A Quickie With

A Quickie with Kit De Waal

Kit de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother, who was a foster carer and a Caribbean father. She worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law, was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels. She used to advise Social Services on the care of foster children, and has written training manuals on adoption and foster care. Her writing has received numerous awards including the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2014 and 2015 and the SI Leeds Literary Reader’s Choice Prize 2014. My Name is Leon is her first novel. She has two children.

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

My latest book is – my only book so far – is MY NAME IS LEON. Read it because it’s a story about love and life and how we find our way through hard times and because it’s about a little boy that you will love, a boy that would love you back.

If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?

If someone was to write my life story it would be called ‘Could do better. Needs to stop daydreaming.’

What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

Strangest question or request I’ve received is someone on Facebook asking me if all writers are vain because they write about themselves.

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

I would co-write with Kevin Barry. That is to say, he would dictate and I would type without errors.

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).

Nobody yet knows that when I was six years old I fell off a table while I was singing ‘I can’t get no satisfaction’, and bit through my tongue. I had to have stitches and a diet of ice-cream for weeks. They had to clamp my tongue to sew it and consequently my tongue is so long I can touch the tip of my nose with it.

Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.

Three books to recommend ‘Harvesting’ by Lisa Harding because it’s visceral and true.

A Manual for Heartache by Cathy Rentenzbrink because it’s lovely and life affirming

Cheri by Collette because I rediscovered it the other day and it’s the story of one of the last taboos, the love of an older woman for a young man.

Who is Kit De Waal?

Kit de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother, who was a foster carer and a Caribbean father. She worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law, was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels. She used to advise Social Services on the care of foster children, and has written training manuals on adoption and foster care. Her writing has received numerous awards including the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2014 and 2015 and the SI Leeds Literary Reader’s Choice Prize 2014. My Name is Leon is her first novel. She has two children.

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