18.1 Kit de Waal, Writer
How do you find your authentic voice? Viv Groskop talks to the writer, Kit de Waal, who found success later in life with her book My Name is Leon. Kit tells Viv how she reconciled the different parts of her Birmingham childhood, born to an Irish mother and African-Caribbean father, in her recent memoir - Without Warning and Only Sometimes: Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood. Not expecting to even make it into adulthood, Kit says that every day has been a bonus. Although she was brought up in the ‘oppressive and joyless’ Jehovah Witness religion, she tells Viv how it prepared her for one thing – and that was public speaking. Talking to a literary crowd was, however, another matter. Overcoming self-doubt and nerves, she shares her secret with Viv: know your subject, and the rest will flow.
Find out more about Kit de Waal’s memoir: Without Warning and Only Sometimes: Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood.
A new updated edition of Viv's book, How to Own the Room is out now.