Kit De Waal biography

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Kit De Waal
Photo: Justine Stoddart

Kit De Waal

Kit De Waal Biography

Kit de Waal is an award-winning short story writer. She was born in Birmingham, UK, to an Irish mother and Kittian father. She worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law and writes about the urban underbelly, forgotten and overlooked places where the best stories are found. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University and is a founder member of Leather Lane Writers and Oxford Narrative Group. My Name Is Leon is her first book.

Kit De Waal's website

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Interview

Kit de Waal talks about her debut novel, My Name Is Leon, the inspiration behind the book, and how she researched the main characters.

My Name Is Leon is your first novel. Can you describe the experience of writing this for us? What inspired you to tell Leon's story?

Leon was actually a character I wrote in another book. He was a minor character and an adult but he kept appearing on the page and seemed to have a story to tell. I used to think about him all the time. I realized early on what drove him, and thought about his childhood life, and I originally wrote a short story based on his experience. It's part of the chapter where he loses his brother. However, it wasn't a successful short story, because it was too big for the container. It had to be written, but to be honest, I was a bit afraid of it; didn't think I had the talent or the nerve. It's one of the stories I felt a huge responsibility to get right because of the subject matter and the people involved.

Describe the research that went into the making of this novel. Was it a lot or a little? Did you need to research the race riot scene in particular?

There was virtually no research involved. I used to write training manuals for foster carers and social workers (in another life); I sit on an adoption panel (a local government board that makes decisions about which children should be ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Kit De Waal at BookBrowse
My Name Is Leon jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Kit De Waal but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Sandra Benitez

    Sandra Benitez

    Sandra Benitez has spent her life moving between the Latin American culture of her Puerto Rican mother and the Anglo-American culture of her father. She was born March 26, 1941 in Washington D.C. A year later, her father, who... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    My Name Is Leon

    Try:
    The Weight of All Things
    by Sandra Benitez

  • Elizabeth Berg

    Elizabeth Berg

    Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, including Open House (an Oprah's Book Club selection), Talk Before Sleep, and The Year of Pleasures, as well as the short story collection The Day I Ate Whatever I... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    My Name Is Leon

    Try:
    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg

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