfalls to avoid?

BetterEatCheese Wed 06-Sep-17 21:47:37

Ooh that's marvellous! What a lovely place to go and write!

KitdeWaal Wed 06-Sep-17 21:47:10

Givemecoffeeplease

Love the sound of your writing spaces. Have you written any non fiction?

Hi Givemecoffeeplease, yes I do write some essays and I wrote a piece about Winson Green Prison in Birmingham which I think is still available on BBC iPlayer Radio 4. I love writing fiction the most but the essay is really interesting as the voice is completely me - no other characters allowed!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »